In addition, the latest ASTRO 25 release supports edge availability, which is designed to enable dispatch centers to maintain full-featured communications, even if their wired connection to the P25 core is cut or otherwise unavailable.

“With most dispatch centers, you’re going to have a radio connection as a backup, but the bandwidth is not as great, so you’re going to have a very limited feature capability—you’re going to lose some of those features, because you’ve lost your wireline connection to the core,” Delm said.

“With edge availability, you get a wired connection between the dispatch center and the local site. Instead of going to the core and depending on the core to connect you to the site, you can go directly to the site. So, even if that connection to the core is cut, you atill have all of the features via the site connection. It’s just another way to make the system more robust, and it eliminates that one point of failure at the core.”

Another new capability in the latest ASTRO 25 release is called Enhanced Geo Select, which monitors the location of radios and execute executes policy-based changes when a radio enters a certain geofenced area—perhaps transmitting an alert or setting the radio to specific channel that a user will need when responding to an incident in its area, Delm said. In the past, these tasks were executed through the core, which may receive an update on a radio’s location at time intervals that can range from every 15 seconds to “a couple of minutes,” he said.

“If I’m driving in a car, a couple of minutes can pass between the times that I enter and leave a geofence, because those geofences can be only a couple of blocks,” Delm said. “With Enhanced Geo Select, we’ve pushed the intelligence to the edge with a radio. So, using our software, we’re able to program that within a certain geofence that some actions will be taken—changing channels or whatever—and that information is simply pushed out to all the radios. The radio will know instantly, because it’s got the GPS chip inside it.

“So, the instant that radio crosses that geofence boundary, it will execute that script; there’s no longer a need to wait for it to update the system.”