Cassidian Communications yesterday announced that Mercer County, N.J., finalized an agreement for the company to provide an open Project 25 (P25) LMR simulcast system that will operate in 12 of the townships and boroughs in the 226-square-mile county.

Under the agreement, Mercer County will get a Cassidian CORP25 network with three sites capable of transmitting and receiving signals, as well as seven other sites that only receive signals, according to Sherman Banks, a senior technical sales engineer for Cassidian Communications, an EADS North America company. The system will leverage many existing assets in the county and is designed to work with any P25 devices and applications, he said.

“[Mercer County officials] like the fact that we had very little that was proprietary in our system,” Banks said. “Really, the repeater and the software that runs on our server are the only proprietary parts … They felt like they had a lot of choice there.”

In the past, entities purchasing trunking networks were forced to purchase proprietary equipment, Banks said. However, with P25, Cassidian is trying to get customers to bid the network infrastructure separate from other components of the system, much like they were able to do with conventional radio system, he said.

“We’re trying to change how a customer buys a land-mobile-radio system,” Banks said. “What we’re trying to do is get back to being able to mix and match [radio equipment in an LMR system]. We really want customers to get back into that mode of buying the infrastructure and competitively procure consoles and subscriber units.

“Mercer County took that message to heart.”

Terms of the deal were not disclosed, and a project timeline has not yet been announced, Banks said.