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Icom dPMR Mode 3 Launch for Multisite/Trunking Customers

Icom dPMR Mode 3 Launch for Multisite/Trunking Customers

The latest version of Icom’s FDMA digital radio protocol, dPMR Mode 3 has recently been launched across the globe. Two of its leading European agents, Icom UK and Icom France provide their thoughts on this new product range and how it will compete in a competitive and challenging market place.

Icom UK based in Herne Bay in the South East of England is currently celebrating its 40th Anniversary in business. Its Marketing Manager, Ian Lockyer said, ‘We understand that in this digital crossover, it can be confusing for customers. There is a broad choice with multiple standards out there such as dPMR, DMR, P25 and multiple brands as well. All the manufacturers are conducting very slick, sophisticated campaigns in an attempt to attract customers from core markets such as education, transport, facilities management, construction etc. I think that customers are getting used to the differences between analogue and digital and would say that the two way digital product, whether it is dPMR or DMR has reached the first stage of market maturity.’

He added, ‘Some manufacturers seem to assume that there is just one choice for the customer. In reality there are so many variables to consider when a customer or dealer makes their two way radio choice. Those include product characteristics, price, availability, dependability of supply, reputation, corporate culture, trading history and importantly, level of service & support. We find that it is the trade customer who normally specifies the radio system and they will normally make their own choice. Every technology will have its advantages and disadvantages. For example, Tetra systems tend to be designed for really large scale systems and may not be the most cost effective solution for smallerorganisations.’ That’s where we feel dPMR Mode 3 comes in. dPMR offers a scalable solution from licence free to back to back to large multisite/trunked systems to provide flexibility of solution. So if the number of radio users increase on a scheme in the future, or the system requires expanded communication coverage, then 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.

One sector where Ian feels that dPMR Mode 3 can be successful is in replacing MPT1327 trunked network systems that are coming to the end of their natural life. He said, ‘the cost of maintaining an MPT1327 system can start to build in time with replacement handsets, spare parts, new accessories as well as site maintenance.’

It may be more cost effective to upgrade from MPT1327 to dPMR Mode 3 by choosing Icom and Fylde Micro FDMA technology. Featuring Icom IDAS digital radio and repeaters together with the Fylde MultiLingo controller, the combined system, meets ETSI dPMR European Telecommunication Standards Institute (ETSI) standards and provides a range of features leading to an improvement in an organization’s performance and efficiency. These benefits include 6.25kHz efficient channel spacing, outstanding audio and superb noise cancelling properties. The initial Mode 3 capability is currently a trunked and networked radio system ranging in size from a single site up to 16 site multi-site trunking operation, although further enhancements are planned.’

Ian said, ‘The Icom/Fylde solution is unique in the fact that it will offer an immediate migration path from MPT1327 to dPMR without the requirement of any MPT1327 operation in the IDAS terminals. The Fylde Multi-Lingo controller will have the capability to encode/decode analogue MPT1327 signals to and from digital dPMR signals and vice versa. This provides the advantage of not requiring a parallel infrastructure set up to allow an MPT and the dPMR digital system to work together. As such dPMR Mode 3 provides scalable, true trunking features with migration possibilities from analogue systems.’

Icom France are in the same position as its Anglo cousins, having just launched Mode 3 to the French two way business radio market. Founded in 1976 Icom France are heavily involved in system manufacture, sales, installation, training, and consultation in the business radio market. Lionel Lewin Director of Icom France said,’ It is still early to get feedback from different customers because the system is still under deployment, but the presentations made by Icom France received a very positive feedback.’

He added, ’there has been a lot of interest in dPMR Mode 3. Our customers find it reassuring that dPMR Mode 3 is an ETSI standard that offers a multivendor environment. They also like the fact that dPMR Mode 3 provides a dedicated calling channel which permits you to have many levels of priority calls and queuing functions.’ So how do you see dPMR Mode 3 developing? Lionel said, ‘The dPMR Mode 3 is going to grow in the current months and years to come. The data capacity and the private call functionality in digital, make dPMR Mode 3 trunking a necessity. The dPMR Mode 3 is a professional and robust solution that fits wonderfully for many potential trunking customers.’

So is there room for both DMR and dPMR technologies? Lionel said, ‘Both of them have been developed to go narrower to gain spectrum efficiency. But dPMR goes one step further as it’s a real 6.25Khz band where DMR is 6.25Khz equivalent. Therefore users implementing 6.25kHz/dPMR now, will not need to reinvest in a new system if 6.25Khz becomes mandatory.’

Ian Lockyer, Marketing Manager of Icom UK Ltd said, ‘dPMR provides a migration path for analogue users to move their systems over to digital at their own pace an important consideration in the current economic climate. We feel quite fortunate to be in the position that Icom provides us with a comprehensive range of digital products. Under the Icom IDAS umbrella brand, we currently offer a diverse range of solutions from simple peer to peer licence free digital to Tier 2 repeater enabled systems with voice record, IP dispatch, etc. The recent launch of multisite dPMR Mode 3 trunking with Fylde Micro has received much interest from many organisations.

He added, ‘However, it is very much down to the dealer to provide the right solution for the customer. Here at Icom UK, we pride ourselves on the flexibility of our radio solutions, whether digital, analogue, marine, aviation and with our high level of customer support can assist dealers and customers to find the radio solution they are looking for.’

For further information about dPMR please visit the dPMR group website at:

Icom UK Marketing -

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