Communications vendor EFJohnson is including the Enhanced Project 25 digital vocoder in its new P25 radios and will offer the capability as an upgrade to some existing customers, the company announced recently.

Patented by Digital Voice Systems, Inc. (DVSI), the Enhanced P25 vocoder uses techniques such as noise suppression and improved error mitigation to deliver voice signals with “startling” sound quality that is much clearer and louder than the previous P25 standard, EFJohnson spokesman Kevin Nolan said. The difference has been quantified, DVSI President John Hardwick said in a statement.

“Recent independent speech-quality testing shows DVSI’s Enhanced P25 vocoder achieves substantially higher voice quality in virtually all test conditions, significantly better performance in background noise, and full interoperability with the P25 vocoder standard (TIA-102BABA),” Hardwick said.

EFJohnson is shipping the DVSI vocoder as a standard in all of its P25 radios, Nolan said.

“We believe that we are the first of the P25 equipment suppliers to be implementing this new patented vocoder,” he said during an interview with MRT.

Because the vocoder is software-based, users do not have to buy new radios to leverage the technology, Nolan said. EFJohnson customers who have bought the company’s P25 radios since August can upgrade to the DVSI vocoder for a “pretty minimal” cost, Nolan said.

“If somebody wanted to implement that into one of our radios sold in the last two years, it’s basically a software download they can get from our customer-support group,” Nolan said.