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Raytheon Announces New Interoperability Server for Public Safety Feb. 23, 2012
Raytheon Company's new interoperability server includes advanced features to help public safety agencies communicate with one another, the company announced at the International Wireless Communications Expo.

The features include the ability to bring in P25 radio users over Internet Protocol (IP), and to connect 4G/LTE (Long-Term Evolution) system users by a Bluetooth link to a system handset. Both features include the ability to transfer data.

"Improving voice communications among first responders will always be our Number 1 priority," said TJ Kennedy, director of Public Safety and Security Systems for Raytheon's Network Centric Systems business.

"But no one can discount the usefulness of key metadata such as user identification and emergency call. The new server continues our mission of providing interoperability among existing equipment and also facilitates budget-friendly, phased-in deployments of new systems by linking the upgraded and existing portions of the network," Kennedy added.

The server uses other gateways, such as Raytheon's ACU-5000, for local interoperability and to convert non-IP communications (from radios, telephones, etc.) for transfer to the server via IP. The system will also include mobile apps optimized for laptops and smartphones, further broadening the base of applicable communications devices.

The Bluetooth feature solves the interface quandary created by the increased use of LTE handsets for public safety communications. Handsets are upgraded or replaced on a frequent basis and typically don't have a connector for a cable interface. This is resolved by employing the only common standard, Bluetooth. With Bluetooth, any handset can provide an interoperability link to a 4G/LTE (or 3G) system. A system operator can now accept calls or dial out via the handset, and patch the resulting link to any other members of the interoperability system.