DENVER--Motorola today announced it has begun initial deployments of infrastructure that will let its Astro 25 customers realize a 10-fold increase in the data rates inherent in the system.

Currently, a standard Astro 25 provides customers with a data rate of 9.6 kb/s on a standard 25 KHz channel. Those customers can reach data rates of 96 kb/s simply by investing in another base station at each tower site of the 800 MHz network—a reality that makes such an upgrade attractive, said Rich Baids, vice president and general manager of Motorola’s radio systems division.

“Everything else is existing infrastructure that is leveraged—tower sites, lines and the IP network,” Baids said.

Perhaps the most important aspect of the upgrade is that the mobile coverage offered for data is similar to the footprint for Astro 25 voice, so customers generally will not be required to find or develop new tower sites to enable the higher-speed data rate, Baids said.

Greg Brown, president of Motorola’s government and enterprises mobility solutions business, unveiled the company’s plan to offer increased data rates to Astro 25 customers during a March interview with Mobile Radio Technology. Baids said Motorola is deploying the data-upgrade solution with initial customers and plans to make the data upgrade generally available late this year.