Hytera launched its XPT (extended pseudo trunking) solution that is designed to let operators of DMR systems on shared UHF/VHF channels leverage the power of digital trunking without the need for a dedicated control channel, a company official said.

Hytera showcased the XPT technology during IWCE 2015 in Las Vegas and received positive feedback, according to Ke Lu, Hytera’s vice president of marketing and strategy.

“A lot of our partners have told us, ‘This is great. This is what we’ve been looking for for a long, long time,’” Lu said during an interview with IWCE’s Urgent Communications. “It solves their problem. Now, they can do trunking in VHF/UHF shared-channel environments.”

Lu said XPT is a “North America-centric” product created to address the fact that it is extremely difficult to get FCC approval for the dedicated control channel in the VHF/UHF band that is needed for a centralized trunking system. The XPT distributed trunking solution from Hytera is “very similar” to the distributed-trunking approach used in logic trunking radio (LTR) technology, which is approaching end of life, he said.

For a network operator of a conventional analog system, migrating to a digital DMR Tier 2 system leveraging Hytera’s RD98XS repeater will double the number of voice channels on the network—supporting a maximum of 16 voice channels per repeater, Lu said. By adding the XPT software to enable trunking, the voice capacity will improve another 50%, he said.

One advantage of the XPT’s distributed trunking is that it makes the DMR Tier 2 system more resistant to failures, because the network is not dependent on a single control channel functioning properly, Lu said.

“In centralized trunking, if that control channel got damaged, then the trunking system basically no longer works, because you’ve lost the control signal,” Lu said. “In this kind of environment with distributed trunking, if one repeater got damaged—say by lightning—the other seven are still working. So, instead of having 16 channels, you’ll have 14.

“You’ll see some degradation in the performance, but the system itself is still working.”

Currently, XPT is available only for DMR Tier 2 systems utilizing the Hytera RD98XS repeater, Lu said. In the future, Hytera hopes to see the XPT functionality included in the DMR standard, he said.

“That is exactly what Hytera is trying to do,” Lu said. “Hytera is a company that believes that open standards really help the industry, and we are actively involved with the DMR Association. But the standards process is typically a very slow process—everyone in the community has to review it.

“So we put this out now, so our customers can start to use it. But our goal is to add this thing into the DMR standard. We want to share this technology with other vendors. We want everyone to embrace it, so it benefits everyone and creates an ecosystem.”