Diga-Talk, the largest digital two-way radio network in the midwest, is in the process of beta testing Nexedge Generation Two (Gen2) in partnership with Kenwood. This testing is being initially carried out at A-Beep headquarters in Joliet, IL. A spokesman for Diga-Talk confirms a two-site system will soon be in place for testing, with towers located in Lockport, IL and on top of the Willis (Sears) Tower in downtown Chicago. Diga-Talk hopes to be rolling out Gen2 to their customers early 2016. The Gen2 system will provide a number of advantages, including greatly expanded system capacity, features to allow interoperability with public safety services, and over-the-air programming (OTAP). The expanded coverage will allow for up to 1,000 sites (up from 30), and over 65,000 subscriber units. This will translate into a higher quality signal throughout the coverage area as Diga-Talk continues to add tower sites. Additionally on the new system, updates to radios will be able to be done easily and over the air. This will lead to savings for their customers because they won’t need to have technicians coming out to make changes to their radios in person. Perhaps the most exciting of these options is the interoperability with public safety agencies that can be achieved through the combination of the new NX-5000 Series radios and the Gen2 network. The NX-5000 Series radios are capable of operating in P25 mode (Phases I & II), which is a standard used by many law enforcement agencies. Additionally, with call pre-emption for consoles, a channel can be designated for use in emergency situations, so that dispatchers or other key employees can always be heard and have a channel open. This feature is especially critical for emergency dispatch services and other first responder operations. More news about Gen2 will be available as the testing and eventual implementation continue.
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