The history of NXDN™
NXDN™ was developed to satisfy the FCC “refarming” mandate that called for all LMR use in the VHF and UHF bands to shift to narrowband capability by January 1st, 2005. The requirement of this mandate was that any technology complying with it also had to have the capability to provide voice and/or data at 6.25 kHz or an “equivalent” bandwidth.
For many years it was thought that achieving 6.25 kHz bandwidth and maintaining acceptable communications quality at the same time, was a huge technical challenge, if not technically impossible. However, research on the advances in vocoding technology and other elements essential to digital wireless communication showed that it was indeed possible to achieve communications at this bandwidth and the birth of NXDN™ became a reality.
Icom and JVC KENWOOD began the collaboration in 2003 and the first NXDN™ capable conventional radio products appeared in 2006. The announcement of the NXDN™ protocol was made at IWCE 2005, which indicated that there were companies that were able to comply with the initial narrowband mandate deadline. Subsequent requests for delay of this deadline resulted in it being pushed back to 2013, but NXDN™ was ready to go, and the release went ahead.
The first products to come out were conventional radios and repeaters that had the capability of “dual-mode” from the start i.e. to operate in both digital and analog modes. This was an important requirement in the migration to digital as analog systems still had many years of use. The complete replacement of an entire system was not a feasible financial option for most users.
In the last six years, the NXDN™ suite of standards has grown to include single and multi-site trunking solutions. The graphic below shows a simple representation of the NXDN™ standards suite structure. Enhancements already added to this are AES and DES encryption, for example.
While primarily targeted as a solution for business and industry market segments, the acceptance of NXDN™ worldwide has now reached a level where virtually all market segments including public safety entities are using NXDN™.
Below is a brief timeline of the evolution of NXDN™ historical milestones.
|The FCC announced the “re-farming” mandate for LMR VHF and UHF bands in the U.S.A.
|Icom Incorporated and Kenwood Corporation (Now JVC KENWOOD Corporation) made a technology alliance to develop the NXDN™ protocol
|NXDN™ protocol development was announced at IWCE 2005
|First NXDN™ products released to the market
|The NXDN™ Forum was established by an initial eight member companies
|The NXDN™ web site was opened (http://www.nxdn-forum.com/).
|Five new member companies were added to the Forum.
|The NXDN™ Forum expanded to 16 members.
|An informal collaboration with the dPMR™ Association was announced.
|The “Type-D” NXDN™ trunking protocol was added to the standards suite.
|Five new member companies joined the Forum and membership increased to 21.
|AES and DES encryption standards were added to the standards suite.
|Nine new members joined the Forum and membership is now 30.
|The NXDN™ standards suite was opened up.