Motorola MTM800: what’s in a name?

When involved with tetra radios by Motorola you’ll unavoidably meet the MTM800. In it’s first appearance this radio looks like an analog Motorola GM380: rounded edges and a monochrome display. Furthermore this radio only distinguishes from it’s predecessor the MTM700 by some extended functionality. But from the optics both MTM700 and MTM800 are similar.

Motorola MTM800


Then an improved version of the MTM800 was developed by Motorola. This is called the MTM800E, in which the ‘E’ stands for ‘Enhanced’. Technically there are no differences between the MTM800 and the MTM800E. But the looks of the radio got an upgrade. The head of the radio became more square, the keyboard is a bit more nifty and especially the big color display is an improvement.

Motorola MTM800E


But also for Motorola development continues. After the MTM800E the MTM5x00 saw daylight, with the MTM5400 as the top of the bill. This radio as some very interesting options. It can act as a stand alone DMO repeater and the RF power can be increased to 10W. Nevertheless has the MTM5400 the exterior of the MTM800E.


Motorola MTM5400


But the MTM-series contains a strange, exceptional model. Especially in Germany you can find a radio called ‘Motorola MTM800 FuG’. In the model range of Motorola you won’t find this radio in a prominent position, which causes some fuzziness. Especially because the radio looks like the MTM800E, has also the number ‘800’ in its name, but shows specifications of the MTM5400. This is the reason why I’ve been digging into the background of this radio.

The characters ‘FuG’ raises the presumption this is a special model for the German market. ‘FuG’ has been the German abbreviation for ‘Funkgerät’ (radio). In the past radios were developed by specifications of the government. Then the radio got a uniform indication, like the analog radio called ‘FuG 8’. From that point on different manufacturers started to produce the radio, but always using the same setup. As a result of this, radios made by different manufacturers only showed minor differences.


Using this information I’ve asked some questions across the border to reveal the secret of the MTM800 FuG. How is it possible a radio is called ‘800’, looks like an ‘800’ but has the specs of a ‘5400’? Finally it comes down to the fact that the ‘Motorola MTM800 FuG’ is an ‘MTM5400’ containing software adapted to the needs of the German public safety services. Beside this the tradition of uniform naming is continued: the radio with different specifications called ‘MTM5400’ still has the look and feel of the ‘800E’ so the indication ‘800’ is continued with the addition ‘FuG’ to express this is a special ‘branded’ radio for the German government.