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Cape May County & Etherstack Demonstrate Open P25 Architecture with Multiple Hardware Manufacturers
Cape May, NJ, January 6, 2009 … The National Law Enforcement and Corrections Technology Center Communications Technologies Center of Excellence (COE) and Etherstack, Inc. have launched an APCO P25 radio network pilot in Cape May County, NJ. The pilot illustrates how network operators, such as public safety agencies and utilities, may avoid costly “forklift” upgrades using off-the shelf and open-standards technologies enabled by an IP-based architecture. The central components of the multi-site, trunked network are a Cisco Integrated Services Router running Etherstack’s Land Mobile Radio (LMR) network controller software and repeaters from Kenwood and Tait, and also prototype repeaters from a third manufacturer.
Teamed with the Cape May County Prosecutor’s Office, the pilot was organized by the COE. Rick Mulvihill, the Director of the COE, is enthusiastic about the pilot. “The pilot will eventually include all public safety bands to demonstrate higher levels of interoperability, including crossband operation and backward compatibility with analog subscriber units,” says Mulvihill. Additionally, Mulvihill notes, “This architecture will truly leverage the power of IP, runs on industry standard components, can reuse existing equipment, and supports both ISSI and CSSI.” All components are connected over the County’s IP network. “We chose the Cisco platform because of Cisco’s commitment to IP and a unified communications architecture, which made the integration of our software a breeze,” said David Deacon, Etherstack’s CEO, “Additionally, Cisco’s expertise in soft-switching helped them to understand the power of our P25 soft-switch application and the value of a standardized interface between the soft-switch and the base-site radios themselves.”
Kenwood’s TKR-8400P, which debuted in August at APCO, Tait’s TB8100, and the prototype repeaters are networked together by Etherstack’s all-IP core network soft-switch running on a Cisco 2811 Integrated Services Router. The softswitch presents a well-documented site-switch interface and serves as the ISSI and CSSI gateway.
The pilot also includes subscriber units from multiple vendors to further emphasize the level of interoperability created by the system’s architecture.
As a public-private partnership for the test and evaluation of P25 technology, COE’s goal was to demonstrate migration strategies that give network operators more choice, better utilization of existing resources, investment protection, and enables innovation. Chief James E. Rybicki, in Cape May County’s Office of the Prosecutor, maintains, “We need to upgrade our public safety communications system, but the complexity of creating an integrated system is staggering for a small community…this pilot promises to show us how to rationally migrate to a regional, countywide, multi-agency system with cost savings.”
ABOUT THE PARTICIPANTS
Cisco (www.cisco.com) Cisco provides integrated solutions that optimize public safety’s resources and capabilities to effectively manage the challenges of keeping communities safe and secure. Cisco is committed to addressing the unique requirements in the homeland security and public safety markets across the globe. With the network as the platform for converged and next-generation public safety systems, Cisco technology and solutions protect investments today and well into the future. Etherstack Inc. (www.etherstack.com) is a wireless technology licensing company specializing in public safety and military radio communications systems. Etherstack's protocol stack products are used by radio equipment manufacturers around the globe and can be found in many APCO P25, TETRA, and SDR products. The company is headquartered in London, with research and development conducted at engineering offices in London, Sydney, Yokohama, and New York.
The NLECTC Communications Technologies Center of Excellence based in Camden, NJ. (http://www.commtechcoe.org), serves the role of pilot program manager. The Center operates under a cooperative agreement with the United States Department of Justice, Office of Justice Program’s National Institute of Justice and supports the mission of the National Law Enforcement and Corrections Technology Center (NLECTC) system by evaluating communications technologies for the public safety community.
Kenwood U.S.A. Corporation-Communications Sector is a worldwide provider of mobile and portable radios and systems to public safety, government and commercial users as well as amateur radio equipment. Founded in the United States in 1961, Kenwood U.S.A. is the largest sales subsidiary of Kenwood Corporation of Japan (founded 1946), which has 11 domestic and 22 subsidiaries around the world serving the needs of communications and home and car entertainment customers. Kenwood has achieved a leadership role in the two-way communications industry through a history of reliability and engineering excellence in diverse product offerings. For more information on our products visit: http://www.kenwoodusa.com or call Kenwood at 1-800-950-5005.
Tait Radio Communications (http://www.taitworld.com) is a global leader in designing and delivering radio solutions that are the right fit for a variety of industries including: public safety agencies, government services, utilities, and urban transport providers. Across the world, users of Tait products and services are better able to protect themselves and the public, be more responsive and more efficient. While several corporate functions are based in Christchurch, New Zealand, the company prides itself on its international customer base and global support network. The company works with a network of sales/support offices, dealers, system integrators and consultants that spans the globe.