Bringing 2-Way Radios Into the Internet Age

Use RoIP to revitalize your LMR business

Abstract

The Internet Age is upon us and is firmly entrenched. Internet Protocol is the defacto standard for all kinds of communications, including voice. Use it to your advantage by learning about and adopting RoIP (Radio over Internet Protocol) systems. RoIP is like VoIP for 2-way LMR applications.

The Challenge

The traditional business approach of a 2-way radio shop is not sustainable as technology marches forward. Customers demand more from their radio systems than simple unit-to-unit radio communications. Cellular telephones and alternative PTT technologies allow for private communications over a nationwide coverage area. A customer leasing time on a trunked system or even a community repeater feels like he is at a disadvantage by comparison. But, what is the alternative?

The Solution

RoIP (Radio over Internet Protocol) technology allows you to offer your customers the building blocks to expand their traditional radio networks to other geographic areas and other modes of communication. This is the heart of Unified Group Communications.

Start Small

Now those users without radios (and without the budget to buy more radios) can make incremental upgrades to expand the utility of their existing infrastructure. Your customers can link together two base stations that are geographically separated with little more than the modern equivalent of two tin cans and a string. No new link frequencies to coordinate. No new antennas to erect, which means they don’t have to budget for higher site rent payments. Plus, you can still bill for your time configuring and installing it.

Grow As You Go

When a customer outgrows the basic RoIP system, it can grow with him. By adding different types of RoIP gateways, new modes of communication can be added to the basic system, such as iDEN, POTS or VoIP dial-in capability, a soft console running on a laptop computer, even 3G wireless access. The culmination comes when you tie it all together with management software that makes it all hum like a well-tuned engine.

By connecting two AudioMate 360r RoIP gateways back-to-back, a simple repeater is formed. The base radios can be either what Motorola calls RT (repeater) or RA (remote access) base stations. In a typical configuration they each would be local in-cabinet repeaters and the AM360 link would simply key up the remote base at the same time that the local repeater is activated. This way the coverage of each base radio can be combined into a greater coverage area over an inexpensive link. In mountainous regions this can be used to achieve simulcast coverage over the ridge by linking 2 or more base stations via RoIP. For multiple base stations use IP multicast so that all the IP gateways are on the same voice “channel”; when one keys up, they all key up simultaneously as if they were all wired together locally as RA stations. This is a good method to build a radio system that covers a wide area. The base stations in the diagram above could instead be control stations that operate through mountaintop repeaters. In many cases there is no Internet or phone line access to these remote repeater sites, whereas the control station likely has all the facilities necessary for public Internet service or a private data network connection.

Basic AM360 LMR Remote Control

Simple Single-Channel Remote Setup

Eliminate the monthly cost of a leased phone line by making your existing Internet connection do more. The AudioMate 360a provides microphone, line audio, and PTT inputs in addition to line output and a speaker output capable of driving a small speaker. The AudioMate 360r provides the audio and control lines to connect to a base station or mobile control station radio. The IP link between the control point and the tower site can be part of your existing private WAN or a VPN tunnel over the public Internet. Either way, you eliminate the monthly cost of a leased phone line by using the data network for which you are already paying. A typical base or mobile PTT microphone and any 8 Ohm speaker plug right in to the AudioMate 360a to give you the means to key the remote radio to transmit your message and hear the response. For many municipal agencies with only one radio channel, such as public works maintenance, animal control, or code enforcement, this is an ideal and inexpensive remote control solution.

Tone Remote Control Over IP

AudioMate 360r IP trunk replaces leased phone line Eliminate the monthly cost of a leased phone line by making your existing Internet connection do more. Two AudioMate 360r IP gateways connected full-time to each other form an IP trunk that replaces a leased phone line. Use this trunk to send your audio and control tones to the remote base station. The tone remote gives you additional flexibility over the Basic AM360 remote control by allowing you to change radio channels, disable PL to monitor the channel, set up or knock down the repeater, and other functions.

This IP trunk solution need not stop at a single tone remote unit. It is possible to grow the system to use AudioMate IP trunks to extend talk paths from multiple tone remote consoles to multiple radio sites, such as a typical dispatch center for utilities or public safety. To ensure the best audio quality using IP trunks, routers that support Quality of Service (QoS) tuning should be used. This allows the data network to recognize critical voice and video traffic that can not wait and forward it immediately on its way, while data packets that are not time-sensitive can be queued briefly for the others to pass through the router.

Public Address System

AudioMate 360a provides clean audio around the campus

Distribute baseband audio around an office, a campus complex, or throughout an enterprise WAN.

Public Address

An AudioMate 360a IP gateway at a dispatch center or security office can originate public address announcements that are received by other AudioMate 360a gateways distributed around the campus and connected to public address amplifiers. An enterprise-wide WAN can carry the CEO’s message to all employees instantly. Nurses can page doctors throughout the hospital as well as the doctors’ offices in the adjacent building. Wherever the IP network goes, the audio can go, too. Because the audio is distributed in digital form it remains free from electronic noise, hum, fading, and other troubles common to analog wiring.

Talkback public address systems are supported, because the AudioMate 360a is a two-way audio device.

Station Alerting Announcements

Fire stations typically pipe the dispatch radio channel over public address speakers throughout the station. In larger stations the audio can be distributed effectively using AudioMate 360a gateways to bridge pubilc address amplifiers that are a long distance apart. It is even possible to build a “vocal” alerting baseband audio channel throughout the entire fire department serving all fire stations. The dispatcher would have an instant talk path to transmit fire calls or make informational announcements without tying up the busy radio channel. Using the line input of the AudioMate 360a allows injecting audio from playback devices, radio receivers, or other electronic equipment that needs an audio path around the campus.

The Whole Nine Yards

Grow into a complete AudioMate system

Build a comprehensive unified communications system from the basic building blocks

AudioMate Server and Soft Consoles

Turn the commonplace personal computer into a software-based dispatch console. Add AudioMate server software to gather together the various communications channels into a system that can scale as large as you need it to. See channel activity and patch channels together on the fly. Change user groups and system parameters merely by navigating a web page and clicking a mouse. Name channels as you see fit.

Bring iDEN calls into your network with the AudioMate 360i gateway. Landline callers can dial in to predetermined channels or let the dispatcher patch them as needed. The possibilities are endless.

IP Voice + Software Solutions = Profitability

IP voice applications: a quantum leap above traditional communications

Because of the flexibility of software applications and the ubiquity of Internet Protocol devices and communications channels, Unified Communications systems can extend existing radio systems into telephony, iDEN, soft consoles running on desktop and laptop computers, and even 4G wireless applications.

With more and more government entities and businesses drawing their pursestrings closed in the current economic environment, forklift upgrades of entire radio systems become less likely. But adding a handful of control stations at the end of an IP link to serve as dispatch radios in geographically dispersed areas becomes a much more appealing economic possibility. Supervisors who do not carry radios can dial-in to an AudioMate system, enter a security code, select a radio channel, and converse with subscribers in the field. Overhead paging and public address applications allow radio calls or dispatch centers to reach buildings and areas that were impractical to serve with conventional analog methods.

Start small, as with two tin cans and a string. Once the benefits of IP unified communications solutions become apparent on a small scale, add more building blocks and grow into a comprehensive communications system that punches through needless barriers and allows people to choose the medium of communication that best suits them.

This approach is easy on the budget, too. So instead of a long, risky, expensive sales cycle for massive system upgrades, your customers call you more frequently to order the building blocks that allow them to grow into their ultimate unified communications system.

Solutions

Always On, No Dial Push-to-Talk for Smartphones.

Mobile Push to Talk

Push-To-Talk—for over 60 years it has been the functional benefit of two-way radio communications. You push a button, you talk to another person or to many others in a group. Always on and accessible, PTT fulfills a mission-critical need to connect people instantaneously. That’s why radio became such a successful medium.

So what if you take the proven, time-tested benefits of PTT and apply them in a meaningful way to the enterprise? Without the limitation of a wireless carrier’s PTT service with their additional service rates and poor device choices? You’d be taking a big step forward to improve your organization’s latency and productivity.

Software that Gives You Radio-Like Functionality

Twisted Pair’s WAVE Mobile Communicator enables instant, effortless conversations between groups of users and systems, including radios, so that voice is a core function of your Unified Communications (UC) strategy.

Running as an app on your mobile users’ smartphones of choice, WAVE Mobile Communicator delivers real-time, two-way PTT capabilities across any WiFi or wireless data network, anywhere in the world. You can use mass-market smartphones that function in many other capacities, so you don’t have to buy expensive, one-off equipment.

Learn More

Call our Specialist. He can be reached at:

Dar ZuchVCIOHelia Technologies(403) 668-7895 x200

Solutions

IP-Dispatch is Transforming Dispatch Communication Functions for Public Sector and Commercial Users Alike.

Traditionally, dispatch console systems have been highly centralized, hardware-centric, and inflexible, as well as being relatively expensive to purchase, deploy and maintain. Recently, IP technology has allowed console vendors to replace their backroom switching, interface and failover electronics with industry standard IT components, but the dependency on proprietary hardware concentrated in centralized settings remains. Unfortunately, this translates to less flexibility, lower productivity and greater costs than a pure IP solution is able to provide. Even interoperability is not improved: a dispatcher still must be called into a communication session to connect users who are trying to talk to one another on disparate devices.

IP Dispatch changes the game. WAVE is a pure standards-based IP software solution that provides complete voice communication interoperability and data services for all your critical communications requirements. WAVE allows organizations to seamlessly network two-way land mobile radio (LMR) systems (conventional and trunked), telephony, mobile, paging and intercom communications regardless of the make, model and frequency of radio systems in use or whether voice traffic originates from wireline, wireless or IP-based telecommunications systems. WAVE’s patented technology allows us to create dispatch systems of any size and scope with no single point of failure. Dispatch functions can be consolidated or distributed anywhere you need. With WAVE, a dispatcher can take their laptop, go anywhere they have an IP network connection, and have full access to all dispatch functions.

Twisted Pair’s own market research shows that by 2014 over 70 percent of operators of critical communications systems expect their dispatch function to be fully IP-based. While voice will remain the primary “killer app,” adoption of video and other data technologies including messaging, telematics and mapping will exceed 50 percent. With WAVE IP Dispatch you will be able to deliver on the promise of these rich media capabilities for your organization.

Increasingly, the responsibility for defining, designing, justifying, procuring, and maintaining dispatch communication systems is being transferred from our customers’ operations groups to their IT departments.

Key metrics these groups use to justify the investment in IP-based dispatch solutions include lifecycle costs, quality of service, usability, ease of deployment and maintenance, performance and productivity. WAVE is designed with all these metrics in mind. WAVE IP Dispatch supplies all the features, functionality, performance and reliability expected in a mission-critical dispatch communications system.

At the same time, WAVE IP Dispatch delivers significant economic benefits and rapid ROI because it is a pure software solution that permits full communication interoperability to be achieved without having to replace expensive legacy communications systems. With WAVE IP Dispatch, organizations can keep their existing communications infrastructure and reap the benefits of real-time interoperability and collaboration by tying it all together using WAVE’s industry leading, standards-based IP technology. WAVE includes desktop (standalone or browser-based) and mobile communication clients that provide channel access for voice and data communications to anyone in a WAVE domain, including individuals and groups.

Learn More

Call our Specialist. He can be reached at:

Dar ZuchVCIOHelia Technologies(403) 668-7895 x200

Solutions

When Mobility Becomes the Next Best Thing to Being in the Same Room.

How great would it be to take data and video and bring that into your secure communications network for a group of recipients? And imagine how running secure video feeds over the same network could improve productivity.

Wave Mobility

With video running as an application over broadband IP, a group of users can emulate being in the same room together, complete with facial expressions and body language. They all have access to the same information, regardless of where each of them may be physically located. The result of this connectivity is that you radically improve your organization’s ability to make decisions.

It’s important to remember that Twisted Pair is more than a voice company, just like communications is more than voice. The market has been focused on voice with little data surrounding it. But the real world is much more about data. And the WAVE system sets up a secure environment so you can piggy back other services on your network as you need them.

A System of Systems to Empower Mobile Workers

Twisted Pair’s solutions use standards-based software to avoid the unnecessary complexity, limitations and expense of proprietary hardware solutions. You can have as many fat broadband pipes as you want but you don’t control them. WAVE implements a system within a system with an overlay to rapidly transit communications data over your network.

Our approach creates a tightly integrated communications environment, supporting interoperability and location independence for improved mobility with a user’s preferred device, be it a radio, headset camera or smartphone. Now mobile workers can easily share voice and data with their peers back at the office, wherever that may be.

Learn More

Call our Specialist. He can be reached at:

Dar ZuchVCIOHelia Technologies(403) 668-7895 x200

Solutions

Massively Connected Enterprises Thrive with Secure Voice, Data and Video.

Traditionally organizations have looked within the enterprise for enhanced collaboration, with a strong leaning toward application sharing and data access. That’s the promise of unified communications. But for all the promise, extended voice communications are not typically part of the discussion. In fact, UC lacks the very thing that radio systems have been doing for decades—providing immediate voice connectivity through Push-To-Talk functionality.

The missing ingredient in many an enterprise’s UC strategy has been ubiquitous voice coverage across the network. WAVE software adds that to the mix, eliminating the restrictions imposed by device and network silos. So whether you’re a mobile worker on a two-way radio or smartphone, or an office-based worker on a PC laptop, any WAVE user connected to an IP network is always connected and accessible—at the push of a button.

Think Beyond Voice to Secure Video and Data

Taking that one step further, Twisted Pair brings data and video into your secure communications network. In doing so, a group of users can emulate being in the same room together, complete with facial expressions and body language. When groups of people scattered around the country or the world communicate as if they’re in the same room, you radically improve your organization’s ability to make decisions.

Put It All in the Cloud to Control Costs

If the cost and management of incorporating these capabilities into your communication network is a consideration, Twisted Pair offers CaaS solutions. We simplify the complexity of putting your critical communications network in the cloud, including radio services such as Land Mobile Radios, intercoms and paging systems. Look at our cloud-based Computing as a Service (CaaS) solutions for details.

Learn More

Call our Specialist. He can be reached at:

Dar ZuchVCIOHelia Technologies(403) 668-7895 x200

Solutions