Let Catalyst Communications assist with your public safety communication needs. Our latest Interworking solutions maintain communications between land mobile radio (LMR) users and new First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet™) LTE users. Mission Critical Push-to-Talk (MCPTT) for First Responders improves public safety. It also helps keep police, fire and emergency management systems in sync.
Communications between two different land mobile radio systems is referred to as interoperability. Interworking is a term used when a land mobile radio system is communicating with an LTE based system.
Interoperability between different radio systems and different radio frequencies was a problem long before the September 11, 2001 attacks on the United States. But, that catalyst galvanized efforts to create radio communications interoperability. Since then, great progress has been made. However, interoperability between systems that matches the capabilities of each individual system has remained elusive.
The US Congress created FirstNet™ as an independent authority within the National Telecommunications and Information Administration in 2012. The purpose of FirstNet™ is to establish, operate, and maintain an interoperable public safety broadband network. Congress allotted seven billion dollars and 20 MHz of valuable radio spectrum to build the network in order to fulfill these objectives.
It quickly became apparent, while the early deliverables of FirstNet™ were focused on data applications, that a primary user application requirement was for voice communications. With that realization, it was evident that interoperability between existing land mobile radio users and new users on the FirstNet™ LTE network would be required.
Catalyst Receives Phase 1 Research Award for Interworking Research
Some early innovators created LMR LTE interoperability by patching “over the top” push to talk services with land mobile radio systems. However, many organizations, including DHS S&T, recognized that a more comprehensive solution was necessary if FirstNet™ were to be adopted by the first responder community. With one of its missions being advocacy for public safety, a DHS S&T Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) solicitation was issued to investigate concepts to resolve these challenges. DHS S&T selected, through a competition, two of the companies responding to this solicitation for the Phase 1 research award. Catalyst Communications Technologies, Inc. was one of those companies.
The research award was granted in April 2018 and the results were submitted in November 2018. A paper discussing the goals of the research, results, and design for an LMR LTE Interworking solution has been offered. If you are an organization that wishes to migrate to, or interoperate with, FirstNet™, you can learn more by clicking HERE.
June 2019 Update – Catalyst Receives Phase II Award from DHS to build Interworking Prototypes
This Second Award provides funding to continue development of Catalyst’s IntelliLink™ family of LMR LTE Interworking solutions. The roadmap for effective Interworking was established during the Phase I Award and completed in November 2018. In Phase II of the project, Catalyst will develop an interface service/server, anticipated to be a software product running on a standard networked computer or computers.
You can read more about this second Award on our Press Release page, HERE.