Sales Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What is the status of the P25 Phase 2 Standard suite?
The standard for Trunked TDMA Voice Channel operation is complete. Standards for TDMA Trunked Data Channel operation, TDMA Trunked Control Channel operation, TDMA Conventional Voice Channel operation and TDMA Conventional Data Channel operation are all incomplete.

What Security interfaces and services are currently covered by the P25 standard?
AES Encryption (voice and CAI data packets), DES Encryption for backwards compatibility (voice and CAI data packets), Key Fill Interface to the Radio, Over the Air Rekeying service, Inter KMF Interface, Authentication of radios and infrastructure in Trunking.

Does the future First-Net LTE broadband data network make P25 obsolete?
No, many Public Safety and Industry technology experts and organizations including the National Public Safety Telecommunications Council (NPSTC), DHS Office of Emergency Communications, and First-Net themselves are on the record that Project 25 is the standard for government and public safety communication systems today and will remain as the primary technology for secure interoperable voice systems for decades to come. LTE broadband for Public Safety will mature and be built out over the next few years offering many valuable and exciting new interoperable data services. It is expected that the technologies will complement one another and be merged at both the infrastructure and subscriber unit level.

A new P25 system is building out in my region. Can I use a Catalyst console to access the system?
In most instances yes, however, the systems operator of your regional P25 network is the key to access for new users. Most have standard policies and procedures to accomplish this. Call them to understand the things that can affect your ability to get Catalyst console access.

Why do we have a P25 system but my system operator says we can only buy one brand of console?
Many agencies are currently operating with products from multiple vendors on the open P25 Standard. There are multiple console suppliers building Project 25 interoperable equipment. If you can buy only one brand it may be because it is the policy of your system operator based on a non-technological reason, like economics. Or, it may be that you have manufacturer specific features or capabilities in your system that are offered by only one console vendor and are not covered by the Project 25 suite of standards.

If I have one manufacturer’s P25 trunked RF Subsystem (RFSS), can I use a different manufacturer’s consoles for infrastructure access?
Yes, if your RFSS includes a Console Subsystem Interface (CSSI). As long as the RF and the console manufacturer’s systems both support the P25 CSSI, you can pick whichever RFSS and Console System that best suits your needs. However, it is prudent to consult with both manufacturer’s to verify their prior integration testing and to verify the supported P25 features.

If I am connecting to a single manufacturer’s P25 Conventional RF Subsystem (RFSS) or Conventional Console Subsystem (CSS) can I connect a base station or repeater from a different manufacturer?
Yes, if your RFSS/CSS provides a Conventional Fixed Station Host and the Fixed Station manufacturer supports the Digital Fixed Station Interface (DFSI).

Is P25 interoperable with DMR?
They are not directly interoperable technologies. However, Catalyst offers interoperability products and consoles that provide patches between DMR and P25 at a voice level, as well as the ability to pass unit ID and other data between the two systems.

If we have a P25 trunked system, and want to expand coverage by adding DMR Tier 3 Trunked repeaters, can we use the same consoles to access both systems?
Yes, if you use the proper consoles. Some manufacturer’s, including Catalyst, offer consoles that will directly interface with the P25 infrastructure via CSSI, and into the DMR Tier 3 infrastructure via AIS.

Suppose I am accessing both DMR and P25 from the same console. Will I be able to record the calls from both systems on the same IP logging recorder?
Again, yes, if you use consoles that support this feature. Be sure to check with both the console manufacturer and the logging recorder manufacturer to verify that their IP interface supports both technologies simultaneously.

Can I integrate other technologies like SIP telephony and conventional analog radio onto the same console?
Yes. Many of the console manufacturer’s provide access to multiple voice technologies through various gateways and other methods. Check with your console vendor to understand which standards they support.

How long should I expect my consoles to last?
Longevity of the consoles varies depending on the technology. Circuit based consoles are more likely to become obsolete sooner than IP-based consoles due to limited availability of the parts necessary to build a circuit based system. The more ‘software” based the console and less “hardware” involved, the longer the life expectancy of the system. Intuitively you would expect software based consoles that operate on commercial-off-the-shelf hardware to have the longest life.