911 Radio Project

Microwave Vendor Overcomes Challenge Connecting Equipment

The County’s microwave system vendor has overcome challenges connecting its new equipment to the County’s existing T-Band radio system.

The County as part of its $27 million Public Safety Radio Project is adding additional redundancy and carrying capacity (bandwidth) to the microwave network, which serves as the backbone for the radio and paging networks. It connects all of the County’s radio and paging transmission tower sites and carries radio and paging transmissions between users and to the 911 Center.

For an overview of the overall radio project, click here.
For a look at the new first-responder equipment, click here.
Check out all blog posts by going here.

Microwave system vendor Alcatel-Lucent encountered challenges properly connecting its new equipment to the County’s existing T-Band radio network, which must be phased out pursuant to the 2012 Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act. The microwave system must be able to work with both the T-Band system and new, 700 MHZ radio equipment to ensure a smooth transition between systems when the 700 MHZ goes into use.

Following an extensive investigation and testing, the challenge was resolved through modifications to the timing of signals used by the T-Band radio system. Launch of the County’s new 700 MHZ radio system will be pushed back about six months because of the issue.

However, the delay is not expected to increase the project cost or affect the County’s ability to meet the deadline to transition off the T-Band radio system as set forth by the federal government.

Here’s a look at the revised project timeline:

March 2014 – December 2014

  • York County, Harris and Alcatel review detailed engineered system designs.
  • Requests for Proposals are created for work at tower sites throughout the County
  • Harris Shelter and tower equipment manufactured, factory tested, and delivered
  • Microwave system upgrades begin

January 2015 – December 2015

  • Tower leases are modified to accommodate project work and new equipment. This only applies to towers that are not owned by the County.
  • Tower site upgrades are completed
  • Antenna installation work completed (pending successful Hanover Hospital install this week)
  • Microwave equipment installation work continues

January 2016 – December 2016

  • Microwave equipment installation work completion
  • System Optimization
  • Dispatch Console manufacture, delivery, installation, and test
  • FATP Customer Acceptance reached after successful FATP Testing: (Functional testing of H/A NSC, Simulcast System ATP, & Functional test of dispatch center)
  • CATP Customer Acceptance reached after successful coverage testing (must take place between June and early September – foliage)
  • Burn-in Customer Acceptance Testing - 30-day Limited User portable burn-in test period
  • Begin distribution of portables, installation of mobiles and control stations, and cutovers by department
  • End-user training and transition begins

January 2017 – December 2017

  • Complete distribution of portables, installation of mobiles and control stations, and cutovers by response agencies
  • Final system acceptance
  • Warranty period begins
  • One Year warranty on the system equipment, with two years of warranty on the end-user equipment

Although the challenges with the microwave network have delayed the overall project, work has nonetheless proceeded where possible. Here’s a look at recent project accomplishments:

  • All tower site acquisition and development work has been completed. This includes securing leases for all tower sites not owned by the County.
  • New system-based 700MHz radio equipment has been delivered and installed at the tower sites. 


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