BALTIMORE--Mission-critical wireless solution vendor M/A-COM today unveiled its 700 MHz Master V base station, which is designed to provide customers a smooth transition path from P25 Phase I to P25 Phase II via a software upgrade.

Although the P25 Phase II standard likely will not be ratified for at least two years, key issues like the type of vocoder and architecture have been decided, and M/A-COM’s Master V base station adheres to these guidelines, said Steve Frackleton, director of marketing for M/A-COM’s wireless systems business.

“We’re confident that this is the architecture that will be approved, and we’re going forward with it,” Frackleton said. “The big issue is that will be software-upgradeable to Phase II. That’s where we think we have a unique offering.”

In addition to the Master V base station, M/A-COM also has terminals like its M7300 mobile units and its P5400 portable handsets that also will comply with the P25 Phase II standard after a software upgrade, Frackleton said. These terminals and the Master V base station all will be available during the first quarter of 2008.

“With the addition of the Master V base station, we have a complete RF product line that is Phase II capable with only software-only upgrades,” Frackleton said.

In terms of features, the Master V base station has many characteristics of M/A-COM’s Master III base station, which serves as the foundation for the new offering. Like the Master III, the Master V includes support for P25 Phase I, EDACS, ProVoice and “other forms of TDMA, if they are approved in the marketplace,” Frackleton said.

Of course, to meet the proposed P25 Phase II standard, the Master V is a two-slot TDMA system that supports 6.25 KHz-equivalent channels and data rates of 12 KB/s. And the initial solution will provide public-safety entities with an option to use the narrowband channels in the 700 MHz spectrum that will become available nationwide in February 2009.

“The product we are announcing at APCO will be 700 MHz,” Frackleton said. “An extension of the platform would lead to other bands, but we’re not introducing that yet.”