Project 25 Technology Information Group

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Project 25 Technology Information Group

The Project 25 Technology Interest Group (PTIG) held it’s Annual Meeting in conjunction with the APCO International Conference in Orlando on August 14th. At that meeting, a Board of Directors and Officers were elected. A number of new Board members were elected from the Public Safety Radio User Community to fill vacancies created as previous members moved on. These include:

Scott Wright

Scott Wright is a Telecommunications Engineer with the Connecticut Department of Emergency Service and Public Protection and has worked for the State for 26 years. In his role with the State, Mr. Wright supports the State trunked and conventional radio systems. He serves on a number of committees, including: P25 User Needs Study Committee (vice chair), State Interoperable Communications Executive Committee (technical committee chair), RPC19 (technical committee chair), the Federal Partnership for Interoperable Communications, and a number of others. Mr. Wright holds a number of public safety certifications and FCC licenses.

Brent Finster

Brent is the Communications Center Manager for the University of Hawai’i Department of Public Safety with 35 years of experience in law enforcement, fire, EMS and public safety communications. Trading one island for another, Brent most recently was the Director of Public Safety Communications for the Cayman Islands Government during the past seven years.  Prior to his Caribbean assignment, he was the telecommunications manager for the Contra Costa County Fire District in the San Francisco Bay Area. Brent originally hails from Colorado where he served as the communications director in Aspen and as a communications supervisor/dispatcher in Boulder.  He has been a deputy sheriff, EMT and fire chief.  Brent has attended Aims Community College (fire science technology), Colorado Mountain College (law enforcement academy) and the University of Colorado School of Journalism. He has been awarded Life and Senior Membership in the Association of Public-safety Communications Officials International (APCO).

Christie Bielby


Christie has worked in Public Safety Communications for almost 30 years.  She is currently responsible for the Administration of the Texas Department of Public Safety’s newly purchased P25 trunked system, subscriber programming templates, and coordination of encryption for The Texas DPS Communication Service and liaison for other state and local agencies.  She has also been involved with the FPIC Security Working Group for the last few years.


Other P25 radio Users and practitioners returning to the PTIG Board include: Del Smith- Alaska ALMR, Brad Stoddard-State of Michigan; Brandon Diemer-BLM NIFC, Eric Davies- DHS; Karl Larson-City of Portland; Jim Junkins-Harrisonburg/Rockingham VA; John Richards-State of Maine; George Crouch-State of South Carolina and Vice Chair Project 25 Steering Committee; Eric Linsley-Mobile County Alabama; and Cindy Cast- Miami Dade County.

The PTIG Board also welcomes a new Commercial member, Todd Perdieu, representing Harris Corporation. PTIG Board returning Commercial Members include: Andy Davis-Motorola Solutions and TIA TR-8 Chair; Chris Lougee 5 x 9 Communications; Jim Holthaus RELM and TIA PRS and TIA TR8.25 chair; Cheryl Giggetts-AECOM; Neil Horden-Federal Engineering; Roy McClellan- Airbus DSC; Doug Chapman-Etherstack; Robin Grier-Catalyst; Sanjay Patel-IDA.

The PTIG Slate of Officers were also nominated and elected at the Annual Meeting. Chairman: Del Smith, Vice Chairman: Jim Holthaus, Treasurer: Chris Lougee, Secretary: Andy Davis.

Stephen Nichols was appointed to continue as Executive Director for the non-profit organization.


The Project 25 Technology interest Group (PTIG) has published the latest summary of P25 Standards Meetings proceedings from the June Meetings held in Kansas City.

This document highlights TR-8 accomplishments and work in progress for 2016. The document is updated after every TR-8 face to face meeting occurring in 2016. The filename reflects the date of the latest update. After the first 2016 version, each update will use blue font to indicate changes from the most recent meetings.

The full report can be accessed using the link below:

P25 TIA TR-8 Meetings Summary June 2016


The Project 25 Technology Interest Group (PTIG) has published a REV03 June 2016 update to its list of known P25 Systems in the USA, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the UK.  The significant change to this update is the addition of a new list of P25 Conventional systems.  The P25 Conventional Systems total is 1299 systems; a surprising number as it is significantly more than the previously published P25 Trunking System list.  The P25 Trunking System list has grown from 711 systems last November to 842 systems today.  If we include the updated trunked system list total and the new conventional systems total the grand total is 2141 Project 25 systems from both lists combined. 

The complete lists can be viewed and downloaded using the links below.

P25 Conventional Systems List June 2016

P25 Trunking Systems List June 2016


Both P25 systems lists are organized by state, and territory.  The Information for each system includes: System name, System user type (Federal, Tribal, Public Safety, Utility, Campus Police etc.), and Frequency band.  P25 Trunking systems are identified as P25 Phase1 or P25 Phase 2.  P25 Conventional systems are identified as digital only or mixed mode analog and digital. 

The new P25 Conventional list presented a challenge because definition of what represented a single stand-alone P25 system vs. a shared combined P25 system was required.  The methodology used for this definition is included in the P25 Conventional System list.

When the Frequency bands in use are compared, VHF dominates the P25 Conventional System list while 800MHz and UHF dominate the P25 Trunking System list.

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The User category breakdown is similar between the P25 Conventional System list and the P25 Trunking System list.  The Public Safety category dominates both P25 System types followed by Federal Agencies and Military systems.  Military P25 systems make up 4% of P25 Conventional Systems but a significantly larger 16% of all P25 Trunking Systems.  Schools and Universities rate a category in the P25 conventional list with a 2% portion.  Utilities (3%), Airports/Transportation (3%) and Industrial (2%) rate categories in the P25 Trunking list.

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The Project 25 Technology Interest Group (PTIG) has developed a new whitepaper on the benefits of P25 technologies for use in Fire ground operations.  Many improvements to the P25 Standards, the P25 vocoder and the P25 products available make it a good time to revisit P25 as a technology for Fireground use.  A summary of the key points is below.   The complete whitepaper can be found using the following link.

A good time to revisit P25 for use on the Fire ground


Summary Benefits of using P25 mission critical radio equipment for the Fire ground include:

  • Improved P25 performance in background noise. P25 equipment can now achieve 10 to as much as 25 dB improvements in background noise reduction.
  • Tone Signaling – DTMF, Knox and single tone is now supported.
  • Paging – P25 Paging receivers are now available.
  • Improved Coverage – P25 Phase 1 technology is about +7dB better than 25 KHz Analog.
  • Enhanced Signaling – Talking Party ID, Group Calls, Unit-to-Unit Calls, All Calls, Emergency Alerts, Emergency Calls, Call Alerts, Radio Check, Radio Unit Monitoring and others.
  • Location Services – Integrated GPS receivers provide location information.








Project 25 Technology Interest Group

P25 System of the Month – May 2016

Iowa Multi-County Radio System


Six Iowa Counties connect their separate P25 systems together for a unique blend of local control and regional interoperability

Six large counties in Iowa – Polk, Marshall, Grundy, Linn, Johnson and Blackhawk – are connecting their separate Harris 700/800 MHz P25 simulcast trunking systems together in an effort to reap the benefits of region wide coverage and interoperability while still retaining local control of important system design criteria like in-building coverage, capacity and local redundancy.  


Johnson County, Iowa (county seat of Iowa City and home to the University of Iowa) released an RFP in 2008 to replace their outdated analog 800 MHz trunking system with a P25 system.  Harris won that bid and installed the 800 MHz P25 trunked simulcast system in 2010.  Johnson County’s immediate neighbor to the north, Linn County, released an RFP in late 2010, also to replace their analog trunking system with P25.  Harris and their local partner RACOM provisioned the Linn County system so it was directly connected to the Johnson County system.  While each County has their own P25 central network core, each shares a redundant central database which makes them aware of the surrounding peers and their assets.  Each core is able to efficiently route talk groups and other traffic between the cores that have demand for it, while not sending information to the cores that have no need for it.  Since each core is fully aware of its peers, users are able to seamlessly and without end user intervention roam from system to system without concern for which county’s towers were being accessed.

According to Charlie McClintock, Communications Director with the City of Cedar Rapids in Linn County, IA, “We like being able to have seamless interoperability with our Johnson County partners and an extended coverage area into multiple counties without having to sacrifice important elements of our own system like having our own P25 network switching center resources and in-building portable coverage custom designed for us.  The Harris & RACOM solution allowed us to have the best of both.”

Growth to Other Counties

The positive experience in Linn and Johnson Counties got those Sheriffs to begin to collaborate with their neighbor to the north - Black Hawk County, IA.  Black Hawk County released an RFP to replace another analog trunking system with P25 in early 2015 and will be the third county to become a part of the expanding network late this year.

Three other Iowa counties: Grundy, Marshall and Polk, all recently upgraded their aging 800 MHz Harris EDACS-based land mobile radio systems to P25 through their partnership with RACOM.  The public private partnership has RACOM owning the P25 switch resources and most of the P25 tower site infrastructure in exchange for extended service and maintenance from the public safety partners.  These systems are also being connected to the network in a manner that creates wide coverage areas, seamless interoperability and intuitive roaming among all six counties.

Local Control

Many states, including Iowa, have built or are building state-owned and controlled P25 systems that allow local usage.  These six counties preferred this model because they can reap the benefits of wide area coverage and seamless interoperability that state systems offer without having to sacrifice the important local control elements of local redundancy, in-building coverage and seamless integration with other important systems like fire paging and 911 telephone.

Planning and Coordination

While the original Johnson and Linn County systems were designed to be a single system from the beginning, ensuring the other four county systems and other systems to be added in the future have similar system IDs, IP address schemes and non-conflicting end-user ID’s has taken careful planning and great coordination.  In collaboration with each of the counties key personnel, a single talk group and unit id plan was agreed to that allocated 500 talk groups (including several unallocated interoperability talk groups) and up to 10,000 unit id’s for each agency in a county (up to 100,000 unit ids total in each county).  

Collaboration – Open Standards

Collectively, the P25 systems in these six counties have nearly 100 separate public safety/public service agencies and 6,000 radios.  Departments not only have different requirements for their radios, but also vastly different budget capacities and timelines.  Open and competitive procurement of P25 end user radios is very important.  The Harris P25 infrastructure in these six counties is currently supporting P25 end user radios from Harris, Tait, EFJohnson, Motorola and Kenwood.

To see how your P25 System can be nominated as a P25 System of the Month


Stephen Nichols

Director, Project 25 Technology Interest Group

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