The Association of Public-Safety Communications Officials' 75th Annual Conference & Expo this month marks an important milestone in mission-critical communications — the 20th anniversary of the Project 25 standard. History has established P25 as a fully vetted, adopted and vibrant standard that continues to expand and grow with new technological enhancements and innovation created specifically with public-safety users' needs in mind.

The P25 standard is unique in that both public-safety users and vertical industry leaders are part of the development process. In addition to public-safety users, other industries like utilities and petroleum-chemical are deploying P25 equipment to communicate with public-safety users in emergency situations. As we continue to connect new users to P25, we increase the level of safety for personnel and our communities by improving the ability to communicate.

A key contributor to the significant adoption of the P25 standard has been the interoperability that it provides. More than 25 equipment manufacturers and service providers offer a wide array of P25-compliant equipment and services. Nearly 2 million P25-capable subscriber units have been in the field with approximately 200 P25 trunked systems deployed worldwide.

This year, the industry has experienced unparalleled cooperation among P25 manufacturers dedicated to providing the public-safety community with documented proof of interoperability. In January, Motorola hosted a P25 trunked interoperability event that included EFJohnson Technologies, Tait Radio Communications, Technisonic Industries and Tyco Electronics, and sponsored another event in July. To continue its commitment, Motorola plans to participate in several other P25 infrastructure manufacturers' interoperability events throughout the rest of the year.

It is through the investment of engineering resources to standards development and interoperability testing that manufacturers have demonstrated their continued commitment to P25 interoperability in the public-safety marketplace.

The future of the P25 standard is clearly evident with the significant progress that has been made on two new technological advancements, the Phase 2 TDMA standard that provides spectrum efficiency and the P25 ISSI wireline standard. The ISSI link between two ISSI-capable P25 systems will allow users to roam from their home system to another system while continuing to communicate with their home users and dispatchers. With the current availability of new P25 multiband radios, interoperability is further enhanced in combination with the ISSI, providing public-safety agencies with flexibility in the methods used to interoperate with other agencies.

I would like to congratulate all the public-safety users and industry partners on their continued support of this vibrant, established, and growing standard as we celebrate the 20th anniversary of Project 25. We often are reminded that interoperability means saving lives and that the work we are doing to foster interoperability is critically important. I am confident that the industry and public-safety community will continue to move the standard forward, to support and enhance interoperability for public-safety agencies around the world.

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Brenda Herold is the corporate vice president of government and public-safety products for Motorola Enterprise Mobility Solutions.

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