PTIG demo of CSSI/FSI interoperability a ‘bellwether’ event
LAS VEGAS — This week at the International Wireless Communications Expo (IWCE), the Project 25 Technology Interest Group will conduct an interoperability demonstration using the Console Subsystem Interface (CSSI) and the Fixed Subsystem Interface (FSI). The CSSI and FSI are subsystems of the Inter-RF Subsystem Interface (ISSI), a component of the Project 25 standards suite that was developed to enable systems and equipment from disparate manufacturers to communicate.
Thirteen equipment vendors are participating in the demonstration, including:
"We'll have 'show and tell,' so to speak," said PTIG Director Bill Pagones. "We're going to show the console positions going through a very concise, specific set of operational steps, including individual call-group calls and alerting. We're also going to attempt to show the functions of the console displays, as well as the multiplicity of subscriber radios interacting with the console positions."
According to Pagones, this is the first year that PTIG has emphasized fixed equipment in its P25 interoperability demonstrations. He said one reason for that is that people no longer question whether P25 subscriber units will interoperate with each other.
"The question that is confounding most of our visitors now is, 'What do I do about my system expansions?' … So, while PTIG is going to diminish its support of subscriber units and test equipment that already have been well established, we're trying to provide added information to support the planning of systems and system infrastructure," Pagones said. "That's the purpose of this very large-scale demonstration."
The key takeaway of the demonstration, according to Pagones, is that the P25 standard for fixed networks is now complete.
"The reality is that the promise of Project 25 to support multiple vendor sourcing [and] compatibility of disparate manufacturing systems now is being proven in the marketplace for the fixed network equipment, equivalent to what has become de facto accepted for the subscriber radios," he said.
Robin Greer, president of Catalyst Communications, one of the participating console vendors, agreed.
"This is a bellwether week for our industry," Greer said. "The CSSI is significant in that it allows independent third-party consoles to connect to various radio manufacturers' trunking interface. … It is a powerful new interface, and I think that any agencies that are interested in connecting to a statewide P25 system or a regional P25 system will enjoy the flexibility and the choice that they get by being able to select an independent console for their particular needs."
Five 15-minute demonstrations are scheduled for Wednesday, March 13, the first day that the IWCE exhibits are open, with three additional demonstrations scheduled for Thursday, March 12. The PTIG is located in booth 2871.