ORLANDO--Radio interoperability solutions provider Raytheon JPS Communications yesterday unveiled its analog radio adapter, the ARA-1, which lets analog radio systems join the IP revolution by transforming the signal to work on a session initiation protocol (SIP) network.

Similar in size and functionality to an analog telephone adapter (ATA) that transforms legacy telephones into SIP-enabled devices, the ARA-1 can convert any analog voice signal into a SIP signal at any point in the network where there’s an interface with an IP network, said Doug Hall, Raytheon JPS senior scientist.

“Typically, we see that being done at the base station, but you can do it anywhere there’s an IP network connection,” Hall said. “After the signal is converted at the ARA-1, it looks like it came from any other SIP device.”

This conversion opens up a world of possibilities to any entity operating an analog radio system, because it provides an opportunity for analog users in the field to communicate with a VoIP-enabled enterprise—something that agencies governing public-safety entities increasingly are becoming.

For instance, a chief at a central headquarters could dial a number on his desktop SIP phone to speak directly with a commander in the field on an analog LMR handset, Hall said. Reciprocally, the analog field user could talk with someone at a SIP-enabled headquarters simply by quickly keying his analog device a predetermined number of times to effectively dial a landline phone at headquarters, he said.

“The ARA-1 is a perfect marriage between land mobile radios and IP-based networks,” Mike Cox, vice president of engineering for JPS Communications, said in a statement. “It combines a supremely capable radio interface to the standards-based open SIP protocol that is rapidly becoming the acknowledged pathway to the convergence of voice, data, and video.”

Expected to be generally available at the end of August, the ARA-1 is projected to cost $995 when purchased in single quantity, Hall said.