Updated: Feb 20
Providing seamless, uninterrupted communications capabilities
Why the Integrated Radio Network (IRN) System was Designed
Soldiers, protection and security personnel and first responders are often faced with threats or emergencies in dangerous and isolated situations. The need to communicate instantly and securely with the Operations Centre, or other teams, becomes a matter of success or failure, if not life or death. Operational Command and Control Centres find, however, that the existing range of disparate radio communication equipment in the field limits their ability to communicate simultaneously with multiple operational teams.
This is why the Integrated Radio Network system (IRN) has been designed. It specifically addresses the pertinent need for speedier and interoperable radio communication capabilities for multiple teams who still use disparate or legacy radio communication networks and equipment. It also connects various land, air, and sea radio networks, irrespective of the distance separation or geolocation.
The system’s interoperability is revolutionary for joint-operational use, boosting operational efficiency and multi-channel utilisation. It is ideal for mission-critical radio communication for presidential protection services, the military, police, first responders, border control and the private security sector.
"Specifically addressing the pertinent need for speedier and interoperable radio communication capabilities"
Future Proof Group Communications in Mission-Critical Environments
The IRN system is an innovative and advanced solution to facilitate a cost-effective and successful method of interconnecting different radio networks and radio frequency end-users, without replacing existing equipment for newer technologies.
A crucial benefit of the IRN system is that it is backward and forward compatible with older legacy and newer technologies. The uniquely developed design dynamically connects disparate radio network users seamlessly and in real-time, irrespective of radio make and model, frequency, and type of radio modulation.
This is achieved by integrating older analogue radios with newer encrypted digital radios, irrespective of their frequencies (VHF/UHF/HF), and linking the newer smart devices into one seamless, integrated push-to-talk (PTT) network. Its intelligent integration feature delivers a dependable high-speed, encrypted, and resilient radio communication capacity.
The IRN system, therefore, allows users of different radio networks to connect seamlessly while still using their existing radio communication equipment. Furthermore, there is no need to re-train users on new complex radio communication equipment, offering a cost-effective solution with enhanced capabilities.
Integrating any communication device gives the system a high degree of flexibility and future proofing.
The Scope of the Solution
The integration possibilities are endless. The Integrated Radio Networks (IRN) system seamlessly connects radio frequencies (RF) and audio from other communication networks into a joint infrastructure. This allows the interconnection of multiple input audio streams into a dynamically balanced stream. VHF radio users can now communicate in real time with UHF users over one network. Taken a step further, smart device and mobile phone users can now communicate seamlessly with VHF and UHF users in a traditional radio push-to-talk fashion.
The Operational Control and Command Centre can use computers and laptops to listen and talk securely, in real-time, with any or all of the radio users or networks in a push-to-talk manner. The encrypted IRN system relies on any underlying internet protocol (IP) that allows disparate radio communication streams to interconnect worldwide without solely relying on or being limited by repeater or microwave infrastructure.
Radio Frequency and Type Independent
Two unique features of the IRN system includes radio frequency and type independency, allowing the use of existing equipment without compromising group communications. The system uses specific hardware that easily translates the radio frequencies (RF) from any older radio and newer digital radio equipment into internet protocol (IP), which allows integration on a single standard platform.
By allowing IP integration, the IRN system can also integrate any of the newer digital radio and smart device technologies, such as Android or iOS smartphones, tablets, laptops, and computers. All these IP-integrated radio network links run 256-bit AES encryption that provides end-users with secure mission-critical tactical communication.
There is no range or geographic limitations to join two or more radio users or networks. Once the RF signal of any radio type is converted into IP, the IP traffic can then be sent via any available terrestrial network such as fibre, with automatic failover to L-Band satellite, providing on-the-move, always-on communication. This can be achieved irrespective of geographic location of assets, or distance between assets anywhere on land, air and sea.
The result is the dynamic integration of existing radio-type and IP-based communication networks and equipment into a joint infrastructure for fast interconnection between disparate audio frequency networks, irrespective of large distances or remote geographical locations. As a basic example, the Operational Command Centre would have always-on, live communication with a patrol boat hundreds of kilometres out at sea, with moving convoys hundreds of kilometres out in the desert, and with a team deployed on another continent.
Least Cost Routing System
The IRN system utilises standard building blocks suitable for robust external conditions, whether the radio users are static or on the move on land, sea, or air. They include the Radio IP gateway and the Least Cost Router (LCR), which can easily fit into the limited space inside vehicles, patrol boats and small aircraft.The radio IP gateway converts and balances all radio frequencies (VHF/UHF/HF) to IP before conveying it to other radio users or networks. On the receiving end, a different radio IP gateway again translates the IP signal back to the receiving users’ radio frequency, be it VHF, UHF or HF.
The Least Cost Router (LCR) is programmed to set up the least-cost routing across available IP infrastructures. For static users, such as the Operational Command Centre or a Forward Operational Base, the IP connection is set up on available terrestrial carriers, such as fibre or microwave, with a fail-over to a satellite. For on-the-move users on vehicles or patrol boats, the IP connection is set up over available GSM, with fail-over to L-Band satellite.
Using Existing Infrastructure for New Radio Capabilities
The Integrated Radio Network (IRN) system provides a more advanced and automated solution to facilitate a cost-effective and reliable method of interconnecting disparate radio networks and radio frequency end-users in a controlled and managed way. There is no need to replace existing equipment with newer technologies. Any two or more disparate geographically separated radio networks can easily be integrated using the IRN hardware and the IP or internet connection. Newer technologies and solutions to radio–type communication challenges are expensive to roll out, and they are also time-consuming solutions - it could take months to even years.
The flexibility of the IRN system, in contrast, enables the completion of the roll-out in a considerably shorter timeframe and at far lower costs. The value of a faster, seamless, and secure radio communication capability to interlink multiple operational teams of security forces with command centres should be non-negotiable.The tactical and strategic advantages of the Integrated Radio Network system prove crucial for effective and successful joint operations.