LAS VEGAS--Raleigh, N.C.-based Raytheon JPS Communications launched the ACU-2000 IP gateway at IWCE 2007 in Las Vegas. The device converges interoperability, Internet protocol (IP) and session initiation protocol (SIP) functions into a single communications system.

The gateway links radios and lets users control interoperability systems over an IP network, and interfaces with radios using SIP—a standards-based open protocol used to create, manage and terminate sessions in an IP-based network. Specifically, the gateway supports voice, data and video applications over multiple platforms.

“In addition to all the legacy equipment that we’ve supported, such as land mobile radios, hand-held radios and consoles, our system can now plug into a voice-over-IP infrastructure,” said JPS Senior Scientist Doug Hall. “So it makes it nice for people who want to integrate an interoperability solution with a telephony solution they may already own.”

The gateway modules connect directly to an enterprise’s IP telephony system via SIP. After that, an extension is assigned to each portable radio user, which lets employees at the home office connect to a VHF or UHF radio in the field using, for example, 6-digit dialing. The gateway also supports conferencing and authentication, which lets businesses choose who is authorized to connect to certain extensions.

“Authorized people can now dial a portable radio by extension,” Hall said.

With the ACU-2000 IP, JPS believes it now can tap into a growing marketplace of enterprises that are investing significant resources to leverage their IP telephony platforms to integrate network communications, Hall said. Companies in the medical, education and transportation sectors currently have partnered with JPS to test the technology. However, public safety also can use the system because it combines land mobile radio and VoIP functionality in a single system simultaneously.

“There can be functions that work together or functions that work completely independently,” Hall said.

The ACU-2000 IP costs $3000 per channel, depending on the configuration. Cost does not reflect installation and input devices.