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August 16, 2009

Motorola launches new migration system

To enable migration to ASTRO25 voice and data networks

By CBR Staff Writer

Motorola has launched its SmartX migration system that allows for the gradual transition from an existing SmartZone system to an ASTRO 25 voice and data network.

According to the company, an ASTRO 25 system with SmartX supports both Project 25 (P25) sites and SmartZone sites, allowing a combination of analog and P25 digital radios to operate on the network for enhanced interoperability and flexibility. ASTRO 25 with SmartX enables agencies to expand, upgrade or replace RF sites, consoles and subscribers to ASTRO 25.

The company said that the Texas Wide Area Radio Network (TxWARN), based out of Harris County, has deployed the SmartX migration system in order to make the transition to a region wide P25 system. The Harris County region includes 12 surrounding counties, which support more than 260 separate agencies and 44,320 users operating on a combined SmartZone and ASTRO 25 system, utilising 43 sites.

Steve Jennings, chief information officer of Harris County, said: Interoperability and flexibility were the two factors in our transition to P25 that could not be compromised, and Motorola’s SmartX solution is helping ensure a seamless move.

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“We needed a migration solution that would allow individual agencies to make the change at their own pace, leveraging funds when available, but remaining completely interoperable in the event of an emergency or disaster such as a hurricane.

ASTRO 25 with SmartX allows agencies to leverage their existing RF sites, dispatch console and subscriber investments, while offering interoperability between legacy and P25 users. Automatically supporting mixed talkgroups with no patching required, SmartX maximises user interoperability during migration, the company said.

Bob Schassler, senior vice president of enterprise mobility solutions at Motorola, said: We specifically designed the SmartX migration solution to help ease the challenges agencies are having while migrating to a P25 system. Providing reliable radio communications for first responders while minimising user impact is absolutely imperative. We want to ensure that agencies can grow and make long-term investments to enhance interoperability.

The company added that by enabling a phased approach to achieving P25 interoperability, SmartX migration helps agencies surpass public safety requirements for day-to-day operations and emergency response throughout the transition.

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