Raytheon to show interoperability vehicle for first time
LAS VEGAS — Raytheon Network Centric Systems this week will display its mobile civil communications solutions vehicle, which leverages the Project 25 Inter-RF Sub-System Interface (ISSI) to help bring interoperable communications between disparate private systems operating in different frequency bands.
During demonstrations at the International Wireless Communication Expo (IWCE) beginning Wednesday, Raytheon and PlantCML — an EADS North America company — will conduct joint demonstrations of the ISSI functionality within the Raytheon vehicle, which is being displayed publicly for the first time.
P25 networks from Raytheon and PlantCML will be linked via the ISSI, and legacy systems will communicate to the system via Raytheon’s gateway technologies, according to Mike Bostic, a Raytheon Network Centric Systems director of civil communications and 34-year veteran of the Los Angeles Police Department. In addition, radios from numerous vendors will operate on the system, he said.
“We basically go through a demonstration of tying in old analog legacy-system radios all the way through to digital P25 network and have them all speaking together through an ISSI,” Bostic said. “We have all the equipment in racks, so people can touch it, feel it, taste it and say, ‘Wow, this is for real.’”
“We don’t care if it’s P25 or if it’s old analog; it makes no difference to us. This system can make those communicate.”
Bostic said public-safety agencies traditionally have used proprietary systems from vendors, which has left those agencies as “slaves” to manufacturers’ product decisions — from system support to technology paths — for more than a decade. Moving to open-architecture standards like P25 promises to drastically change this environment, he said.
“Now, we’re switching the game into law enforcement, fire and public safety deciding when they buy radios and when they switch them over, instead of the manufacturers,” Bostic said. “This is a game-changer, from the perspective of public safety.”
While such networks typically are less expensive than proprietary networks, Bostic said the biggest difference will be felt when agencies seek to replace subscriber units, because they will have greater flexibility and can consider products from multiple vendors.
“The handset is not going to drive the system,” he said. “The system is going to drive the handsets into becoming commodities, and create a much cheaper path for communications systems for the future.”