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What Are Some of the Hallmarks of P25 Technology?

P25 Advantages
P25 Technology


Learn More About P25 and CAP Compliance

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What is P25?

P25 is a standard for the manufacturing of interoperable digital two-way wireless communications products. Sometimes also known as Project 25 or APCO P25, this is a user-driven standard, it is not industry – or Federal government – driven standard.

P25 allows for improved communications within and between agencies – especially emergency service providers. Such intra- and inter-operability is necessary for coordinating efficient and timely responses in our post-911 world.

CAP Compliant

CAP Compliant Radios by Icom

The Project 25 Compliance Assessment Program (P25CAP) is a voluntary program that demonstrates a supplier's adherence to P25 standards for performance and interoperability. Public safety agencies receiving federal grant money for P25 equipment are required to purchase CAP compliant products.

The P25CAP requires equipment suppliers to submit their products to Department of Homeland Security (DHS) recognized test laboratories for a stringent assessment process. Suppliers must also release a Supplier's Declaration of Compliance (SDoC) and a summary test report (STR). Certification and declaration details are posted to the DHS Responder Knowledge Base (RKB) website for public safety agencies to easily identify P25CAP-compliant manufacturers.

Icom's F9011 series portable and F9511 series mobile have P25CAP certification. Both radios are backwards compatible with legacy equipment and can easily be integrated to an existing fleet of radios. These powerful interoperable radios also meet MIL-STD 810 specifications and have been tested for dust and splash/water protection.

Icom America continues its strong support for the Project 25™ Compliance Assessment Program (P25 CAP). 2014 marked the 25th anniversary of the creation of Project 25 (P25), a critical suite of standards that have created the foundation for interoperable, digital, two-way wireless communications for public safety and emergency responders since 1989.

The Project 25 Compliance Assessment Program (P25 CAP) was created by legislation to ensure Project 25 equipment complies with the published P25 standards and is capable of interoperating between equipment provided by multiple manufacturers. Because of these standards, radios from different jurisdictions and suppliers can talk to one another using a P25 standard common (over the) air interface (CAI) as well as a variety of standardized system interfaces.

As its charter states: "The purpose of the program is to provide emergency response agencies with evidence that the communications equipment they are purchasing meet P25 standards for performance, conformance, and interoperability."

The CAP test procedures enabled manufacturers to test their products and report the results. As they completed evaluations at CAP recognized laboratories, they could post their Supplier’s Declaration of Compliance (SDoCs) and Summary Test Reports (STRs) to a DHS maintained website.

The Department of Homeland Security is dealing with current funding challenges which caused the shutdown of the RKB.US website. DHS is working on new funding sources to revitalize the CAP to include a new website for manufacturers to post their test results. In the meantime, the Project 25 Technology Interest Group (PTIG) is providing a list of CAP approved products at www.project25.org for emergency response agencies to use when procuring P25 communications equipment.

In addition, Icom America is providing detailed test results for our CAP approved radios as downloadable documents here. They show all the Icom tests results to ensure emergency response agencies our P25 radios are interoperable with P25 compliant radios from other manufacturers.

Note: Project 25 is also referred to as the TIA-102 series of standards for land mobile radio communications. These American National Standards are developed by TIA, in compliance with American National Standards Institute (ANSI) protocols. The standards are sponsored by the Association of Public-Safety Officials International (APCO), the National Association of State Telecommunications Directors (NASTD), and agencies of the federal government.

Manufacturer's Self Declarations
Download IC-F9011 Manufacturer's Self Declaration
Download IC-F9511 Manufacturer's Self Declaration

Summary Test Reports
Download IC-F9011 Summary Test Report
Download IC-F9511 Summary Test Report

What are some of the hallmarks of P25 technology?

More choices and affordability

  • With a standard in place, government agencies can now choose from multiple vendors and products when selecting their communications equipment, ultimately saving money and gaining the freedom to select from the widest range of features.


  • Minimal training is required for P25 operation.

Digital and analog

  • P25 radios can communicate in analog mode with other legacy radios and they can communicate with other P25 radios in analog or digital mode.
  • P25 may be used in "talk around" mode without any intervening equipment between two radios, in conventional mode where two radios communicate through a repeater or base station without trunking or in a trunked mode. (Trunking means signals are automatically assigned to a channel by a repeater or base station.) Icom's latest P25 radio models offer all three communication types in one package.

Improved radio spectrum efficiency

  • P25 networks will have enough capacity to handle calls and allow room for growth, even in areas where the spectrum is crowded and it's difficult for agencies to obtain licenses for additional radio frequencies.

P25 is a North American Standard

P25 is a digital standard developed by North America. P25 is also being used in Australia and several other countries. P25 is similar to, but different than, the TETRA protocol in development and use throughout most of Europe.

AES and DES Encryption

While P25 was developed with Homeland Security in mind, non-first responders can and do use the standard. P25 is not limited to government users, it is open for use to the general public – properly licensed, of course. As an example, P25 is proving especially popular with the railroad industry.

Federal Information Processing Standard (FIPS) 140-2 is a U.S. government computer security standard used to accredit cryptographic modules. The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) issued the FIPS 140 Publication Series to coordinate the requirements and standards for cryptography modules that include both hardware and software components. Federal agencies and departments can validate that the module in use is covered by an existing FIPS 140-1 or FIPS 140-2 certificate that specifies the exact module name, hardware, software, firmware, and/or applet version numbers. The cryptographic modules are produced by the private sector or open source communities for use by the U.S. government and other regulated industries (such as financial and health-care institutions) that collect, store, transfer, share and disseminate sensitive but unclassified (SBU) information.

What is the future of P25?

There are two phases of P25 development. Phase 1 is complete. It specifies the use of a 12.5 kHz bandwidth in analog, digital or mixed mode. Thus, backward compatibility with older legacy radio systems is built-in.

Two-slot TDMA digital has now been approved for phase 2.

Icom already has digital radio and repeater models that operate using true 6.25 kHz digital channel spacing. However, these digital models use different protocols (IDAS, via NXDN™ D-STAR) and are not P25 compliant. So, Icom is already well-versed in true 6.25 kHz digital technology.


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Icom's Commitment to P25 Technology

Finally, there is a choice in the public safety radio market. Icom is proud to offer MIL-SPEC rugged P25 radios that meet or exceed grant requirements governing agency purchases. We're developing an entire family of P25 products that allow government leaders and purchasing agents the opportunity to make the most of their budgets, with the potential to put more units in the field for the same price. Digital technology is here to stay, and so is Icom. We have nearly 45 years experience in building reliable, cutting-edge radio equipment that's coveted the world over. Count on us!

All P25 radios come with a 3 year standard warranty.

For More Detailed Information on P25

Information created by Icom America:

Independent P25 Resources


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