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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 10-17-2011, 10:48 PM
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Default Harris Corp.'s BeOn P25 Radio App

BeOn software application lets officers use their Android phones as police radios:
Harris Corp.'s BeOn P25 Radio App - Article - POLICE Magazine
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Old 10-18-2011, 9:46 AM
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Originally Posted by jland138 View Post
...software application lets officers use their Android phones as police radios...
House of cards!
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Old 10-18-2011, 12:01 PM
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The RIOS gateway made by the Sytech Corp. has had that option and feature for a while now. They even can send live video from one phone to another and to the client computers on the gateway network.
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Old 10-18-2011, 1:10 PM
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With the Tikl PTT app and Phone my PC RDP app streaming CAD screens from the desk PC many of us do much of that already. Plus, I can still surf the forum here.
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Old 10-20-2011, 11:25 AM
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Looks good. -WHEN IT WORKS. How about discussing what happens when things break?
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Old 10-20-2011, 5:49 PM
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I'm kind of curious about the statement about all the stuff they can do before they arrive on scene. I would rather them be driving then on their phone. There are enough hazards the way it is while driving 10-33.
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Old 10-20-2011, 7:02 PM
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I'm kind of curious about the statement about all the stuff they can do before they arrive on scene. I would rather them be driving then on their phone. There are enough hazards the way it is while driving 10-33.
I'd expect that's because (with very few exceptions) nearly all engineers, designers, company executives, and marketing people have had absolutely no public safety experience at all. With very few exceptions, most have never worn a uniform or even come close to applying the gimmicks they're trying to sell. Of the vocal public safety people who are gimmick advocates, many are moldy oldies who've been carrying a rubber gun and driving a desk for decades or so out of touch with the field that they could no longer perform their core function in their agency. And finally, there are the IT departments who are taking over radio systems thinking how primative and brutal land mobile radio is and how it can be neatened up by making it more like an IT landscape.

Like some guy I know who makes me think of Tennessee sippin' whiskey says, "I could be wrong..."

I think the most successful products come from direct stakeholder engagement. That's not running to the retired police chief who makes $2M a year consulting, or an industry pundit who self-markets his blog for advice, but to the folks who are answering calls and running jobs. Again, I'll steal someone's line, "I could be wrong..."
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Old 10-21-2011, 6:00 AM
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.. "I could be wrong..."
I could be wrong too, but nothing is for free. I bet there will be a (steep) subscribers fee. Look at what they are selling their radios for.
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Old 10-21-2011, 12:02 PM
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I'm more interested in learning the technological methods in use. How does this thing bridge between the cellular network and the agency's LMR? I'm going to have to presume there's a hardware gateway at either the telco, Harris, or the agency. All three of those are guaranteed to incur more cost than what the article implies (by omission) of just downloading the app and off-you-go.

I've heard about this kind of app before (I recall having an Internet acquaintance in a beta-test of something similar, or maybe this exact app) and undeniably it does have its usefulness, especially as the article says, for those who are out of range of the radio system. Public safety CAD developer Intergraph has an app for Blackberry that takes the functionality of their MDT software and puts it on the BB, allowing personnel to essentially have an MDT on their hip. At the conference I saw this demo'ed at, a public safety official from the UK was getting updates on an event happening in London while he was at this conference in the US.
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Old 12-30-2011, 2:54 PM
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Since P25 uses IP as a transport technoolgy the bridge between the LMR and the handheld device on 3G/LTE would be a Virtual Private Network (VPN) tunnel to the BeOn access point (gateway) which has connectivity on the same virtual local area network as the LMR. So the VPN is either run natively like the Cisco IPsec VPN on the iPhone or maybe it's incorporated into the BeOn app. I don't know.

I believe the app will be licensed per device, so including the app you'll need the gateway and (x) number of server(s).

The real question is would this type of App have to be "type accepted" in order to be used in this capacity. The PTT app would be rebroadcast? over the LMR frequencies, in order to work. Is there some work around/exclusion for voice traffic that originates on a non type accepted device, can someone chime in on this?

I believe/read/dreamed /\/\ is working on something similar but on a proprietary, hardened form-factor.

This is all just speculation derived from my limited ability to do Internet searches -and we know what they say about the Internet
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Old 12-30-2011, 3:37 PM
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Originally Posted by mrwilson706 View Post
Since P25 uses IP as a transport technoolgy the bridge between the LMR and the handheld device on 3G/LTE would be a Virtual Private Network (VPN) tunnel to the BeOn access point (gateway) which has connectivity on the same virtual local area network as the LMR. So the VPN is either run natively like the Cisco IPsec VPN on the iPhone or maybe it's incorporated into the BeOn app. I don't know.

I believe the app will be licensed per device, so including the app you'll need the gateway and (x) number of server(s).

The real question is would this type of App have to be "type accepted" in order to be used in this capacity. The PTT app would be rebroadcast? over the LMR frequencies, in order to work. Is there some work around/exclusion for voice traffic that originates on a non type accepted device, can someone chime in on this?
This is all uncharted territory as far as the FCC goes. I'm not sure why this would require type acceptance beyond whatever the device itself gets, because the argument can be made that it's effectively a portable control station of the agency's RF infrastructure. There probably should be some... amendment... in how these are accounted for, because these will increase channel loading, but I'm not sure how that should be done. It seems the economy killed CLS and ULS doesn't seem to be going anywhere soon.
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Old 12-30-2011, 3:50 PM
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Some afterthoughts -

I'm shakey with the prospective topology you laid out, mrwilson706. Not that I think you're incorrect - you're probably on the mark, but it's a central point of failure. I'm thinking about the recent Verizon nationwide failures, as well as the hstory of RIM failures for Blackberry. Not really what I'd be comfortable with. That's probably the biggest reason I'm not in like with a wholesale migration to LTE the way the talking heads envision. This is all as hard as the weakest component, and that (aside from one-to-many off-network direct mode) seems to be the transport network (cheapest way). Somewhere in the middle of nowhere, there's a critical device powered by Delco S2000 battery hanging in a NEMA box bolted to a telephone pole. When that battery goes dead, so might half the country with it. There are many cases of fiber "dig-ups," too.

My impression is that P25 is used in the device so that it won't go down to baseband audio anywhere between the device and the LMR network.

tglendye, the second you hang a "Public Safety" label on anything the selling price is AT LEAST $3,000, and some places will pay that much without ever thinking about it, too.
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Old 12-30-2011, 6:11 PM
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...Somewhere in the middle of nowhere, there's a critical device powered by Delco S2000 battery hanging in a NEMA box bolted to a telephone pole. When that battery goes dead, so might half the country with it.
So true 902, sad but true!

Seems like it could be a valuable tool if you're out of network range, sorta like DStar, Wires, etc on steriods. If anything, it's a conversation piece for command staff while traveling. At some point, I think all PS P25 systems will be interconnected and provide a tunnel back or OTAP to rekey your radio on the fly for whatever system your associated with, IMHO. Think 802.11G/N/AC/AD or whatever new flavor.

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...I'm thinking about the recent Verizon nationwide failures, as well as the hstory of RIM failures for Blackberry.
Good point about Verizon, and don't get me started on RIM. Why did we think it was a good idea to use a proxy server for email? If you buy enough handsets, they actually give you a license for the Blackberry manager thingy though, which would be the only way I'd deploy those to my folks.

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... That's probably the biggest reason I'm not in like with a wholesale migration to LTE the way the talking heads envision.
Yeah, the whole d block and spectrum auctions is a joke. Public safety can't build a national network and why would commercial providers sign on to have their spectrum taken away when PS needs it? The feds have been slick though. They'll have "beneficial use" of all these middle mile fiber projects, a.ka. the infrastructure for a national public safety LTE network. Just gotta build out those ENode B's.

once again, this is all just speculation derived from my limited ability to do Internet searches -and we know what they say about the Internet
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Old 12-30-2011, 8:54 PM
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A phone patch on a trunked radio system!

What will they think of next?

Seriously, this looks like a convenience thing. It's not going to replace radios.
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Old 12-31-2011, 7:05 PM
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You know what else can be used as a police radio? A police radio. *mind=blown*
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Old 01-01-2012, 10:25 AM
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By the way, hams have been using Echolink on Android and iOS devices for a while now, nothing new here, Harris!

Quote:
Originally Posted by mrwilson706 View Post
The real question is would this type of App have to be "type accepted" in order to be used in this capacity. The PTT app would be rebroadcast? over the LMR frequencies, in order to work. Is there some work around/exclusion for voice traffic that originates on a non type accepted device, can someone chime in on this?
Nah. The app itself isn't radiating RF. The cell phone and the gateway to the radio system are the only equipment that will be radiating. So, yes, the gateway will need to be type-accepted but not the app itself.
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Old 01-01-2012, 11:43 AM
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...undeniably it does have its usefulness, especially as the article says, for those who are out of range of the radio system.
There is a pet peeve of mine regarding all of these high-tech vaporwonders for communicating over beyond-RF distances. Why? With respect to the now-cancelled NYSWIN project, nobody ever answered the question of why anyone in Albany would need to talk directly by radio to anyone in Buffalo.

Further along that same line, why does a police officer who is out of range need to be on the radio system? Isn't he too far from the jurisdiction to be of any immediate use? It seems to me that the phone would be a good enough tool in that situation.
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Old 01-01-2012, 11:52 AM
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In my particular case, it would be to address inadequacies in the RF system. My department's area is not completely covered by our RF systems and for various reasons it's not practical to erect new towers and/or add coverage otherwise. Connecting to the system via non-standard means would allow us to deal with that shortcoming. Similar kind of thing if some of my staff live/work in a neighboring city. Upon receipt of a page/alert about an incident, they can monitor the traffic and determine if they are needed for fill-in crews, etc.

And in spring/summer last year, we had a pretty devastating wildfire that destroyed a large chunk of a northern town. Several agencies including the Canadian equivalent of a FEMA USAR team were deployed there. That team used that kind of technology to link their simplex and suitcase-repeater radios to the trunk system "back home", so updates and information could be passed to officers and leadership.
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