Using interconnects to bridge frequencies
From the DOJ's National Institute of Justice
During a disaster, incident commanders need to have immediate radio connection with each other. One solution is an interconnect system that, once set up and activated, can link incompatible radio systems through specialized hardware and software without requiring significant alterations to an agency's radio infrastructure.
An interconnect system allows radios to communicate even if they are on different frequencies or have the same frequency band but different protocols. This system can link officers using an older radio system with officers using a newer technology or radios from a different vendor. In effect, the interconnect system establishes a gateway between otherwise incompatible systems.
A few key points about interoperability gateways/interconnects:
- Interconnect systems, such as gateways, allow for voice interoperability between otherwise incompatible radio communications systems.
- Interoperability is achieved by retransmitting voice over interconnected radio subscriber (mobile/portable) units.
- Linking incompatible radio frequency bands and systems can be relatively easy and effective, but users should consider key factors that can affect performance.
- Interconnect deployment will require new strategies and operational procedures.
- The gateway approach to interoperability has significant potential, considering the ease of gateway deployment and the relatively low cost of gateway retransmission devices compared to the cost of a new wide-area shared radio system.