Tait Radio Communications debuted during last week’s Association of Public-Safety Communications Officials conference in Montreal the TM 8200 mobile radio, a dual-mode conventional/MPT trunked radio that provides 1500 conventional channels, four MPT networks and an optional internal data modem that offers throughputs up to 19 kb/s.

A 25-watt version is available currently, with a 40-50 watt model scheduled for availability “shortly after Christmas,” according to Martin Ball, product group planning manager.

The introduction of the 40-50 watt version represents a “significant milestone” for Tait, Ball said. “It will be the first time we had a high-powered radio in the U.S. market,” he said. “It’s what the U.S. market demands.”

Tait also demonstrated its Project 25-compliant systems during APCO. The company plans to introduce base stations in the first quarter of 2005 and subscriber units in the second quarter. Beta testing is scheduled for sometime around Christmas.

Like EADS North America, which announced during APCO it was joining the P25 fray, Tait is undeterred by the fact it is a latecomer, according to Ball. “We’re getting strong encouragement from customers who tell us they need more players.”

Ball added that Tait’s strength in infrastructure would ease the transition into the P25 market. “One of our strengths has been our backbone, and customers are confident in us. Other players, such as those in Asia, are focused more on subscriber units,” he said. “This will be a very natural migration for us.”