Cisco Systems this week introduced a mobile version of its IP Interoperability and Collaboration System (IPICS) at the International Association of Chiefs of Police annual conference in Boston.

Launched last year, IPICS converts voice signals to IP to let disparate LMR radios communicate with each other, as well as with analog phones and IP-based devices. Developed in collaboration with CACI and Panasonic, the IPICS-MP makes the solution mobile by using a Panasonic Toughbook CF-29 as the IPICS server.

“What amazes people is that it’s all in a laptop,” Morgan Wright, Cisco’s global industry solutions manager for public safety, said in an interview with MRT. “They figure it’s in a complicated box and has to be something big. When they see it’s on something they already recognize that’s user-friendly and has the same capability … it’s definitely changed the paradigm of how you think about doing interoperability.”

Configured with four LMR ports, four push-to-talk management center applications and 10 IP phones, the IPICS mobile package can be used as an independent interoperability solution in the field or to extend the reach or capacity of an existing interoperability system, such as one involving an ACU-1000, Wright said. The IPICS-MP is designed to be deployed with a “minimal” amount of training, he said.

“We took IPICS and put it in a rapidly deployable kit, which means a single person can carry a laptop into the field and deploy this basically anywhere in the world,” Wright said. “You want to be able to establish communications quickly … and you can enable tens to hundreds of users by linking a couple of these things together.”