Howell County, Mo., will deploy a simulcast radio solution from Tait Communications to enhance mission-critical radio coverage for 20 public-safety agencies.

The Howell County Fire Chief's Association and Howell County 911 are purchasing the system, which will be funded in part by a FEMA Assistance to Firefighters Grant awarded to the fire chief's association. Designed for interoperability, the new system will support the county's 13 fire departments, three ambulance services, three police departments and the Howell County Sheriff's Office.

"The new Tait network will alleviate the coverage problems we are having with our current system and provide reliable communications to ensure our first responders are safe," Stephen Gleghorn, Howell County's 911 director, said in a statement.

"Reliability is extremely important. We are in a tornado-prone area and located on the edge of the New Madrid fault line," Gleghorn continued. "We need to make sure our first responders have the most reliable, interoperable communications equipment."

FCC extends 4.9 GHz comment period

The FCC has extended the timeline for commenters to submit filings in its latest 4.9 GHz proceeding, citing its desire to receive input from the First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet) board of directors. FirstNet will oversee the construction and operation of the proposed 700 MHz LTE network for public safety, which may use technology operating on 4.9 GHz public-safety spectrum as a complement.

Under the new timeline, comments in the proceeding will be due on Nov. 1, and reply comments will be due on Nov. 31.

Aeroflex adds 4.2 MIMO support to test set

Aeroflex announced that it has added support for 4x2 multi-input, multi-output (MIMO) to its 7100 Digital Radio Test Set for testing LTE user equipment being designed with this feature.

With 4x2 MIMO, a user device with a good signal-to-noise ratio can make use of spatial multiplexing, while a device with a poor signal-to-noise ratio can use a transmit-diversity approach. Measurements are made at both the base station and the user device. This new release of the software supports 4x2 MIMO measurements on LTE in FDD mode with bandwidths of 10 MHz, 15 MHz and 20 MHz. It is planned that 1.4 MHz, 3 MHz and 5 MHz bandwidths will be added in the future.