Kenwood USA and PowerTrunk recently announced that the two companies would jointly market Project 25 systems that would feature the former’s mobile and portable subscriber units and the latter’s IP-based infrastructure. The end goal is the development of scalable, end-to-end, P25-compliant digital networks.

It’s a “good fit,” said John North, general manager of Kenwood’s systems division, because Kenwood lacks the P25 infrastructure capability that PowerTrunk already possesses — in the VHF, UHF, 700 MHz and 800 MHZ bands — while PowerTrunk lacks the subscriber units that Kenwood has in abundance. He added that Kenwood’s research-and- development people vetted PowerTrunk before the deal was struck and gave the company “high grades.”

One of the most attractive aspects of PowerTrunk’s infrastructure is that it is flash-upgradable, North said. “So when customers want to migrate to P25 Phase II, they’ll be able to do so with a software upgrade,” he said. “It won’t be an expensive forklift migration, because no hardware will be needed.”

Also attractive is that PowerTrunk develops all of its RF system components, with the exception of site-management servers, North said.

He said that Kenwood had no qualms about choosing PowerTrunk as its infrastructure partner, despite the fact that the company is relatively new to the North American P25 marketplace. “We had to jump into the game somewhere,” North said. “PowerTrunk might not be as well-known as Motorola or Harris right now and that will be a challenge over the short-term. But we will clear those obstacles over time.”

No timetable has been set for the rollout of the first solutions as a result of the partnership, but Kenwood and PowerTrunk already are jointly responding to requests for proposals, North said.