DENVER--M/A-COM introduced the P7200 quad-mode radio, which supports the company’s OpenSky and EDACS IP-based platforms as well as APCO’s Project 25 digital standard—both conventional and trunking—and analog. The radio operates in the 700 MHz and 800 MHz bands. A UHF/VHF version also is available.

The radio can operate on systems deployed by other manufacturers when in P25 mode, said Dennis Martinez, vice president of technology. “This allows public-safety agencies to buy radios based on features, not vendors,” he said. “It’s the Holy Grail of radios.”

In addition, the company unveiled a hand-held application that lets Bluetooth-enabled devices such as personal digital assistants (PDAs) communicate with remote servers via the OpenSky platform. When an officer in the field wants to do a license-plate query, check a vehicle identification or driver’s license number, or do a background check on a suspect, the officer could make the request using a Bluetooth-enabled PDA, which would connect to a Bluetooth-enabled OpenSky radio, which then transmits the request to the server.

The report is transmitted back to the hand-held device in the same manner. In addition to the data, the report could include a mug shot of the suspect, to help the officer determine whether the driver’s license or vehicle registration provided by the suspect is fake. M/A-COM eventually plans to add a scanning application capable of reading the barcode residing on the back of driver’s licenses.

Typically, officers must return to their vehicles after confronting suspects to make such queries, an inefficient process that puts officers at risk because it gives the suspect a chance to take off, forcing the officer to pursue, often at high speeds, Martinez said.

“The whole idea is that the officer no longer needs to be tethered to his or her vehicle,” he said.