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5 Factors to Consider in Switching to IP

Considering a migration from TDM to IP consoles? Ask these 5 questions to when assessing your readiness.

In the technology world, bigger is far from better. If given the chance to carry a cellular telephone developed in the early 1980s or one available today, the choice would be easy.

If your company or agency is using a Time Division Multiplexing (TDM) communications console, or any proprietary central processing components, you can probably appreciate this example. While many of your peers have already migrated to an Internet Protocol (IP) solution and are reaping the benefits, you may be trying to determine how to physically accommodate the next system hardware expansion.

TDM technology was conceived as a first-generation replacement for the point-to-point telegraph standards of the late 1800s. During the next 140 years, the explosive growth of communications technologies necessitated a new, more open-standards approach.

Today, IP-based consoles allow dispatch centers to use commercial, off-the-shelf hardware; facilitate the use of a wide variety of radios, broadband Push to Talk services, IP cameras and shared video; and leverage the benefits of the newest communications tools in a cost-effective and future-proof manner.


To focus your internal discussions surrounding a TDM to IP upgrade, here are five factors you might consider while making your decision:

Icon Cost Effective

Is our system as cost-effective as it can be?

Migrating to an IP system makes it simpler to install, configure and manage your radio and telephony communications. Pure IP systems can generate significant monthly cost savings by eliminating costly leased lines and other centralized infrastructure. Additionally, assimilation into your IT function or department is another key element in supporting cost-effectiveness.

Icon Connectivity

Are we maximizing interoperability and compatibility between communications technologies?

Dispatch communications systems that run on IP networks can connect simultaneously to many existing conventional and trunked radio systems; the latest P25, DMR, and telephony technologies; and broadband PTT applications. And standards-based IP dispatch systems offer flexibility to select the hardware and components that are best for your unique communications environment, allowing for analog and digital technologies to compatibly coexist.

Icon Growth

Are we prepared for growth and consolidation?

The flexibility of IP systems allows for simpler system expansion based on population trends or corporate growth, helping to “future-proof” your system against hitting an upper limit of scalability. IP systems also are well suited for the trend toward virtualization, where a physical communications center is replaced by a series of consoles unified through cloud networking connectivity.

Icon Lightning

Are we prepared for the next disaster that would require coordinated communications between agencies?

An IP console system provides increased operational flexibility in the event of a natural or man-made disaster. Leveraging a web-based system allows for consoles to be deployed on a tablet or laptop from any location where Ethernet, LTE, or WiFi connectivity is present. IP also allows you to quickly activate a back-up control center, in the event a white powder or black hole incident incapacitates, or limits access to, your primary center.

Icon Reliability

Will our current system go down at the wrong time?

Reliability is a hallmark of modern IP systems operating in mission-critical environments due to the integration of a protocol called Simple Network Management Protocols (SNMP). SNMP is used to notify system managers and operators that a failover occurs. When deployed in a redundant configuration, IP dispatch systems can automatically failover to a backup should any aspect of a voice communications system experience trouble. By eliminating outages and downtime, you can ensure the safety of those who rely upon your dispatchers to manage a critical situation.

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