Work Begins on Standardized Radio Programming For Interoperability (1/15/13)
Tuesday, January 15, 2013 | Comments

By Michelle Zilis
The Radio Programming Compatibility Requirements (Radio PCR) working group is establishing the first steps toward creating a standard way to export and exchange basic programming information between various two-way radio programming software packages.

The group is “trying to come up with a standardized way of importing and exchanging basic information needed for interoperability between disparate software packages,” said Tom Sorley, co-chair of the National Public Safety Telecommunications Council (NPSTC) working group.

Sorley said the group is not attempting to create or force a single programming software tool. Instead the goal is to have the basic software requirements that would allow a user to import from radio vendor X to vendor Y and maintain radio functionality for interoperability purposes.

A requirements document was sent to vendors. The document validates what is designated as mandatory and optional features needed to achieve interoperability and gives vendors the opportunity to correct or add any missing components. The form asks for conventional, trunked and channel plan details, as well as manufacturer-specific information that may be needed for an interoperability template.

The current document focuses on analog and Project 25 (P25) technologies, but there is also interest in hearing from other digital technology manufacturers, including Digital Mobile Radio (DMR) and NXDN vendors.

A March 1 deadline was set for the forms to be completed, with a mid-February call scheduled to check in.

After the documents are compiled, the next steps could include user input to help determine interoperability needs.

When asked whether there are visions for something similar to the P25 Compliance Assessment Program (CAP), representatives said those decisions haven’t been made yet.

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