Eight laboratories have been approved to test equipment as part of the Project 25 Compliance Assessment Program (P25 CAP), the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Office for Interoperability and Compatibility (OIC) announced yesterday.

Managed in partnership with the National Institute of Standards and Technology's Office of Law Enforcement Standards, the P25 CAP is designed to provide first-responder agencies with testing information that ensures that P25 equipment operates and interoperates as specified by the standard.

Public-safety officials have long sought independent testing to verify manufacturers' claims that their products comply with the P25 standard and interoperate. Within the P25 CAP, recognized laboratories will test equipment and provide detailed test reports to the manufacturers, said Luke Berndt, chief technology officer for the OIC. Manufacturers will use the detailed reports to created summary test reports, which will be published at www.rkb.us.

"What that will provide for all the first responders or other people buying equipment is a one-stop shop where … they can easily access information," Berndt said.

The initial eight recognized laboratories are:

  • Compliance Testing LLC, dba Flom Test Lab, in Chandler, Ariz.;
  • EF Johnson Technologies in Irving, Texas;
  • Motorola ASTRO System Integration and Test Laboratory in Schaumburg, Ill.;
  • Motorola GP25 HEC-PITEC Schaumburg in Schaumburg, Ill.;
  • Motorola P25 Performance CAI Subscriber Compliance Laboratory in Plantation, Fla.;
  • Tait Electronics Ltd Teltest Laboratories in Christchurch, New Zealand;
  • TIMCO Engineering in Newberry, Fla.; and
  • Tyco Electronics Wireless Systems in Lynchburg, Va.

These labs were assessed from December 2008 through April 2009, demonstrating their testing competence and their ability to operate independently, even if they are owned by P25 manufacturers, Berndt said.

"They have to operate independently and openly to be part of this program," he said.

Only P25 common-air-interface tests are ready to be conducted immediately, but Berndt said the goal is to have compliance testing methods established when products reach the market that meet P25 standard interfaces, beginning with the Inter-RF Subsystem Interface (ISSI).

"That's definitely the next interface we're going to move onto, and we hope to do that in short order," Berndt said. "We want to have the compliance-assessment program line up with the release of the first batch of equipment coming from manufacturers."