Pharr Prepares for Transition to New Frequencies

Zetron-ShoshoneCounty-PSAPThe City of Pharr has operated a Harris P25 system for more than 8 years now which serves as the city’s primary radio system for both public safety and other city departments. This radio system is mirrored in the City of Edinburg as a backup system and operates transparently backing each city up with one another in the 800 Mhz frequency range.

Almost 10 years ago, Sprint/Nextel purchased the splintered 800 Mhz spectrum from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) which Pharr is utilizing for its radio system.

More than 3 years into the project, it is now time for the City of Pharr and the City of Edinburg to migrate from the frequencies owned by Sprint/Nextel to those now allocated to them to use moving forward.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Repeater Tower System

“Much planning and testing has had to go into this” said Jason Arms, Pharr’s director of innovation

and technology, that oversees the operation of the complex digital radio system. “We have been working with our partners in the City of Edinburg, Harris, the FCC and others in the region to make sure we get this right the first time” he added.

The migration to the new frequencies will require that every radio and infrastructure be reprogrammed, tested and then put back into service. The upcoming reprogramming of the radios and infrastructure will start in April, 2016 and should be completed by mid May, 2016. This project, a 470,000 investment, is paid for 100% by Sprint/Nextel under the contract to purchase the frequencies from the FCC.

The City of Pharr proudly uses radio communication products from various vendors, such as: Harris, Motorola and Tait. This is possible due to the required compliance with industry standards in P25 technologies by the city’s innovation & technology department.