Vendors Introduce New Products at IWCE 2022 with Big Focus on MCPTX
Tuesday, March 22, 2022 | Comments

Vendors introduced and demonstrated a variety of new solutions and services at the International Wireless Communications Expo (IWCE) in Las Vegas from March 21-24.

L3Harris announced that 15 of its XL series radios now support Third Generational Partnership Project (3GPP)-compliant mission-critical push to talk (MCPTT).

The devices will initially support MCPTT on FirstNet and the company plans to provide support for MCPTT on Verizon Frontline’s network as well in the near future, said Todd Perdieu, director of products, partners and strategy, L3Harris.

Etherstack launched its carrier-grade Mission-Critical Services (MCX) Interworking Function (IWF) solution. The MCX IWF is a telco network element that seamlessly bridges traditional public safety land mobile radio LMR networks with next generation mission-critical push-to-X (MCPTX) services that carriers are beginning to deploy for public-safety agencies globally.

Etherstack received an initial order for its MCX IWF product via its partner Samsung Electronics for supply into telecommunications carrier networks in North America. Deployment activities for the initial deliveries are well under way.

Standards-based migration from existing LMR networks to carrier 4G/LTE and 5G MCX networks requires the use of an MCX IWF to enable secure and robust interoperability between the LMR and MCX domains. These hybrid LMR and MCX networks will be commonplace for at least another decade as traditional LMR users migrate to MCX.

The Etherstack MCX IWF directly supports a wide range of P25, TETRA and DMR IWF standards-based protocols including the P25 Inter-RF Subsystem Interface (ISSI), Console Subsystem Interface (CSSI), Digital Fixed Station Interface (DFSI) and DMR Application Interface Specification (AIS), as well as RoIP and analog interfacing capabilities via certified customer premise equipment (CPE) located at public-safety agencies’ premises.

The Etherstack MCX IWF additionally supports both LMR network “homed” subscribers, as well as carrier MCX “homed” subscriber architectures. Other key features include local and geo-redundancy capability, high availability link support and the widest range of LMR-centric supplementary services and call types across the interworking link.

Icom displayed and demonstrated its VE-PG4 CONNECT gateway, the IP110H, P25 solutions, Remotatec device integration and the IP100H with Rajant’s Kinetic Mesh.

CONNECT can create a seamless voice and data ecosystem where devices using protocols like LTE, satellite, WLAN and P25 are one unified critical voice communications group. Icom CONNECT’s suite of multiprotocol solutions are designed for commercial and professional use and exists to provide intuitive and dependable devices that can be tailored to the task at hand.

Users can also interconnect existing groups using diverse technologies or build a new system with Icom’s CONNECT gateway, the VE-PG4. The flexible solution creates a seamless, multi-protocol communication ecosystem for commercial or professional use. The gateway connects legacy analog and modern digital radio systems to the company’s unique analog, IDAS, IP, LTE, or satellite radios giving users the coverage they need.

Catalyst Communication Technologies demonstrated a variety of solutions including its Intellilink LMR to LTE interworking, InterLoc and Catalyst Go Kit solutions.

The Catalyst IntelliLink Interworking solution interfaces with a 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. Depending on the radio, IntelliLink Interworking monitors the radio status and, if busy, can store the audio until the radio channel is free and then 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.

The InterLoc locations services for mission-critical radio networks can now acquirethe GPS location of individuals with mission-critical push-to-talk (MCPTT) applications on smartphones connected to LTE networks. The InterLoc system from Catalyst does not require expensive map licensing or cellular data charges for LMR devices, making the system very cost-effective compared to typical automatic vehicle location (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.

The Go Kits can augment existing Catalyst dispatch system for a low cost and can be easily deployed as 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 WAN devices. 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.

Exacom announced several recording solutions aimed at mission-critical push to X (MCPTX) communications. The HindSight 4 recording platform will directly integrate with either Samsung or Ericsson LTE/5G networks. Exacom's direct integration with both Ericsson and Samsung allows HindSight 4 to record MCPTX communications on a variety of private LTE networks in a cost-effective way that won't lead to development issues later.

Exacom collaborated with Catalyst to leverage its IntelliLink Interworking on-premise gateway to capture mission-critical push to talk (MCPTT) communications. The IntelliLink Interworking interface allows communications between LMR and MCPTT talkgroups. Using IntelliLink interworking, the Exacom multimedia recorder accesses these communications and creates a single source of record for all disparate systems and devices being used.

Exacom also partnered with Etherstack to leverage its Agency Onboarding Router (AOR). The AOR can connect LMR networks to MCPTT LTE servers to allow communications to seamlessly be heard on the appropriate talkgroups on either system. Etherstack’s AOR can be deployed on-premise or in the cloud, along with Exacom’s on-premise or cloud-based multimedia recording solution. This flexibility to enable any combinations between on-premise and fully cloud-based methodologies provides robust and usable systems for public safety mission-critical communications.

The HyphaMESH Range Extension Kit (REX Kit) from Hypha is a deployable solution that creates a pop-up mesh network in minutes to extend network connectivity and Wi-Fi access in response areas with limited or no broadband coverage.

The REX Kit draws on Hypha’s new line of ruggedized portable, mobile and fixed mesh devices. Each HyphaMESH device has a range of up to three miles line of sight and serves as a Wi-Fi access point to support public safety operations with a secure, dedicated mesh network to extend network connectivity and Wi-Fi access anywhere.

The REX Kit creates a pop-up, self-forming, self-healing mesh network anywhere. With three portable mesh devices and one fixed mobile device, the REX Kit can extend LTE backhaul from the built-in Cradlepoint IB900 router up to nine miles line of sight into a response area. Additionally, the REX Kit seamlessly integrates with fixed line or satellite IP backhaul.

Each HyphaMESH device creates its own Wi-Fi bubble, which means first responders can more reliably use their Wi-Fi enabled devices, and the software and applications they rely on, miles into response areas with limited or no coverage or in areas with downed and degraded networks.

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