NexGen City yesterday announced it has developed a voice-over-IP radio handset with push-to-talk (P2T) and personal-digital-assistant (PDA) features that can be used with the company’s NexLink wireless broadband mobile mesh networks.

Testing of the NexPaq personal communicator for first responders is underway, with the product planned for availability in the fourth quarter, according to a NexGen City press release. The NexPaq communicator is the industry’s first handset designed to deliver VoIP traffic with P2T over a mesh network, the company said.

“The innovative design of our NexPaq communicator reflects extensive feedback from local, state, and federal public safety officials and users, as well as from city IT chiefs across the country,” said NexGen City President Richard Dwelle. “We couldn’t find any commercially available devices that matched our customers' needs, so we designed our own from the ground up.”

Powered by an Intel 400 MHz microprocessor, the NexPaq communicator uses the Linux operating system and includes a back-lit display, keypad, cursor controls, and programmable multi-function keys. The radio has an emergency call button, a channel selection switch, and volume control.