LMR –LTE Interoperability highlight technology on display for Public Safety Radio Communications
With the announcement of FirstNet™, the nation’s effort to establish a unified network for First Responders using LTE at the network core, attendees at this year’s APCO Conference can expect innovative applications around LTE technology. The immediate concern is how existing Land Mobile Radio users will migrate gracefully voice communications to LTE and FirstNet™, and how existing LMR users will interoperate with new LTE FirstNet™ users. Catalyst Communications Technologies has the answer to both of these pressing questions and will demonstrate Dispatch to both LMR radios and LTE Push to Talk cell phones, and interoperable communications between these radios and cell phones, at booth 1308 during this year’s Association of Public-Safety Communications Officials (APCO) Conference. This breakthrough demonstration is one of many examples of innovations representing advances in technology that improve land mobile radio communications of interest to this year’s APCO attendees.
FirstNet™ Ready – the LMR /LTE Interoperable Communications Demonstration
A breakthrough innovation from Catalyst, we will demonstrate communications between LMR portable radios and mobile phones that are PTT enabled and integrated with a nationwide LTE network.
The significance of this demonstration is that, in a FirstNet™ environment the nationwide LTE Network can be easily replaced with FirstNet™’s nationwide network. The promise of FirstNet™ can be experienced today!
The demonstration will showcase a number of technology breakthroughs:
- A single Dispatch Console can dispatch to both LMR radios and LTE cell phones, display essential information like Unit ID/Alias, and manage them consistently so dispatchers don’t have to use different procedures for each.
- Robust, flexible interoperable communications can be established between LMR portable radios and PTT enabled mobile phones that manage the audio flow so that syllables are not lost and allow dispatchers to remotely adjust patched LMR channel.
- Voice Communications and radio control can pass through multiple interconnected networks, including LMR over the air (P25, legacy, etc.), wide area network backhaul, the LTE cellular backhaul and the LTE cellular over the air network.
The promise of FirstNet™ to expand coverage can be realized today as FirstNet™ can perform the role of backhaul. Remote locations that do not have LMR radio coverage can now be included in first responder networks because the coverage footprint of LTE is so much greater than any agency’s LMR.
BK Technologies Enabled FIRE™ – Catalyst’s Incident Command solution with RELM / BK Technology Radios
Another innovation from Catalyst, Field Incident/Repeater Element (FIRE™) is a portable radio communications solution that packages two radios, Radio Control Software, Dispatch Software and Interoperability Software into a single unit. Designed for incident command applications where local dispatch and interoperability to multiple first responder organizations is required, the inclusion of multiple multi-protocol radios insures that most first responders to an incident can be included in the communications path, regardless of protocol or frequency.
Catalyst will demonstrate this application with a RELM / BK Technology KNG mobile radio. The importance of this demonstration is that, because of the advanced control of this radio through Catalyst technology, the Unit ID from a wide variety of subscriber radios (Project 25, SmartNet, EDACS, DMR, etc.) can be passed to the P25 subscriber radio. Especially for high stress incidents such as fire, knowing the unit ID, and from that the alias name, first responders know to whom they are communicating with and communications is improved.
Innovations in Hardware Platforms – Leveraging advances in COTS Computer design
Catalyst is demonstrating innovation in Hardware Platforms also. As customer deployments occur in more diverse environments, forward thinking companies, including Catalyst, innovate to employ leading advances in the computer and network industries to enhance operation in land mobile radio. At least 3 demonstrations of hardware innovations merit investigation at the Catalyst booth:
- An advanced hardened computer platform for both console and radio gateway applications is on display. This computer includes solid state memory and a heat dissipation is accomplished through the case. As a result, there are no moving parts, providing high reliability and longevity.
- Another computer platform that will garner interest from APCO 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 is a premium. The quad-core Intel® Atom™ processor delivers max performance but uses minimum power—making the Intel® Compute Stick both space and energy efficient. Catalyst is demonstrating the Compute Stick with its deployable LMR to LTE unit.
- Catalyst is demonstrating their transportable line of Incident Command and advanced digital repeater solutions – FIRE™ and ICE™. These two products leverage 20 years of software development to solve unique field challenges of first responders with innovative packaging solutions. These products package two 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. As mentioned above, our FIRE demonstration will include RELM/BK Technology radio.
The demonstrations at the Association of Public Safety Communications Officers (APCO) Convention will take place in Catalyst Booth #1308 throughout the days of August 14 & 15 at the Colorado Convention Center in Denver. Catalyst personnel will demonstrate Innovation Everywhere including FistNet™ Ready LMR to LTE communications, Dispatch Console solutions, Radio Interface technology, RELM/BK Technology radio capabilities, and new Hardware and Packaging innovations and discuss critical communications solutions specific to visitor applications.