Sepura launched two new additions to its portfolio of TETRA products at PMRExpo in Germany this week (26-28 November 2013): the SICS Net TETRA dispatcher; and the SICS DTT desktop TETRA terminal. It also had its new DMR portfolio and TETRA imaging messaging solution from Portalify on show.
SICS Net is a dedicated TETRA dispatcher which provides user organisations with the ability to track, visualise, communicate with and dispatch employees to specific jobs and tasks via GPS and Sepura's STProtect, through the integration of customers' in-building floor plans/maps. SICS Net offers ease of installation and integration together with an intuitive menu and touch screen structure.
Heinz Meissl, software development manager with Sepura Systems, explained that the company’s existing dispatcher had proprietary TETRA elements. The new dispatcher comes with a SIP-based application programming interface (API) and web-based services.
Thanks to its new API, the dispatcher can now easily interface with third party applications and devices, with the further benefit of additional customised functionalities for specialist industries such as oil and gas, public transportation, utilities and more.
As an example, public transportation organisations can use dynamic call destination routing based on location, to enable drivers to make a call to a control centre and be routed to the closest station automatically.
SICS Net also has the capability to improve resource management and enhance personnel safety thanks to advanced functionalities such as Man-Down, integrated map-based vehicle and personnel location tracking and ambient listening.
The SICS Net's multi-language support makes it deployable in a variety of markets around the world. In addition, the flexibility in deployment options on multiple device types, such as tablet PCs, provides a transportable dispatcher capability for in-vehicle deployment and in-field personnel, making it a very versatile product.
The dispatcher provides group and selective calling along with both central and local recording and logging of calls with instant replay. A dispatcher logging on to a new console will get all his history up immediately. Users can be displayed on a map and contacted directly via the map or within call group displays or via a central address book.
Dynamic call group re-assignment is not available in this release, but is being looked at for a future one, according to Meissl.
SICS DTT provides a computer-based TETRA terminal experience with the added options of a touch screen, headsets and a desk microphone. DTT enables faster and smoother interaction from a fixed point for organisations handling a variety of networks and also supports simultaneous voice communication with TETRA and other VoIP networks. SICS DTT also allows LAN and WiFi connectivity.
Ian MacPherson, product manager for Sepura said: “SICS Net is a valuable addition to our family of TETRA products, providing a critical link between control rooms and their resources. It's a single user interface which combines TETRA dispatcher capability with Sepura's tracking and localisation system. Its intuitive ease of use will significantly enhance the productivity of control room staff, while giving them greater flexibility and control over their resources.”
Peter Hudson, senior product manager for Sepura concluded: “These new products take us another step forward in achieving our objective to become a one stop shop critical communications company for those sectors seeking to enhance user safety and drive operational efficiency from their investment in digital communications.”
DMR terminals and SICS eXpress dispatcher
Sepura’s new DMR Tier II terminals comprising two portables, the SBP8000 (with full keypad and display screen) and the SBP8300, and mobile (SBM8000 series) radio, the SBR83000 repeater, along with the SICS eXpress lightweight dispatcher aimed at smaller DMR operations, were also on show at PMR Expo.
The dispatcher comes with AVL and APL software and has two variants, the 8000 and the 8200. Stuart Longley, DMR sales engineer, explained: “The dispatcher is aimed at DMR customers with 10s of radios rather than 100s of them. To avoid headaches we’ve kept it simple. You plug it in via a USB cable to the SBM8040 or SBM8010 desktop radio.”
The SICS eXpress offers the usual range of radio management and tracking features, along with a range of call management features. The operating systems available include Windows XP, Vista, 7 and 8.
The radios are the result of a partnership with Chinese manufacturer Kirisun Communications. Longley said: ‘Sepura did all the design and engineering and Kirisun is the manufacturer. There is a lot of carry through from our TETRA range – we are using the same connectors, for example, so the DMR range of accessories is the same as the TETRA one. The antenna has shifted to the left hand side to make it easier to change the PCB (printed circuit board).”
Accessories include such items as covert ear piece, ear hangers, GSM-style in-ear push-to-talk, along with an RSM (remote speaker microphone) in case the 1W audio output from the portables is not loud enough.
Image Messaging for TETRA
Also on display at PMR Expo was Sepura’s imaging messaging solution for TETRA, which was developed by Portalify, recently acquired by Sepura.
The solution allows operators to easily dispatch critical image message information from the control room to the mobile terminals of field staff. It can be used from a client application provided by Portalify or can be integrated into existing command and control systems.
Images captured by CCTV, video recorders or cameras can be dispatched and are instantly available for viewing on a wide variety of different terminals, e.g., TETRA radios, GPRS & 3G mobile phones, LTE smartphones, in-vehicle tablet PCs or other devices. Each image message can be accompanied by additional textual information and associated location information.
The solution is fully optimised for TETRA and narrowband technologies, but it can be used just as easily for broadband technologies. For TETRA, images are compressed from, say 1Mb down to just 2Kb and can be delivered in just 5 to 6 seconds over narrowband technology. However, using SDS and multi-slot packet data, there is no impact on the channel and simultaneous use of voice and data is normal.
Peter Lyly from Portalify explained that the system allows the image to be sent to entire call groups or just individuals. Each image can be scaled to fit the individual screen size of the particular device. The messaging systems has four stages: send, deliver, open and acknowledge – so the dispatcher knows the recipient has seen the image.
Archive, audit trails and logging facilities are also part of the solution. The messaging system uses WAP-push or Java-push mechanisms and the Portalify Secure Windows Client on mobile data terminals.
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