Eight manufacturers participated in a Project 25 (P25) trunked interoperability event held by Motorola Solutions the week of Aug. 24.
The P25 Compliance Assessment Program (CAP) test plan prescribed in the Trunked Interoperability requirements section of the current Compliance Assessment Bulletin (P25-CAB-CAI_TEST_REQ_CAB-March 2010) was used. The CAB traces directly to the TIA published Interoperability Testing for Voice Operation in Trunked Systems (TIA-102.CABC-A), and the Recommended Compliance Assessment Tests for Trunking Interoperability (TSB-102.CBBJ) documents.
Eight manufacturers participated in the event, testing one model class in one frequency band. For example, each manufacturer completed one set of the CAB trunked interoperability tests. Participants’ subscriber radios were programmed with information provided by Motorola Solutions in advance. Each participating company was required to bring at least one technical staff person with knowledge of its radio, the CAB and its related Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA) test documents.
Harris, Icom America, JVCKENWOOD, Midland, Relm Wireless, Simoco, Tait Communications and Technisonic also participated in the event.
Michael Schafer, president of independent testing laboratory Compliance Testing, led the testing. The team recorded each test result in the “test application,” an Excel file with two tabs: a vendor Information cover sheet identifying the test radios and vendor test pass criteria describing the expected hardware responses and display for each test. Each participant had to submit fully completed test application and test pass criteria by July 17 or they were disqualified from participation.
The Motorola team of system operation and administration experts, led by John Lambrou, Motorola Solutions P25 compliance, system standards, coordinated the system settings for each set of tests. The Motorola Solutions team, Compliance Testing team and the equipment manufacturer team all worked together to conduct each test and record the results.
“I found the Motorola Solutions team to be extremely professional with a strict attention to detail and adherence to the testing protocols,” said Chris Lougee, TIA Private Radio Section (PRS) chair and with Icom America. “I was impressed with the strict independence of Compliance Testing as the third-party accredited test organization. They took their role very seriously with strict discipline and adherence to the test plan.”
Compliance Testing will provide participants with a detailed test report of the results of the testing of their product to enable them to create their own suppliers’ declaration of compliance (SDoCs) and summary test reports. Any potential end users should expect P25 interoperability with Motorola Solutions ASTRO system Release 7.15 with GTR8000 base station.
“The testing process I observed this week was a testament to the collaborative efforts by industry, end users and government agencies,” Lougee said. Industry is clearly a stakeholder in the CAP. A continued sustained joint effort between CAP and the industry/end user representatives in TIA/P25 will be instrumental in the continued success of CAP.” This event was made possible by Motorola Solutions and Compliance Testing lab recognitions as defined and administered by CAP. CAP specified the guidance provided by the CAB from tests created and maintained by TIA and approved by the P25 Steering Committee. In 2013, DHS Science and Technology (S&T) announced that three accreditation boards (ABs) — American Association for Laboratory Accreditation (A2LA), ANSI-ASQ National Accreditation Board and International Accreditation New Zealand — were selected to re-accredit the eight laboratories that test P25 equipment to verify required standards are met. However, the re-accreditation has not yet begun. The prior accreditations are grandfathered by DHS until the new accreditation program begins.
PTIG presented a Panel on Project 25 Basics for the Non Technologist at the recent APCO Show
Project 25 has evolved as the dominant Standard for Public Safety communications systems in North America. Many PSAPs are now operating P25 Systems. FCC narrowband requirements have caused many older systems to be recently upgraded to P25 to meet FCC narrowband requirements. Also many existing P25 Phase 1 networks are in the process of migration to more spectrum efficient P25 Phase 2. Through all this, P25 remains a complex and mysterious entity for the majority of dispatchers, radio system administrators and other practitioners. At best it seems clouded in technical engineering jargon with few direct links from the technical workings of the systems and products to benefits for the users of the equipment.
This session covered the basics of the standard and details the various over the air interfaces and network interfaces and how they enable interoperability between: multiple users, agencies, jurisdictions and regions. It also explained the potential barriers to interoperability.
Neil Horden: Chief Consultant, Federal Engineering:
The basics of the standard and details about the various over the air interfaces and network interfaces and how they enable interoperability between: multiple users, agencies, jurisdictions and regions. Potential barriers to interoperability.Detailed explanations of unit to unit interoperability using the Common Air Interface as well as network links using the Console Interface, Inter-System interface and Fixed station interface. Explanation of the evolution of P25 from Phase 1 systems to Phase 2 systems.
Jim Downes: DHS Office of Emergency Communications
A variety of Frequently Asked questions were asked and answered in laymen’s terms about P25. Some examples: What is P25? How does it facilitate interoperability? What is P25 Phase1? Phase2? Does the future First-Net LTE broadband data network make P25 obsolete? How to get Multi Vendor radios approved on a P25 system. P25 ISSI and CSSI and Interoperability, P25 Encryption, When will the P25 Standard be complete?
Jim Junkins: Director, Harrisonville/Rockingham Emergency Communications
1) Phase 1/Phase 2 mixed mode fleet mapping, 2) User radio programming concepts/overview...dealing with the complexities and intricacies of programming multiple P25 systems, with legacy, non-public safety systems as well as multi-band radios, etc.
Steve Nichols: PTIG
A variety of resource materials and tools such as the P25 FAQ resource, P25 capabilities Guide, NPSTC PAM tool, and Project 25 Standards update were identified and access links shared.
Now You Can Have the Console of your Choice using the P25 CSSI
PTIG panel at the recent APCO Show in Washington DC
Now you can have the Console of Choice for your P25 Radio Systemu
In the past, call center console choices were limited to one or possibly two options. One offered by the radio system manufacturer and the other from an alternative supplier that often did not have control for all of the features and capabilities that the system offered. Today that is no longer the case. The Project 25 Suite of Standards has been updated to include a console interface the CSSI that allows Project 25 LMR trunking systems to interoperate with a variety of consoles from multiple P25 equipment manufacturers. This session offered case studies of Lancaster County PA, The State of Oregon, and a Federal Agency who have successfully integrated consoles and systems from different manufacturers. In many cases the ability to use an existing console saved significant costs in re-training and allowed a fast efficient migration to a new radio system run by software intimately familiar to the dispatchers.
The session covered a case studies on how the P25 Console Interface (CSSI) was used to interface a console and radio system from different manufacturers. The planning, scope, issues, and lessons learned by the radio system manager and dispatch supervisor were presented. The cost efficiencies and other benefits were addressed. Examples of a Federal Agency using the CSSI and ISSI for interoperability was also presented. A basic technical description of the CSSI was presented and offered as a resource document.
The presenters on the panel are listed below:
Randy Richmond, Standards and Regulatory Specialist, (Zetron)
Tim Baldwin, Deputy Director, (Lancaster County)
Larry Hicks, VP Engineering, (Pantel)
Ron Postma, Console Implementation Manager, (Oregon DoT)
Robin Grier, President, (Catalyst)
A Link to the Full PPT for the Console of Choice Session is below
The Project 25 Technology Interest Group has selected Lexington Kentucky as the new Project 25 System of the Month.
Project 25 Technology Interest Group
P25 System of the Month
Lexington, Kentucky Turns to P25 for Interoperability
For the first time in Lexington’s history, its public safety personnel—police, fire and corrections—can communicate seamlessly and effectively over the same radio system thanks to Airbus DS Communications’ VESTA™ Radio P25 land mobile radio solution.
The project started in the summer of 2012 and cutover in the spring of 2014, replacing the 40-year-old VHF analog system and bringing much needed interoperability to the city’s public safety departments. Prior to installing its current solution, interoperability was out of the question. In fact, the only means for “interoperability” between departments was to place multiple radios in each police car and firetruck, forcing first responders to communicate through each department’s separate radio system.
Lexington’s new LMR system includes approximately 1,500 radios between Police, Fire, and Corrections users. The radios were tested in open fields, heavily wooded areas, city buildings, country farms, and even in the middle of rivers—all with strong, clear communication. The new network and equipment provide greater coverage and reliability over the legacy analog system, and exceeded coverage requirements of the initial plan.
“Having everyone on the same system and the ability to communicate at the touch of a button is a major leap for public safety,” said Robert Stack, Director of Enhanced 9-1-1 in Lexington. “Importantly, we were able to tailor the system to our needs.”
Collaboration and Open Procurement
With Lexington’s new P25 system, police, fire and corrections personnel—as well as the Blue Grass Airport—can effortlessly communicate across departments to collaborate. Even more, the open standards infrastructure provided Lexington the flexibility of open procurement. Open procurement meant that each agency could select the radio brand and model that worked best for them, instead of being limited to a single vendor. Ultimately through this process, Lexington built a seamless Project 25 system—and at the right price for each agency involved.
Thanks to VESTA Radio, Lexington is now a city unified under P25 LMR.
To find out how your P25 System can be nominated as a P25 System of the Month
Director Project 25 Technology Interest Group
Improved Interoperability through the P25 ISSI and CSSI Interface.
Mission Critical Magazine recently published a new article on the P25 ISSI and CSSI
The Importance of P25 Wireline Interfaces ISSI and CSSI
Mike Schools, Catalyst CommunicationsTechnologies’ Vice President of Engineering
Below is an excerpt from the Mission Critical Magazine article:
"Open standards offer benefits that are difficult to overstate: freedom of choice for customers; lower overall cost of development, which is ultimately paid for by customers; vendor confidence that development can be re-used and refined; and freedom for both customers and vendors to focus on real issues including innovations that reduce costs and enhance productivity. The results of our process check indicate that P25 standards are off to a great start, but require more investment, further refinement and full adoption. These potential benefits materialize only if the standard is adopted extensively, not only by manufacturers but also by customers and the consultants who advise them. In the consumer world you can see many examples of standards that thrived because customers invested in products that used them. VHS succeeded over Betamax not because it was a superior technology, but because customers bought and invested in it first. Blu-ray won out over HD-DVD for more complex reasons, but ultimately customers only embraced Blu-ray. Cutting-edge technologies in their day, eventually both became reliable and inexpensive. But customer buy-in and acceptance was critical to continued investment and additional refinements by industry. No matter what the technical potential of a solution, adoption and economics drive its development and maturation. Every technical person in every industry I’ve ever worked in believes at some level that their industry or organization has special requirements that just aren’t like anyone else’s and that they need a custom, special purpose solution. Technology is expensive to build, maintain and support. Simply put, accommodating proprietary interfaces is more expensive than using one standard interface. Adoption enables our industry to expand its available offerings by leveraging the combined efforts of every vendor in the industry. That would mean that the wireline P25 standards — CSSI, ISSI and the Fixed Station Interface (FSI) — should be the only interfaces used for core P25 wireline communications, regardless of what vendor supplies the individual pieces of the subsystem, though manufacturers could continue to differentiate using proprietary extensions to the standards".
The full article can be found on the Mission Critical Magazine link below.