Motorola Solutions today announced the APX 7000L, a multiband P25 portable radio with an LTE module that enables the transmission and reception of broadband data—the first product to include LTE connectivity in a public-safety-grade LMR  handheld device.

Expected to be available early in the third quarter this year, the APX 7000L provides the same multiband and ergonomic capabilities as the APX 7000, but the APX 7000L—the “L” is for LTE—includes an LTE module that provides broadband connectivity, according to Mike Petersen, Motorola Solutions’ director of Astro subscriber product management.

“This device just brings some fantastic opportunities to our customers,” Petersen said during an interview with IWCE’s Urgent Communications. “With over-the-air programming, to send over a new code plug … over traditional LMR data networks, it could take several minutes to do that. [With the LTE connectivity], we can take a 3 MB file and shove it over in less than 12 seconds.

“Not only is a fantastic speed change, but I’m not competing with voice [to send data]. On some of your integrated [LMR] voice and data networks, when you start to talk—voice is the primary item of that radio and is always priority—you would interrupt that data transmission when you address the voice call. That’s done. You don’t have to worry about that anymore with this solution, because you’ve got an LTE path that’s focused on bringing that information or code plug to that radio while you can simultaneously be talking on voice channel.”

The ability to rekey and install code plugs quickly is particularly important to federal law-enforcement users that routinely need to use such features to operate securely on different LMR networks, according to Petersen. For this reason, federal law-enforcement entities are expected to be the first customers for the APX 7000L, although Motorola Solutions also will market it to state and local public-safety agencies, he said.