Radio communication specialist Icom UK has introduced digital Private Mobile Radio (dPMR) Mode 3 at the FCS Business Radio event (14 November 2013).
Members of the two-way radio industry were given an overview of how dPMR Mode 3 works, the advantages of the new standard and the improved and increased functionality of products that operate on the dPMR standard.
In essence, the dPMR standard covers three modes: Mode 1 which addresses peer-to-peer communications; Mode 2 which handles communications via centralised repeaters; and Mode 3, which handles communications via managed repeaters or trunking.
The emphasis with dPMR is on providing a fully functional radio system that can seamlessly integrate with IP networks, and is capable of offering customisable application software tailored to any business communication needs.
It can provide a useful stepping stone, allowing users to migrate from an analogue radio system to a digital solution with the advantage of the user being able to retain their existing system, rather than having to start with an entirely new approach.
“For users of two-way radio, planning a migration path to new technology platforms can be bewildering,” says Ian Lockyer, the marketing manager of Icom UK. “Interoperability, as well as the integration of analogue and digital, are required, and the choice of radio standard is a difficult one.’
“Many organisations collaborate at different times and it is vital that whatever platform is chosen, it can be integrated with existing infrastructure and offer interoperability. Each radio system needs to be able to talk to the other – dPMR offers this advantage.”
The global trend for digital migration is based on the simple fundamental requirement for more channels, but radio spectrum is a limited resource and demand for channels exceeds supply, resulting in interference and this can be a barrier to growth for business.
“In light of the current policy of spectrum pricing, it became clear that a new advance was needed to make the most efficient and economical use of this scarce resource,” adds Lockyer.
Since the beginning of PMR radio, there has been a constant need to balance available spectrum and channel size. As filter and modulation technology has advanced the channel size has progressively reduced from 100kHz to 50, then 25, then to the current size of 12.5kHz that users have known for the past 20 years or more.
Up to now 6.25kHz was not possible with analogue technology, but research by Icom has proven that 6.25kHz could be achieved using a new digital protocol and have since developed this technology to make effective use of the spectrum available.
The dPMR system allows users to scale migration to a digital system at their own pace and need, whilst still running their existing system.
If the radio users increase in the future, or users require expanded communication coverage, the dPMR conventional system can be upgraded to a multi-site system, or grow into a Mode 3 trunking system while using the same subscribers, hosting up to 1,024 site networks and in turn up to 500,000 subscribers.
dPMR Mode 3 solutions offer wide area multi-site, multi-channel trunked repeaters capable of national and international coverage if required. In addition, solutions already exist for PC based remote control of dPMR base stations to give completely configurable dispatcher functionality.