Dallas Tests First Commercial P25 ISSI System
Wednesday, July 21, 2010 | Comments
The nation’s first commercial Project 25 (P25) Inter Subsystem Interface (ISSI) system linking Harris and Motorola networks underwent testing earlier this week in Dallas. A Harris ISSI gateway linked the Dallas Fort Worth (DFW) Airport’s Harris P25IP 700 MHz system with the city of Dallas’ Motorola ISSI.1 network gateway connected to an Astro25 700 MHz network.
The North Central Texas Council of Governments (NCTCOG) coordinated the project and secured federal grant money. The program was funded as part of a $2.9 million Public Safety Interoperable Communications (PSIC) grant for three projects — development of a regional interoperable communications plan, development of a communications authority model and a regional interoperable communications overlay, which includes the ISSI. The ISSI, site equipment and installation cost a little more than $2 million, said Fred Keithley, NCTCOG director of the department of community services and public-safety communications.
“Tests were conducted by Harris, Motorola and various agency representatives with the objective to inter-communicate through the ISSI as the link to allow interagency communications,” Keithley said. “This project is the first of its kind — Harris and Motorola systems inter-communicating using the P25 ISSI standard.”
Seven specific tests were conducted July 19 with 10 test radios on the system, said Cynthia Wenzel Cole, founder of Cynergyze Consulting and a consultant for the project. Cole is the former product manager of Motorola’s ISSI gateway. During 2.5 hours of tests, public-safety officials tested radio check, ISSI group calls, manual intersystem roaming, end-to-end advanced encryption standard (AES) encryption, simultaneous ISSI group calls, ISSI link recovery, and ISSI emergency calls.
“The ISSI test was very successful,” Cole said. “The audio was clear and loud, and all of the testers agreed they were not able to detect a difference between the audio and delay between an ISSI group call and an intra-system call. Three weeks of intense deployment led up to the tests. We had some typical glitches, but the services that the project demands all worked fine.”
The ISSI component — part of the regional communications overlay project — began in April and includes five sites, tied together by two master sites managed by the city of Dallas and DFW Airport. The city of Dallas is the master site for Collin and Denton counties. DFW is the master site for the city of Fort Worth, Keithley said. Final deployment for the system is set for later this year, with the goal to have the system fully operational by Super Bowl XLV Feb. 6, 2011, at the Dallas Cowboys Stadium.
"The ISSI is an integral piece of the command-and-control interoperability overlay,” Cole said. “It’s not intended for daily use; it’s intended for interoperability.”
“These tests show that it doesn’t matter what brand of P25 trunking infrastructure you’re running; you can connect with others via the ISSI to provide a high degree of interoperability within the geographic areas covered by those systems,” said Mike Simpson, assistant director for law-enforcement support with the Texas Department of Public Safety.
Simpson is also the Texas statewide communications interoperability coordinator and is helping to oversee the implementation of the state’s PSIC grant projects. “Our goal is a statewide system of shared systems operating on the P25 suite of standards by the end of 2015,” he said.
Paul May, Harris manager, system marketing, said Harris began delivering its ISSI product earlier this year. “We have a couple of other ISSI customers in the queue for deployment,” he said. “Deployment will be very rapid; it’s more about establishing the relationships and getting the MOUs (memoranda of understanding) in place.”
Tim Grabacki, Motorola senior product portfolio manager, interoperable solutions, said Motorola’ ISSI product has been commercially available since December 2009. “We’ve shipped a number of ISSI.1 gateways, and they’re all in various stages of deployment with U.S. domestic customers,” he said.
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