On May 8th, an article appeared in the ÖVSV by Kurt, OE1KBC, about a new dual-band, multi-mode mobile radio called the “NEW RADIO” that will operate on the 2m & 70cm bands and support the most common ham digital modes, including DMR, D-STAR and C4FM (System Fusion), plus analog FM. As reported in the article, the NEW RADIO has been created by hams for the ham radio community will feature a colour touch screen display, 50W of power output, a 1.8 GHz processor, a Linux operating system, plus dual AMBE+ vocoders, allowing for full-duplex, cross-band operation. Also, one of the biggest features of the NEW RADIO is that it will include a built-in LTE wireless modem and SIM card allowing it to be Internet connected while on the go. Apparently, with it being Internet connected, the NEW RADIO will be able to automatically download frequencies, offsets, contacts and other configuration information on the go, allowing for instant updates for users. This will undoubtedly be a much welcomed feature for anyone used to loading codeplugs into radios, as is the case with DMR. In addition to the mobile version, NEW RADIO is also working on a portable and base station model that features similar operating specifications using different form factors.
As stated on their website, NEW RADIO is a joint initiative of the ÖVSV, DARC and IARU R1 to ensure the experimental character of amateur radio service by matching devices through dialogue with industry leaders in future.
While this is very exciting news for hams active with digital modes, it is not the first time that a radio has been announced for launch, yet never actually materialized. Back in March 2014, Connect Systems made a similar announcement about the CS7000, which was supposed to be a multimode radio supporting DMR, D-STAR and other digital voice modes. Two years later, Connect System continues to develop the unit and as such, many hams remain hopeful that one day, their dream for a a dual-band, multimode digital radio will one day be fully realized.
As of the date of this article, the NEW RADIO is still yet unavailable, however it is expected to be announced officially at the 2016 Dayton Hamvention on May 20 – 22nd in Dayton, OH. So for anyone planning to go to the Dayton Hamvention this year, keep an eye open for this announcement.