Zetron has a new Pathway radio dispatch solution that uses the TIA P25 Digital Fixed Station Interface (DFSI) protocol to connect as many as four console systems to one base station, providing dispatch centers with additional flexibility during potentially difficult transition times.

“Normally, it’s a one-to-one ratio—you have one console system to one base station—but in this case, we have this little device that will let you connect four [console systems] into a single DFSI base station, as long as it has a DFSI standard interface,” Kathy Broadwell, vice president of product management and marketing for Zetron, said during an interview with IWCE’s Urgent Communications.

The Pathway solution was designed specifically for short-term use, such as during a console-system migration, a disaster-recovery/backup-center operation, or when a DFSI is needed to connect the disparate systems of multiple agencies, according to a Zetron specification sheet.

“It isn’t something you would need all the time, but if you were doing some kind of migration or some kind of remote location kind of thing, you might want to hook up multiple consoles to a single base station,” Broadwell said.

“It’s just a convenience factor for the customers, so they don’t get stuck and have to buy expensive equipment for very little use.”

Showcased at the recent Association of Public-Safety Communications Officials (APCO) conference in New Orleans, Zetron’s latest offering continues to highlight the role that open standards play in providing options for customers and creating new opportunities for vendors, Broadwell said.

Last month, Zetron announced that it had completed testing with EF Johnson, RELM Wireless and Spectra Engineering. Zetron tested its Advanced Communications (AcomEVO) system with EF Johnson’s P25 Console Subsystem Interface (CSSI) infrastructure. Using the TIA P25 DFSI, it also tested the AcomEVO with RELM and Spectra’s repeaters and base stations.

“We have now done testing with just about everybody in this room,” Broadwell said as she sat at Zetron’s booth in the APCO exhibit hall in New Orleans.

“We want to work with each other, even when we are competitors. [That is what] gives the customer the most amount of choice, and then you have to sell your product on its merits. You have to come up with new ways to add value, because having open standards kind of levels the playing field.”

As for the Pathway solution, Zetron says it will work with any manufacturer’s dispatch console that complies with the TIA P25 DFSI standard.