Radio manufacturer JVCKENWOOD USA unveiled its first DMR Tier II repeaters in the U.S. earlier this year, and the interest in the products from the enterprise market has met expectations, according to a company official.

“It’s been fairly steady,” Don Wingo, senior product manager for JVCKENWOOD USA, said during an interview with IWCE’s Urgent Communications. “It’s something that customers are asking for.”

From a network perspective, JVCKENWOOD USA is best known for its NXDN-based NEXEDGE systems, which can operate on 12.5 kHz or 6.25 kHz channels. DMR-standard systems require a 12.5 kHz channel to operate, but they use two-slot TDMA to provide 6.25-equivalent performance, as recognized by the FCC.

JVCKENWOOD is providing DMR equipment to give potential customers additional technological choices to address different operational challenges, Wingo said.

“When we came out with NXDN, and other folks came out with their DMR products, they sold them as competitive products,” he said. “But they’re really not competitive products; they’re complementary products.

“NXDN offers wide-area, large-footprint systems that DMR—because of the inherent [characteristics] of TDMA—can’t offer. It [DMR] requires more sites.”

Wingo noted that the “complementary” nature of NXDN and DMR does not mean that an enterprise would want to utilize both technologies in the same network, but each technology boasts unique characteristics that make them a more appropriate choice to address different network challenges.

“Look at your use case,” Wingo said. “If you need capacity, such as a hospital that can’t afford a second repeater, they can take advantage of the two-slot [TDMA in DMR] and put two different user groups on the same repeater, because of time slotting. For a large SMR, you want footprint, so that’s when you look at NXDN.

“Really, it’s a balancing act of what the customer needs.”

At IWCE in March, JVCKENWOOD USA introduced DMR repeaters that are designed to serve three different U.S. spectrum bands: the TKR-D710K that operates in the VHF band from 136-174 MHz; the TKR-D810K2 that operates in the UHF band from 400-470 MHz; and the TKR-810K that operates in the UHF band from 450-520 MHz.

“Really, they don’t do anything different than other folks in the market do,” Wingo said. “They’re basically standard, two-slot, TDMA-based DMR repeater following the ETSI standard.”

In addition to the DMR repeater offerings, JVCKENWOOD USA also has a portfolio of DMR portable and mobile subscribers that operate in the VHF and UHF bands, Wingo said.

“They do analog, as well as DMR—pretty much what everybody else does on an entry-level product for DMR,” he said. “We will bolster that line by adding product in the future.”

Key enterprises that have expressed interest in JVCKENWOOD USA’s DMR offerings have come from the industrial, hospitality, healthcare and warehousing sectors, Wingo said.