Reporter’s Notebook: APCO
announced it has added AES and DES encryption to its BK Radio DPH digital portable radio. The company said the enhancement brings the radios into compliance with APCO’s Project 25 standard, including encryption. In addition, RELM announced that the frequency range for its DPH digital portable radio has been expanded to 136-174 MHz from the previous range of 147-174 MHz, in turn expanding the potential market for the radios.
Thales said it has increased the audio volume of its Thales P25 radio via a software upgrade. “Customers were having issues hearing their radios when they were on their belts,” said Bob DiDonato, field services engineer. “They’re excited about this because they’ve wanted it for a long time, and they’ll be able to do it without having to send their radios in.”
AT&T Wireless said during APCO that it currently has about 10,000 subscribers for its mobile data service introduced last February that is replacing the carrier’s cellular digital packet data network. The carrier is adding about 3000 subscribers per month, said the company’s Alan Yuan. AT&T recently added another frequency overlay to fill coverage gaps, Yuan said. Work was completed nationwide this month. “It’s now much more robust and cell-to-cell connectivity is extremely consistent,” Yuan said, adding that the carrier is achieving consistent throughputs of 130 kb/s, with bursts to 200 kb/s.
IP Mobile Net will furnish the State of Utah with 700 MHz mobile radios and base stations, according to Mike Netter, the company’s sales and marketing manager. The order calls for 200 radios and a dozen base stations to be shipped. Deliveries will start at the end of this month and continue through the remainder of 2004, Netter said.
ICOM America made several product announcements during APCO. The company said it started shipping its IC-F43TR UHF trunked radio on August 10. One of the radio’s key features is its dual frequency range—400-470 MHz and 450-512 MHz. The radios offer switchable 12.5/25 kHz channel width and 5/6.25 kHz frequency pitch, which makes all of the UHF channels available for trunking. “This will allow dealers to sell more radios on a trunk system,” said Tom McCuin, government sales representative.
ICOM also said its IC-F7000 HF transceiver currently is undergoing field engineering tests and should be available before the end of the year; the company currently is selling a version in Australia. In addition, ICOM said its P25-compliant transceivers should be available for shipping in October, and its P25-compliant portables should be available sometime in the first quarter 2005.