L3Harris Technologies Welcomes Additional Members to its Mission Critical Alliance

The following is a PRESS RELEASE announced by L3Harris at this week’s APCO 2021 Conference and Trade Show. Catalyst is proud to be associated with this important group of innovative companies serving Public Safety.

Highlights:

  • Strengthens partnerships with best-of-breed public safety solution providers
  • Addresses the need for technologies that seamlessly and fully connect, integrate and operate
  • Includes leaders in network technologies and services, devices and applications

SAN ANTONIO, TX, Aug. 15, 2021 [APCO 2021] — L3Harris Technologies (NYSE:LHX) announced today that Catalyst Communications Technologies, Inc., Intrado Corporation, Mutualink, Inc. and Unication USA, Inc. have joined its Mission Critical Alliance (MCA). The MCA is a strategic partner program for technology providers with a common goal of advancing the capabilities, compatibility and security of mission critical communications solutions.

“The addition of these organizations to the MCA will further expand the growing interoperable ecosystem for Command and Control operations,” said Nino DiCosmo, President, Public Safety and Professional Communications, L3Harris. “At this time of important change in the public safety communications technology market, L3Harris and our MCA members remain steadfast in our commitment to providing solutions that are compatible, secure and complete.”

L3Harris Public Safety and Professional Communications is a leading supplier of communications systems and equipment for public safety, federal, utility, commercial and transportation markets. The business has more than 80 years of experience in public safety and professional communications and supports more than 500 systems around the world. For more details on the MCA, including a full list of members, visit: https://www.l3harris.com/all-capabilities/mission-critical-alliance.

About L3Harris Technologies
L3Harris Technologies is an agile global aerospace and defense technology innovator, delivering end-to-end solutions that meet customers’ mission-critical needs. The company provides advanced defense and commercial technologies across air, land, sea, space and cyber domains. L3Harris has approximately $18 billion in annual revenue and 47,000 employees, with customers in more than 100 countries.
L3Harris.com.

Forward-Looking Statements
This press release contains forward-looking statements that reflect management’s current expectations, assumptions and estimates of future performance and economic conditions. Such statements are made in reliance upon the safe harbor provisions of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. The company cautions investors that any forward-looking statements are subject to risks and uncertainties that may cause actual results and future trends to differ materially from those matters expressed in or implied by such forward-looking statements. Statements about system capabilities are forward-looking and involve risks and uncertainties. L3Harris disclaims any intention or obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events, or otherwise.

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LMR LTE Interworking at the Front of Catalyst’s Technology on Display at APCO 2021

Achievements in support of Public Safety Radio Communications Demonstrated at the Catalyst Booth # 1409

APCO 2021, San Antonio, Texas – August 15, 2021

Catalyst once again will demonstrate some of the most advanced technology in support of Public Safety Communications available anywhere when first responders, dispatchers, and other public safety professionals descend on San Antonio for APCO 2021 this week.

Among the leading technology on display is Catalyst’s IntelliLink™ Interworking, now deployed in field trials and providing communications between portable radio users and smartphones with standards-compliant Mission Critical Push to Talk applications. This advanced Interworking solution maps multiple talk groups on LTE Networks and LMR Networks to each other and provides advanced communications capabilities, including a public safety caliber dispatch console that displays unit ID, Emergency Indication, and Location for both LMR and LTE subscribers; capabilities that are not available in voice only RoIP solutions.

Competing RoIP solutions typically only provide a basic analog interface between LMR radios and LTE Networks that cannot even detect whether the attached donor radio is turned on and operating. In contrast, the Catalyst IntelliLink™ Interworking solution interfaces with a wide variety of standards-based as well as proprietary LMR radio systems, providing advanced control of these networks through Catalyst’s Radio Control over Internet Protocol technology. Catalyst technology is even aware of the Radio Status of many of these networks and, if busy, IntelliLink™ Interworking can store the audio until the radio channel is free, key up the radio automatically and transmit the call, so that no syllables or words are lost during the communications. Catalyst technology also records all the communications including meta data like Unit ID from both LMR and LTE networks for later playback and review. Catalyst LMR radio interfaces include P25 CSSI/ISSI, P25 DFSI, DMR AIS, as well as intelligent interfaces to radios such as L3Harris and Kenwood. Catalyst can, of course, also provide legacy Tone and DC control solutions common to older radio systems.

Research and development of the IntelliLink™ Interworking suite of capabilities was initially funded through a contract with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate. More recently, however, Catalyst was awarded a three million dollar grant to commercialize this technology from the Department of Commerce (DOC) Public Safety Communications Research Division (PSCR), a Division of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST).

Location Aware from LTE Devices: InterLoc™ support for Smartphones with 3GPP Compliant Mission Critical Push to Talk Applications

New for APCO 2021 is the announcement that InterLoc™, Catalyst’s location services for mission critical radio networks, now acquires and presents the GPS location of individuals with MCPTT applications on Smartphones connected to these LTE networks. Maps display and differentiate between various LMR and LTE users with distinctive graphics The InterLoc™ system from Catalyst is unique because it does not require expensive map licensing or cellular data charges for LMR devices, making the system very cost-effective compared to typical AVL solutions. InterLoc™ is seamlessly integrated with Catalyst’s Dispatch and Interoperability solutions, and Dispatchers can initiate text and voice communications to individual users directly from the map. Maps can display subscriber status (such as Emergency), and Dispatchers can center the map on any resource with the click of a mouse. Multiple maps, and multiple types of maps, can be simultaneously displayed, and a robust tool-kit provides map customizations that help Dispatchers to better manage critical communications resources.

ICE™ – Catalyst’s Transportable Incident Command solution to support the new L3Harris XL-200M mobile radio

At APCO Catalyst will also demonstrate its Incident Commander Element – ICE™, a transportable radio communications solution that packages two to four mobile radios, Radio Control Software, Dispatch Software, and Interoperability Software into a single unit. What’s new is the launching of support for and integration with the L3Harris XL-200M mobile radio. On the APCO show floor, Catalyst will demonstrate advanced control of this new mobile with its dispatch console.  This versatile new radio from L3Harris operates across the VHF, UHF, 700/800 and 900 MHz bands, and comes standard with Wi-Fi(r), Bluetooth (r) and GPS.

ICE™ is receiving strong market acceptance. When Firefighters enter a burning building, they often choose “direct mode,” as in-building coverage may be limited. However, these communications have traditionally not been routed back to the Dispatcher, hampering coordination. ICE™ relays the in-building direct mode communications back to the Dispatcher and provides a number of valuable ancillary capabilities including Incident Command, recorded audio conversations, and on-scene logging of unit IDs and Emergency messages.

Innovations in Hardware Platforms – Catalyst Go Kits  

Dispatchers sometimes need to move from their primary Dispatch facilities and continue critical Dispatch operations. Some typical scenarios are:

  • Covid – 19
  • Mold Removal from the Building
  • Fire, Water or other Damage

Introducing Go Kits, a transportable Dispatch solution. A component of the Catalyst Dispatch Solutions family, Go Kits augment your existing Catalyst Dispatch System with a low cost, easily deployed backup for emergencies when Dispatchers need to relocate.

Go Kits include computer hardware, accessories for a fully functional dispatch position, and a hardened enclosure. Propulsion™ Dispatch Software can be optionally added as can Cradlepoint Wireless Wide Area Network technology. Transmitting over LTE, Go Kits can be located anywhere in LTE cellular coverage and can connect to Catalyst Gateways through a variety of backhaul solutions.

Visit Catalyst at APCO 2021 at Booth 1409 to see Go Kits, ICE™, the L3Harris XL-200M, Interloc™ Location Services now with LTE Smartphone tracking, IntelliLink™ Interworking and other innovations from the leader in Dispatch, Interoperability, Interworking and Incident Command for the critical communications marketplace.

News Release: NIST Awards $2.99M to Commercialize DHS S&T-Developed Interoperable Public Safety Communications System

Release Date: June 28, 2021

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
S&T Public Affairs
NIST Public Affairs

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Commerce National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) awarded $2,988,950 in a new round of funding for new interoperable communication systems for public safety. Initially funded by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate (S&T), through its Small Business Innovation and Research (SBIR) program, Catalyst Communications Technologies of Forest, Virginia, was provided this Phase III SBIR award for commercialization of its interoperable communications solution.

S&T previously provided Phase I and Phase II SBIR funding to Catalyst to develop interworking solutions for land mobile radio (LMR) and long-term evolution (LTE) communication systems for public safety. Catalyst established a roadmap for effective interworking during Phase I and is just now concluding Phase II work building prototypes for a variety of LMR systems and a public safety-grade dispatch console that seamlessly supports both LMR and LTE.

The Phase III award from NIST will allow Catalyst to continue the work begun at S&T in 2018 to commercialize a standards-compliant solution that will permit new mission-critical push-to-talk (MCPTT) applications on LTE mobile phones to communicate with both existing subscribers of public safety LMRs and dispatchers.

“First responders rely on interoperable communication tools to make life-saving decisions. S&T’s partnership with Catalyst, and soon their continued work with NIST, are steps toward ensuring that public safety using MCPTT apps on LTE devices can seamlessly communicate with counterparts on their LMRs,” said S&T Program Manager Norman Speicher. “The last thing they should have to consider when responding to an incident is whether they are able to reach out to fellow responders—that should be a given.”

NIST’s Public Safety Communications Research (PSCR) Division provided the funding under the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012. This award is part of PSCR’s three-pronged approach to improving LMR to broadband (LTE/5G) capabilities and providing them to first responders. This SBIR effort represents a Radio over Internet Protocol/bridging systems interface technology approach; the other two efforts support Project 25 Radio 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) Interworking Function development and the creation of software-defined radio capabilities to bridge broadband with legacy LMR systems.

“Commercialization is a key priority for NIST and the Department of Commerce,” said PSCR Division Chief Dereck Orr. “This SBIR effort not only provides public safety with another capability to bridge their existing mission critical voice systems with new broadband systems, but it also represents a significant investment in a small American company to put innovative products in the marketplace.”

Finding interoperable communication solutions for public safety is a priority issue for S&T. Multiple vendors have developed communication tools between LMR and LTE platforms for public safety. Trying to communicate among multiple LMR systems from different vendors during public safety events has often created barriers to effective first responder emergency response. S&T’s Office of Mission and Capability Support and the Office for Interoperability and Compatibility Technology Center have been working to achieve interoperability with partners like Catalyst.

The S&T, Catalyst and NIST collaboration is a step closer to implementing and standardizing an interface to successfully enable interoperable MCPTT networks over both LMR and LTE. These efforts will help ensure that LMR, LTE and the next generations of communication technology enable first responders to connect instantly and effectively.

New P25 E-Book includes Catalyst article “A Case for Standards-Compliant Interworking”

There’s new, very comprehensive E-Book published by Mission Critical Communications magazine and the Project 25 Interest Group (PTIG) – Advances in P25: Standards | Interoperability | Security. Catalyst has a contributing Article “A Case for
Standards-Compliant Interworking”. Download the E-Book for free here:
https://www.rrmediagroup.com/eLearning/e-Books

Catalyst President Robin Grier featured in upcoming Webinar: P25 for the Future | June 16, 2021 at 2 PM ET

Catalyst continues to educate the Critical Communications community about the work that we have completed under the DHS Phase II SBIR and that we are taking further via the NIST/PSCR Phase III contract. Our next webinar is June 16 at 2 PM and is being hosted by Urgent Communications in conjunction with the P25 Technology Interest Group (PTIG).

Project 25 (P25) remains critically important to public safety users. With over 2800 systems on the air and 42 State-wide Networks, its continued evolution with new standards, capabilities and applications will be relevant, even as FirstNet and other public safety broadband networks roll out. In this WEBINAR, hear how P25 is adapting and interworking to meet the changing technology marketplace. Hear what’s new…..Hear what is coming…..Hear how it will help you.

This session will offer a view of what has recently been completed and what is ahead for the P25 Suite of Standards.  Details of what new capabilities and applications will be available this year and in the future will be shared. The key benefits of Project 25 as a Public Safety Grade communications technology will be defined. The Project 25 Technology Interest Group (PTIG) full library of P25 resources and whitepapers including P25 System lists and P25 product and services suppliers will be included.

Many are asking “What Interworking will be available between my P25 system and the new LTE  MCPTT Systems? To that end, a view of future Interworking Standards between P25 LMR systems and Public Safety LTE Systems will be covered by Catalyst. In addition, many are asking “How can I test P25 radio signals and coverage inside buildings and structures.  The latest P25 Testing technology applications will be offered by PCTEL.  The P25 Digital Fixed Station Interface (DFSI) can maximize integration with data-driven technologies like video, MCPTT, and AVL over LTE networks.  A description of what Quality of Service means in the context of P25 and LTE and discuss what performance metrics may be most important will be covered by Zetron.

Interested? Register for the Webinar at https://urgentcomm.com/2021/05/18/p25-for-the-future-june-16-2021-at-2-pm-et/?partnerref=P25

Catalyst is Moving!

Growth Drives Relocation to Larger Facilities

Catalyst Communications Technologies, a leader in mission critical dispatch, interoperability, and incident command solutions to the First Responder community, today announced our relocation to new headquarters facilities at:

107 Vista Centre Drive

Forest, VA 24551

The new headquarters is close to Catalyst’s prior building, and the phone number stays the same: 434-582-6146.

The move to larger facilities was driven by the growth Catalyst has experienced over the past few years. Robin Grier, president of Catalyst was gratified to acknowledge “A growth driven move is cause for celebration and reflection on the success we’ve had over the years. I am grateful to the Catalyst Team, Customers and Partners who have supported our mission. I’m looking forward to hosting you at our new headquarters – the invitation is open!”

Catalyst Solutions Engineer Jerry Adams promoted to IEEE Senior Member

Jerry Adams has earned a promotion within the IEEE community as Senior Member. Amarnath Raja, Chair, IEEE Admission and Advancement Committee, acknowledged “IEEE Senior Membership is an honor bestowed only to those who have made significant contributions to the profession.”

IEEE is the world’s largest technical professional organization dedicated to advancing technology for the benefit of humanity.

When Jerry is not engaged with activities that improve the future of humanity, he can be found on his bass boat in tournaments throughout Georgia and the Southeast.

Here at Catalyst, we’re proud of Jerry and his accomplishments. Pass along a CONGRATULATIONS when you see him.

Catalyst’s Professional Organization Participation

Catalyst has been an innovator and leading technology proponent to the critical communications market space for over 20 years and more evidence of that position is represented by our contributions to the leading technical and professional organizations that serve our industry. Some Catalyst employees are members of IEEE -the world’s largest technical professional organization for the advancement of technology – and take advantage of the technical and educational opportunities offered by this worldwide organization.

Catalyst has been a member of PTIG – the Project 25 Interest Group, for many years. The purpose of the group is to promote the P25 standard and educate interested parties about the benefits of the standard. In addition to Catalyst’s wide portfolio of P25 standard products, we participate with PTIG during seminars and trade shows where PTIG has a presence.

Another influential standards creating body is TIA – the Telecommunications Industry Association. TIA is accredited by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) as a standards developing organization (SDO). TIA’s engineering committees create standards and technical documents based on guidelines established by the ANSI Essential Requirements. Catalyst participates in the TR8.18 Wireline systems (ISSI) Working group to keep our customers current with standards for that LMR interface.

ATIS – The Alliance for Telecommunications Standards – is another professional organization with Catalyst Association. We sit in on the JLMRLTE meetings (In North America, the ATIS (Alliance for Telecommunications
Industry Solutions) TIA (Telecommunications Industry Association) TR-8.8 (Broadband Data Solutions) Joint Project Committee (JLMRLTE) is defining the LMR interface for Interworking. At its core, the organization exists to support a competitive, interoperable market. Their work creates the critical common base upon which our members can further their own innovation. Catalyst observes in working group meetings to further interoperability between different vendor radio systems.

NPSTC – the National Public Safety Telecommunications Council – is a federation of organizations whose mission is to improve public safety communications and interoperability through collaborative leadership. NPSTC regularly submits comments, ex parte communications, and filings to the First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet) via the Public Safety Advisory Committee (PSAC) and to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and speaks as a voice for it’s community to FirstNet(tm). NPSTC produces reports that are developed by the cumulative efforts of many volunteers’ time, energy, and knowledge to benefit the public safety communications community. Catalyst participates in working group meetings that help craft the positions that NPSTC takes on behalf of its community.

Catalyst has developed a number of interfaces to the Digital Mobile Radio standard and are members of the Digital Mobile Radio Association – DMRA. The Association works with members, worldwide, to ensure that DMR Digital Mobile Radio is the most widely supported digital business radio standard. Members are companies, organisations and individuals who use or build DMR products professionally or those working to support the DMR standard in other ways. 

While many individuals contribute to, and take advantage of, the information flow back and forth between Catalyst and these professional organizations, the effort is led by IEEE member Jerry Adams, Catalyst’s solution engineer. Jerry’s ability to synthesize volumes of data, and to represent Catalyst’s position on competing ideas put forth for standards consideration, help insure that Catalyst customers are at the leading edge of technology developments in the critical communications industry.

New White Paper “The Compelling Case for Standards Compliant Interworking” Available for Download

A new White Paper to help explain why Interworking between LMR and LTE public safety users needs to be based upon standards, and the dangers of using proprietary Push to Talk over cellular services, can now be downloaded from the Catalyst website.

Head over to https://www.catcomtec.com/download-interworking-white-paper/, and you have two choices. Select The Compelling Case for Standards Compliant Interworking – FINAL to download this Interworking White Paper.

This paper is comprehensive and 20 pages long. TLDR (Too Long Didn’t Read)? Then Select the 6 page summary The Compelling Case for Standards Compliant Interworking – abridged.

These papers provide valuable education for First Responders and other public safety officials as we navigate new, uncharted waters with FirstNet and other mission critical push to talk services on LTE Networks. Contact us at interworking@catcomtec.com if you have any questions or comments about LMR LTE Interworking.