Raytheon JPS, along with Clarity Communications Systems, unveiled a solution that leverages the company's ACU-2000 IP gateway device to deliver interoperable communications between land mobile radios and cellular handsets.

In January, Clarity introduced the software-based, push-to-talk (P2T) inTouch platform, which can be used on any cell phone with Qualcomm's BREW application programming interface, version 3.1 or later.

The new solution lets any radio connected to the backplane of the ACU-2000 IP gateway receive a cellular P2T transmission, said Roman Kaluta, director of interoperability solutions for JPS.

“We can have multiple radios connected to that … regardless of radio type,” Kaluta said. “Plus we can bring in other radio-over-IP connections. Anything that's on the ACU, we can bring to that connection when they initiate it.”

Kaluta said that the capability puts into play “hundreds of thousands” of cellular handsets that could be leveraged in an emergency. The capability is ideal for city officials who would need to be quickly brought into the loop, said Bill Jenkins, vice president of strategy and product development for Clarity. “This expands the communications circle much more broadly, to other echelons of the organization — people who it doesn't make sense for them to carry a radio, or it's too costly,” he said.

Kaluta said the capability also would be ideal for search-and-rescue operations. “Say you have a lost child, and you have people out there with cell phones that can connect with public safety radios. … It's another tool in the toolbox,” he said.