Modernizing Public Safety Communications
Your existing radios and voice system do more, with Cisco IPICS 4.8
If your agency uses Cisco Unified Communications as well as PTT radio communications, you can make both more valuable by adding Cisco IP Interoperability and Collaboration System (IPICS).
Hundreds of public safety agencies around the world already use Cisco IPICS to make radio dispatch operations simpler. IPICS improves incident response because personnel can join PTT talk groups using just about any device. That includes land-mobile radios, smartphones, IP phones, PCs and laptops, and even traditional phones.
The newest release, IPICS 4.8, has new features that improve communications, collaboration, and operations.
Control Smartphones as if They Were Radios
With IPICS, personnel can join PTT sessions using an Android device, iPhone, or a Cisco Unified Wireless IP Phone. Smartphones can connect over Wi-Fi, 3G, 4G/LTE, or satellite networks.
All the smartphone needs to act like a PTT radio is the Cisco Instant Connect mobile app. Voice clarity is very good even when the network is busy, thanks to VoIP encoding. If you’re connecting over a Cisco Wi-Fi network, voice quality is optimized because of Cisco CleanAir technology, which works around wireless interference.
With the new release of IPICS, the dispatcher will see which smartphone user is talking, using standards-based talker ID.
Know If Your Connection Drops
You might have had the experience of continuing to talk on a smartphone without realizing that you’ve lost your connection. That’s not acceptable in public safety environments, because first responders might not know they’ve missed vital information. IPICS 4.8 corrects that problem. If the Cisco Instant Connect mobile app on the smartphone loses its Wi-Fi or cellular connection, it alerts you by making the smartphone vibrate and sounding an audio alert. When the connection is reestablished you hear another alert, so you can check if you missed any information during the outage.
Connect Traditional Phones
Say there’s an emergency involving city leaders and businesses, such as a flood or chemical spill. With IPICS 4.8, the dispatcher can patch in up to 10 phone users per radio channel. The calls go out through Cisco Unified Communications Manager, so you don’t need new equipment or lines.
Use an Old IP Phone as a Low-Cost Radio Console
Until now, public safety agencies had to buy a proprietary consolette to talk on the radio system from a remote location. These desktop consoles can cost thousands of dollars. With IPICS 4.8, you can use a Cisco Unified IP Phone—even an old one—as a multichannel radio console. All it takes is adding a license to the Cisco IPICS server.
Customize IPICS for Your Environment
Finally, you have your choice of several third-party enhancements to IPICS 4.8 because we now offer a Software Development Kit (SDK) for developers. One new solution is Touch Screen Dispatch Console from IP Command, a Cisco SolutionPlus partner. Dispatchers use the touch screen to control all communications streams—from people using two-way radios, smartphones, PCs, wired and wireless IP phones, and contact centers. The console integrates with Cisco Unified Communications Manager, so it supports advanced incident management with features like call priority queuing, multiple line appearances, and call hold and transfer.
In summary, if you use Cisco Unified Communications Manager and LMR radios, Cisco IPICS can make most investments more valuable. It simplifies radio dispatch operations and extends PTT communications to any device.
For More Information
Data Sheet: Cisco IPICS 4.8 Release 4.8