Standards are required for interoperability and essentially define the overall architecture of the system. The Rockefeller-Morella Act (Public Law 104-113) permits Federal agencies to cite standards development in an open environment, under the aegis of an accredited voluntary industry standards organization. The Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA) is one of these organizations. Industry standards for LMR for public safety use are prepared under the auspicious of the Association of Public Safety Communications Officials (APCO) and the TIA. This set of standards, known as Project 25 TIA 102 has been selected by the cooperative partnership of the ALMR.

Without adhering to a standard the state, local and federal public safety entities will essentially be compelled to implement system solutions that have the same interoperability and security problems as the as their old systems. There are four barriers to implementing a secure and interoperable LMR capability between the different entities. They are spectrum, technology, planning and funding. Three of the four, spectrum, technology and planning, can be overcome through a cooperative standards approach by the different government public safety entities.