ORLANDO--Motorola this week announced its next-generation platform for mission-critical communications, including an extension of its IP-based ASTRO 25 system that lets customers use their spectrum more efficiently.

With the new software-based dynamic dual-mode capability, entities using ASTRO 25 can almost double their channel capacity, Motorola spokesman Dan Loeger said. In addition to operating in the P25 standard FDMA mode utilizing 12.5 KHz channels, the enhanced platform also supports TDMA, which only needs 6.25 KHz of spectrum for each voice channel, although the control channel remains at 12.5 KHz.

Making the migration path to TDMA more accessible to users is the fact that Motorola’s architecture will not require additional cell sites, Loeger said.

“With most TDMA systems, you have smaller footprints, which is why people think of TDMA [systems] as having lots of cell sites and smaller coverage,” he said. “We’re not designing it that way. … We’re ensuring that TDMA coverage is the same as FDMA coverage. If they have five sites today, they’ll have five sites tomorrow.”

Unlike other TDMA offerings using 6.25 KHz channels, Motorola’s TDMA solution will track the pending P25 standard, Loeger said.