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August 24, 2017 9:16 am

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Innovation Everywhere from Catalyst at APCO 2017

LMR –LTE Interoperability highlight technology on display for Public Safety Radio Communications

APCO 2017, Denver CO – August 14, 2017


With the announcement of FirstNet™, the nation’s effort to establish a unified network for First Responders using LTE at the network core, attendees at this year’s Association of Public Safety Communications Officers (APCO) Conference can expect innovative applications around LTE technology. The immediate concerns are how existing Land Mobile Radio users will gracefully migrate voice communications to LTE and FirstNet™ and how existing LMR users will interoperate with new LTE FirstNet™ users. Catalyst Communications Technologies has the answer to both these pressing questions. At Booth 1308 at APCO, Catalyst will demonstrate Dispatch for both LMR radios and LTE Push to Talk cell phones, and interoperable communications between these radios and cell phones. These breakthrough demonstrations are some of many examples of innovations representing advances in technology that improve land mobile radio communications of interest to this year’s attendees.


FirstNet™ Ready – the LMR /LTE Interoperable Communications

Catalyst will demonstrate communications between LMR portable radios and mobile phones that are PTT enabled and integrated with a nationwide LTE network.

The significance of this demonstration is that in a FirstNet™ environment the nationwide LTE Network can be easily replaced with FirstNet™’s nationwide network. The promised benefits of FirstNet™ can be experienced today!

This demonstration will showcase several technology breakthroughs:

  • A single Dispatch Console can dispatch to both LMR radios and LTE cell phones, display essential information like Unit ID/Alias, and manage them consistently so that dispatchers don’t have to use different procedures for each.
  • Robust, flexible interoperable communications can be established between LMR portable radios and PTT enabled mobile phones that manage the audio flow so that syllables are not lost, as well as allowing dispatchers to remotely adjust the patched LMR channel.
  • Voice Communications and radio control can pass through multiple interconnected networks, including LMR over the air (P25, legacy, etc.), a wide area network backhaul, the LTE data cellular backhaul, and the LTE PTT cellular over the air network.

The potential of FirstNet™ to expand coverage can be realized today using LTE as the network backhaul. Remote locations that do not have LMR radio coverage can now be included in first responder networks because the coverage footprint of LTE is so much greater than any agency’s LMR.


BK Technologies Enabled FIRE™ – Catalyst’s Incident Command solution with RELM / BK Technologies Radios

Another Catalyst demonstration is Field Incident/Repeater Element (FIRE™), a portable radio communications solution that packages two radios, Radio Control Software, Dispatch Software, and Interoperability Software into a single unit. Designed for incident command applications where local dispatch and interoperability to multiple first responder organizations are required, the inclusion of multiple multi-protocol radios allows additional first responders supporting an incident to be included in the communications path, regardless of protocol or frequency.  Catalyst will demonstrate this application with a RELM / BK Technologies KNG mobile radio.

The importance of this demonstration is that, because of the advanced control of this radio through Catalyst technology, the Unit ID from a wide variety of subscriber radios (Project 25, SmartNet, EDACS, DMR, etc.) can be passed to the P25 subscriber radio. Especially for high stress incidents such as fire, it is vital that they see the unit ID and the associated alias so that first responders know who they are communicating with.


Innovations in Hardware Platforms – Leveraging advances in COTS Computer design

Catalyst is also demonstrating innovation in Hardware Platforms. As customer deployments occur in more diverse environments, forward thinking companies pioneer new ways to employ advances in the computer and network industries to enhance operations in land mobile radio. At least three demonstrations of the latest thing in hardware merit investigation at the Catalyst booth:

  • An advanced hardened computer platform for both console and radio gateway applications is on display. This diskless, fanless computer has no moving parts, providing high reliability and extended longevity.
  • Catalyst’s application for the innovative Intel® Compute Stick is another computer platform that will garner interest from APCO attendees. This computer fits in the palm of your hand and is appropriate where space is at a premium. The quad-core Intel® Atom™ processor delivers max performance but uses minimum power—making the Intel® Compute Stick both space and energy efficient. Catalyst is demonstrating the Compute Stick with its deployable LMR to LTE unit.
  • Catalyst is demonstrating their transportable line of Incident Command and advanced Digital Repeater solutions – FIRE™ and ICE™. These two products leverage 20 years of software development to solve unique field challenges of first responders with creative packaging solutions. These products package two to three radios, a simple dispatch console, interoperability, instant call retrieval, and audio recording into a compact and transportable enclosure. Applications for FIRE incident command are especially highlighted, as these units can be quickly deployed at an incident and provide radio communications and interoperability among multiple agencies on scene. As mentioned above, our FIRE demonstration will include a RELM/BK Technologies radio.

David Tievy, Vice President at Superior Communications, a Federal Communications Systems Integrator, said, “We’re finding applications within the Military for the Catalyst ICE™ unit. Used as an advanced digital repeater, two radios communicate with local first responders, and these communications are patched to a third radio that transmits back to central Dispatch for coordination. The ability to capture and record the entire communications for later playback has proved especially useful.”

The demonstrations at the APCO Convention will take place in Catalyst Booth #1308 throughout the days of August 14 & 15 at the Colorado Convention Center in Denver. Catalyst personnel will demonstrate Innovation Everywhere including FirstNet™ Ready LMR to LTE communications, Dispatch Console solutions, Radio Interface technology, RELM/BK Technologies radio capabilities, and new Hardware and Packaging innovations and discuss critical communications solutions specific to visitor applications.


Contact Catalyst or its dealers for more information or to place an order.


Catalyst Communications Technologies, Inc. markets Radio Control over IP technology for the Critical Communications Industry and is a force for change in the effort to bring Internet-derived technologies into Critical Communications applications.   Catalyst focuses on products that leverage standard Windows®-based computers to reduce cost and increase the efficiency of network operators and end users.  Catalyst’s extensive product line significantly enhances modern and legacy dispatch communications systems by seamlessly bridging wireless and wireline communications networks for network-based interoperability.


Contact Catalyst at or (434) 582-6146 for additional information.


For editorial information, please contact:

John Kramer

Catalyst Communications Technologies, Inc.

(434) 582-6163 or


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