Lack of interoperability can pose a variety of challenges and risks for radio users. Companies and government agencies often need cross-agency communication for collaborative or cross-team projects.
Even within the same organization, interoperability can be key to smooth operational workflow. Each position has its own requirements with sometimes disparate equipment providing the best use or durability options. Someone on the go all the time might need a vehicle-based mobile radio, while someone at a job site might use a smartphone. At the same time, someone in the office who uses a dispatch console needs to connect with handheld radio users at the loading dock.
Then, too, devices like smartphones and tablets are finding ever widening inroads into the modern industrial scene. It is increasingly important to integrate them into communications systems without losing the simplicity of land mobile radio (LMR) systems.
How can you tie all of this together to create a seamless communications network that keeps everyone connected in real-time?
Radio over IP, or RoIP, is a technology that creates seamless interoperability for push-to-talk (PTT) communications. Like VoIP for radio users, it injects the power, range, and flexibility of the internet into LMR systems.
RoIP works by taking radio transmissions and converting them into IP packets that can be sent over private or public internet networks to any location with an LTE / FirstNet, satellite, or WiFi connection. At the other end, a RoIP gateway converts the internet packets back into radio signals for local users. This makes it possible to create interoperability between disparate radios.
Three Basic Configurations
In order to provide ideal solutions for any situation, RoIP gateways come in different shapes and sizes. The three basic configurations are mobile, portable, and fixed-site.
Mobile RoIP gateways are installed in vehicles for teams who consistently work in or near company vehicles or trucks. Portable RoIP solutions like Skymira’s GoKIT™ make it easy to bring a plug-and-play connection on the go. Fixed site options work well for offices, warehouses, and other facilities used permanently or semi-permanently.
Depending on workflow requirements, it is easy to mix-and-match the three basic RoIP configurations to create a reliable communications matrix. The inherent flexibility of the system makes it possible to add capabilities as a company or agency grows.
Behind the Scenes
In this video, you can see a live demo showing interoperability between Motorola DMR and Kenwood P25 portable radios using satellite RoIP. In this case, you can see behind the scenes and see both a mobile and a portable configuration. One radio is connected over satellite via a mobile RoIP gateway installed in a vehicle and one is connected through a portable Skymira GoKIT™.
As you can see in the video above, the user experience for RoIP integrated systems is the same as for legacy systems. Sending and receiving PTT communications via handheld radio continues to be as simple and straightforward as always.
Setting up the RoIP gateways is also straightforward. For vehicle-based and fixed site gateways, setup is handled at installation. The GoKIT™ has a plug-and-play configuration that takes less than five minutes to set up.
Another facet of RoIP interoperability is the ability to integrate modern IP-connected devices like smartphones and tablets into existing two way radio systems. Because the radio signals are already being converted from RF frequencies to IP packets and back, it’s possible to add a wide variety of internet-connected devices. With a smartphone PTT app or dispatch application, smartphones, tablets, laptops, consoles, and other devices can be used as IP radios.
Whether you need interoperability to connect disparate devices inside or outside your organization, RoIP provides reliable, streamlined solutions. With a tailor-made system that matches your workflow and needs, you can connect radios, smartphones, and other equipment seamlessly. Contact our RoIP experts today to learn more about how you can get the interoperability you need.