How Unified Critical Communications Work: Tait Radio Academy

You’ve heard about the benefits that Unified Critical Communications can offer you and your organization, but how exactly does this work? Continuing on with Lesson Four of the Introduction to Unified Critical Communications course, we delve into what features make up a platform of Unified Critical Communications.

How Unified Critical Communications Work

Unified Critical Communications (UCC) is both radical, and deceptively simple. UCC platforms can, through a mixture of hardware and software, be implemented in various ways:

  • as a centralized system hosted on customer premises or in the cloud
  • as a de-centralized mobile platform connecting voice and data networks, with access to an organization’s home network via LTE broadband.

Without getting into the design details of specific products, we can identify some common features of current UCC platforms.

The basic idea is to create a network of networks through LMR, LTE broadband, WiFi and Bluetooth and any other supported technology (e.g. satellite). Open standard IP protocols provide much of the essential glue. UCC platforms interconnect all these different bearers, allowing any device to interoperate with any other device in the system. This enables services and applications available on each technology to become available to everybody.

Common Features of UCC Platforms

A perfect example is Push-to-Talk over cellular, which allows users of smart devices (whether Android or Apple, smartphone, tablet or laptop) access to LMR services such as individual and group calls. And it works the other way, too: LMR users can make calls to these cellular devices. One consequence is that a group call can span multiple technologies and multiple devices. The talkgroup is defined to include users of different devices.

To manage all the users and devices on this network of networks, the UCC platform provides a means of adding, storing, and removing device-independent user IDs. Each user ID will have associated information about groups they belong to, group affiliations, access rights etc. Since groups may need to be created or changed on the fly, there will also be a database for managing groups.

For critical communications to operate without a hitch, the administration of user data and group membership needs to be kept up to date, with any changes made instantly, such as through Over-the-Air Programming (OTAP) which can re-program a fleet of devices remotely over the air.

Learn More About UCC on Tait Radio Academy

So what happens when you log on to a UCC network with your user ID? To find out, head to the How Unified Critical Communication Works course on the Tait Radio Academy, where you’ll also learn about how UCC can specifically help a range of industries.

The Tait Radio Academy is a free training resource, providing foundational education on a wide range of critical communications topics.  From basic radio awareness to Industrial Control Systems, there is a range of material for people in both technical and non-technical roles.

Register now to to unlock several benefits such as access to quizzes, downloadable study guides, the ability to join our Discussion Group on LinkedIn, and more.

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