IWCE Summary Videos

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Catalyst had a very successful IWCE with new announcements for both hardware and software innovations. During the show, we made a video highlighting what was shown at our booth. If you were not at IWCE, it’s a great way to quickly catch up on what’s new in our world.

We made two versions of our video. The best one is 9 minutes long and it’s a comprehensive overview of what we showed at IWCE. Check it out HERE. For the ADD challenged among us 🙂 the four and a half minute version is HERE.

Enjoy!

Hardware and Packaging Innovations are a highlight of our IWCE Show

At IWCE, Catalyst is demonstrating innovation in Hardware Platforms. As customer deployments occur in more diverse environments, forward thinking companies, including Catalyst, innovate to employ the latest advances in the computer and network industries to enhance operation and reduce cost in land mobile radio. Four demonstrations of hardware innovations merit investigation at the Catalyst booth:

  • An advanced hardened computer platform for both console and radio gateway applications is being demonstrated. This small form factor uses solid-state memory only and dissipates heat through the case. As a result, there are no moving parts, providing high reliability and longevity.

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  • Another computer platform that will garner interest from IWCE attendees is Catalyst’s application for the innovative Intel® Compute Stick. This computer fits in the palm of your hand and is appropriate where space or weight is at a premium. The quad-core Intel® Atom™ processor delivers maximum performance but uses minimum power—making the Intel® Compute Stick also energy efficient. Catalyst is demonstrating the Compute Stick plugged directly into an HDMI port on an HD TV for display of our IntelliLinkTM user interface.

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  • A third computer platform integrates a touchscreen monitor, state-of-the-art CPU, and speakers into a space efficient, package for dispatch centers and mobile command vehicles. In addition, this “all in one” configuration eliminates interruptions from accidental disconnects and simplifies maintenance.

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  • Catalyst is demonstrating its new transportable line of Incident Command and advanced digital repeater solutions – FIRE™ and ICE™. These two products leverage over 20 years of software development to solve unique field challenges of first responders using innovative packaging solutions. These packages support up to four radios, a simple dispatch console, interoperability, instant call retrieval and recorded audio into a compact, transportable enclosure. Applications for Fire incident command are especially targeted, as these units can be quickly deployed at an incident and provide radio communications and interoperability among multiple agencies on scene.

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If you’re coming to IWCE, be sure to stop by Booth 1445 and check out these unique innovations in Hardware solutions from Catalyst!

IWCE Preview – Highlights of our upcoming announcements and demonstrations

This week we’ll provide a preview of some of our Innovations Everywhere announcements and demonstrations at next week’s IWCE Trade Show in Las Vegas. We hope to see you there!

We’ll be talking a lot about Digital Mobile Radio –DMR. Catalyst has made significant progress since last year’s IWCE and an example of this is our partnership efforts with Simoco and our joint collaboration perfecting the Applications Interface Specification (AIS) Wireline Interface. In the Simoco Booth (#1646 – across the aisle from Catalyst) our Propulsion™ Console is featured with a Simoco radio infrastructure.  Using the AIS wireline interface Catalyst provides Critical Communications grade dispatch including console pre-empt, non-blocking access to multiple simultaneous, independently managed talk groups, and spectrum efficiency.

This approach is superior to using control stations as it allows the system administrator to uniquely enable talk group access to each dispatcher and for each dispatcher to uniquely and dynamically manage volume levels, patches, call history, etc. for each talk group.  In wide-area systems, calls to remotely located subscribers avoid consuming the local channels that control station-based consoles require, saving this spectrum for other subscribers.  The Catalyst-Simoco wireline interface also supports Individual Calls, Text Messages, Emergency messages, and other advanced capabilities.

 

Catalyst is also highlighting the AIS Wireline interface with Tait’s Tier III DMR system and is prepared to discuss capabilities and integration efforts with other manufacturers that adhere to the DMR Standard.

To serve additional agencies, Catalyst is demonstrating advanced capabilities for Tier II (conventional) DMR through our integration with the Kenwood 5000 series of multi-function mobile radios. These tri- protocol radios support combinations of DMR, P25 and NXDN network technologies.

If you are coming to IWCE to learn more about DMR technologies and products, be sure to check out the Tuesday morning DMR Workshop. This seminar presents a combination of technology papers and DMR deployment case studies and is moderated by Catalyst’s Robin Grier.

Next up …. Hardware and packaging innovations.

New computer alternatives are part of our IWCE Showcase

Innovation Everywhere will be a major theme for Catalyst at this years IWCE trade show March 27-31 in Las Vegas. And while our software capabilities match anyone’s in Land Mobile Radio, this year we get to flex our hardware innovation also.

Our architecture in unique in the industry, as we use commercial, off the shelf computers for our Consoles and our Radio Interface gateways.   as a result, we take advantage of advances from this $344 BILLION industry. Check out our newest platform for both servers and consoles – a compact, solid state computer with no moving parts and only 1.4 in x 6.3 in x 4.3 in.

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These computers are part of a new generation of robust, hardened, field tested solutions for demanding environments, however the prices make them attractive for everyday use. Catalyst installed 16 of these last year for our customer Bureau of Land Management (BLM) in support of the Burning Man Festival.

Another packaging innovation we’re excited about is from Intel.

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As you can see from the picture, this is a tiny device. The Intel compute stick is a fully baked Windows (r) computer with an advanced processor and storage. Just plug in the Intel compute stick into HDMI TV or monitor, connect your wireless keyboard and mouse and you’re ready to go.It’s not like a computer. It is a computer. Same operating system, same high quality graphics, and same wireless connectivity as a full-sized computer. Totally different dimensions.

We’re testing this in our LMR Lab and seeing impressive results, and expect to demonstrate dispatch and interoperability applications on the IWCE Show Floor. Come visit us and check out these new innovations!

 

LTE

Long-Term Evolution (LTE) is a standard for high-speed wireless communication for mobile phones and data terminals. Ever increasing operational demands on first responders, along with new technological opportunities and capabilities, are driving Public Safety Organizations to adopt broadband technologies such as Long Term Evolution  for mission critical data. While access to broadband data is improving public safety operations and providing new applications, voice remains the most critical communications capability.

Catalyst developed technology in the early 2000’s to dispatch to Verizon 3G cellular phones with Push to Talk capabilities and has maintained a working relationship with both Verizon and AT&T since that time. As these networks are evolving to LTE, Catalyst continues to work with both carriers, and is developing  has recently developed an interface to Kodiak Networks  http://kodiakptt.com/ who have developed a solution to integrate Land Mobile Radio systems with LTE networks using the P25 CSSI standard. Catalyst Consoles employ the CSSI interface to communicate with the Kodiak solution to create interoperability between various LMR systems and mobile phones with push to talk capability.

Catalyst to Chair the DMR Association Workshop at IWCE

 

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IWCE – The International Wireless communications Expo – is one of the leading trade show events for radio communications technologies, and Catalyst has been an exhibitor and attendee since our inception. In past years, as Digital Mobile Radio (DMR) has accelerated traction in the marketplace, we have supported our DMR Association membership with proactive contributions at IWCE by promoting the DMR movement with presentations, manning the DMR Association booth, and promoting DMR in our own booth.

This year, we’ll take a leadership role when Robin Grier chairs the DMR Association workshop.  The Workshop is The Advantages of Digital Mobile Radio and it’s on
Tuesday, March 28, 2017 from 8:30 am – 11:30 am.

We’ll have more info about the session topics as we get closer to IWCE. If you’re planning to be in Las Vegas for the trade show, be sure to check out this session and update on where we are with DMR deployments.

Getting Ready for IWCE

IWCE is one of two major trade shows (the second being APCO) that Catalyst attends andimage4 has a prominent presence with booth and speaking presentations.

Since 1977, the International Wireless Communications Expo (IWCE) has been the authoritative annual event for communications technology professionals in critical communications. We join over 370 other exhibitors showcasing the latest products and trends in the communications industry.

Over 7,000 individuals attend from a diverse group of industry professionals including government/military; public safety (law enforcement, fire service, emergency medical & 911); utility; transportation and business. This year’s show will be held March 27-31, 2017 at the Las Vegas Convention Center in Las Vegas, NV.

Catalyst starts its prep for this show this week – March is just around the corner – and this year promises to be an exciting show, with new product and capabilities demonstrated that help improve the performance of First Responders across the globe.

Understanding AIS – the DMR Application Interface Specification

Digital Mobile Radio (DMR) is an open digital mobile radio standard defined in the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) Standard and used in radio products around the world. DMR, along with P25, Tetra and NXDN are the main competitor technologies in achieving 6.25 kHz equivalent bandwidth.

The DMR Association has approved a protocol for use by dispatch consoles in either Tier II (conventional) or Tier III (Trunking) systems. This protocol is known as “AIS” – Application Interface Specification – and provides a baseline for a console to interface with a DMR radio system.

One of the advantages of the AIS protocol for DMR is that it enables dispatch consoles to connect to an Ethernet port on Base Stations or Repeaters and communicate using IP. This method greatly simplifies installation and provides significant cost savings. In addition, an IP connection enables the console to be physically separated from the DMR system but connected using standard IT equipment.

Since an AIS interface connects directly into infrastructure, it can’t be compared to a wireless connection, also called a control station or donor radio. For example, connecting into four talk groups or channels using gateway connections to four control stations could include the expense of four gateways, four radios, four power supplies, four antennas, etc. The AIS interface to infrastructure is a single cable regardless of the number of radio channels.

Compared to a wireless interface, AIS has significant advantages. Spectrum utilization is excellent as a wide area radio system only needs to consume channels in the geographic area of the subscriber radios, not the donor radios. The wireline interface provides flexibility for managing large numbers of talk groups as opposed to attempting to allocate subsets of talk groups to different donor radios. AIS reduces the chance that a console operator will miss a call or an emergency indication versus the donor radio approach.

Catalyst, as a member of the DMR association, assisted with the standards process. The AIS solution offers high-level functionality and enhanced features to DMR users of various manufacturers’ radio systems that comply with the standard.

Catalyst’s IP|AIS Gateway software solution supports digital audio and user control to the Tier III DMR radio system through a single Ethernet interface. Sophisticated dispatch user control and communication is realized through an intuitive Windows based graphical user interface. Catalyst’s consoles provide dispatch for DMR Tier III systems and supports features like Unit ID with alias translation, Texting, Emergency Signaling, Group Calling, Emergency Group Calls, custom graphics for each talk group, roaming for dispatchers, and instant playback. Catalyst’s IntelliLink solution with AIS allows wireline interoperability with the DMR system and wireline or wireless interfaces to other radio systems such as Project 25, LTR, SmartNet, EDACS, and more depending on the technology.