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August 16, 2009

Verizon Wireless integrates Push to Talk into the radio system

Partners with Catalyst Communications and Link Communications to address the critical need for interoperability across the nation

By CBR Staff Writer

Verizon Wireless has revealed that customers will soon have the ability to expand the reach of traditional Land Mobile Radio (LMR) systems by connecting to Push to Talk users on the Verizon Wireless network.

In September, Verizon Wireless’ Push to Talk LMR Interoperability Solution will allow organisations to integrate the company’s Push to Talk service with existing radio systems to create an LMR footprint that includes the company’s nationwide network, Verizon Wireless claimed.

The company will partner with Catalyst Communications Technologies and Link Communications to implement the product. The service is expected to be suitable for any agency that communicates with large groups of mobile workers, including those in public safety, transportation and utilities.

In addition, the new offering is said to allow customers: reduce the costs associated with expanding LMR systems; free up capacity on the radio network by moving certain user groups to the Push to Talk service; implement a back-up product in case of an LMR system outage; and introduces additional productivity tools such as Field Force Manager for mobile resource management, VZ Navigator for turn-by-turn navigation, and Mobile Email.

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Mark Bartolomeo, vice president of enterprise data marketing at Verizon Wireless, said: “By adding Verizon Wireless’ Push to Talk service to the traditional Land Mobile Radio systems, agencies can effectively double the impact and effectiveness of the service. These customers get the reliability of the Verizon Wireless network along with a secure and efficient means of communicating with customers far beyond the normal reach of an LMR system.”

The product reportedly requires the deployment of an LMR Gateway and software, provided by Catalyst or Link Communications, which serve as an interface between LMR handsets, two-way radios, and mobile or base stations to the Push to Talk handsets on the Verizon network. The system allows customers to expand their LMR system to reach to the entire Verizon nationwide network.

Allan Overcast, president and chief executive officer of Link Communications, said: “By integrating Push to Talk into the radio system, organisations virtually eliminate a common complaint of first responders – missing a dispatch.

“The additional coverage provided by the Verizon Wireless nationwide network provides another layer of reliability to the LMR system. First responders also benefit with this solution because multiple agencies with different technologies can now communicate by using the Verizon Wireless Push to Talk module. This solution resolves the issues associated with interoperability.”

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