Last month, P25 celebrated the 25th year since the initial conference that launched the future of public safety communications technology. Even in 1989, it was obvious the inevitable transition from analog to digital had started and without some serious coordination (through standards), digital radio interoperability would be impossible. The seminal conference in 1989 set us on the path to what we now call P25, or Association of Public-Safety Communications Officials (APCO) Project 25.
APCO P25 needed a standards body that would collect, develop and provide immense technical knowledge. They partnered with Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA), who published as P25 and American National Standards Institute (ANSI) standards. The resulting suite of standards for digital voice communications defined P25 with five elegant principles:
- Competition in system life-cycle procurements
- Graceful migration (backward and forward)
- Spectrum efficiency
- User-friendly equipment
These guiding principles were/are steered by a user-driven process with a unique partnership with public safety industry. Committees, sub-committees, working groups, and task groups were formed to address specific topics. It seems the fun never stopped.
Jump forward 25 years. Has P25 been a success?
- Yes! Initial principles and promises have been met.
- Yes! Worldwide penetration has occurred.
- Yes! Multiple vendors of products and services are offered.
- Yes! There is healthy competition for your business.
- Yes! Interoperability exists in meaningful tiers.
- Yes! Scalable solutions are available to fit your needs.
- Yes! P25 systems are being deployed in the U.S.
- Yes! Future trends suggest deployments will increase.
- Yes! Range of support resources are readily available.
- Yes! P25 will meet public safety needs another 25 years.
HATS OFF to the army of dedicated and talented people whose hard work contributed to P25’s success throughout the years.
As a living standard, P25 continues to evolve – just as it has done for the past 25 years. Icom looks forward to helping P25 meet the emerging needs of users and adapting to new technologies.