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.

Catalyst and the Harris – Tait Relationship

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Harris customers wishing to migrate from their legacy systems to Tait radios now have an elegant migration solution. Since Catalyst has developed Dispatch and Interoperability for EDACS via XG-75M, XG-100M, Opensky via M5300, and P25 via XG-75M, XG-100M and CSSI, and for Tait, DMR Tier III via Wireline Interface (AIS or Application Interface Specification) and Conventional P25 via Wireline Interface (DFSI or Digital Fixed Station Interface), seamless interoperability through our Intellilink gateways can be achieved.

This can be accomplished without a console! Of course, if you’re looking for a console that integrates the whole system, we have you covered here also.

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What do you know about AppComm?

Once upon a time, the most popular functions of phones were calling and sending texts. Today, mobile applications are powerful and popular. The first Apps on first generation mobile phones – at least those with small, monochrome displays, date back to the end of the twentieth century. Typically, they were small arcade games, ring tone editors, calculators, calendars, and so forth.

The beginning of the new millennium saw a rapid market evolution of mobile content and applications. Operating systems for smart phones (Windows Mobile, Symbian, RIM, Android, Mac iOS), are open to the development of third-party software, unlike the conventional programming environment of standard cell phones.

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Fast forward to today and public safety and … Apps. Ever heard of AppComm? AppComm is APCO International’s online Application Community.  The website tracks a collection of mobile applications related to public safety and emergency response for use by the general public and first responders.  AppComm is also a forum where public safety professionals, the general public, and app developers can discuss and rate apps, identify unmet needs, and submit ideas for apps they’d like to see built.

AppComm segments Apps into 9-1-1, Alerts, EMS, Police, Fire, and Other. There are Apps for both the general public and for First Responders. Most are free, some charge a small price. You can’t download Apps from AppComm. You still have to go to Google Play or the iTunes store to download the App. However, AppComm lists over 180 Apps that have been developed for the public safety marketplace.

There is a terrific forum on AppComm to present ideas for public safety Apps. This part of the website explores ideas for developers who want to build and app for 9-1-1, Public Safety Field operations, including guidelines for police, fire and EMS Apps, and there’s a section where AppComm presents ideas for Apps that could be useful to the community.

Check out AppComm http://appcomm.org/ when you can and learn about one new frontier of the Apps world – Public Safety!