Helping Bridge the Gap in RoIP
In the US, emergency responders use land mobile radios to communicate with each other when responding to both day-to-day incidents and emergencies. However from agency to agency or from region to region these radios are often not interoperable with each other because they may use different protocol technologies or may operate in different frequency bands. This was never more apparent than during the 9/11 disaster in which public safety resources responded from a wide areas, but intra agency communications were limited. In order to connect radio systems together, emergency personnel are more and more often relying on bridging solutions which utilize VoIP to transmit voice communications across radio systems, such as Catalyst’s Intellilink solution. Even though VoIP is based on standards, the technology lacks a single standard adopted by all manufacturers. As a result, there is no guarantee that one manufacturer’s VoIP-based equipment can successfully interface with another’s equipment.
To address these compatibility issues, Catalyst (as a founding member in August of 2006) and other vendors and agencies have worked with the Department of Homeland Security’s Science and Technology Directorate in the development of a standard to allow multiple manufacturer’s bridging solutions to inter-operate.
Catalyst has shown its commitment to open standards and making communications more open and available to all users through its continued support of BSI. Catalyst has already demonstrated working BSI interfaces multiple times with multiple vendors in an open public forum.
In its current implementation, the BSI provides basic voice connectivity between bridging devices over an IP network. It leverages existing standards including Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) and documents best practices for the implementation of BSI.
For more information, refer to this document by the Department of Homeland Security: