Radio Over IP Provides Reliable Communication for Bus Fleets

Reliable communication is vitally important for a bus fleet for reasons of safety as well as logistics. However, the analog communication systems used in the past to connect fleet drivers and dispatchers have distinct disadvantages when it comes to reliability. Drivers that have to drive long distances on their routes may travel out of range of the traditional land mobile radio system. Additionally, geographic features and topographic variations can interfere with the operation of an analog LMRS system. Transportation companies are increasingly turning to radio over IP systems to increase both the range and reliability of communications, as well as reaping additional benefits.

What Exactly Is RoIP?

To understand what radio over internet protocol means, it is first necessary to understand its predecessor: voice over IP. VoIP involves voice and data communication over the internet as opposed to the analog system which delivered voice communications over a system of traditional telephone networks, T1 lines and copper wires. VoIP involves converting the sound waves into digital signals for transmission via broadband and then translating them back into audio signals once they have reached their destination.

Radio over IP functions according to the same principle as VoIP and utilizes the same type of technology. The main difference is that RoIP converts two way radio signals between two points. Analog radio communications uses VHP and UHF frequencies, In the digital space, the voice data is converted into digital voice packet and now piggyback existing IP networks.

Why is RoIP More Reliable?

With an analog radio system, communication can be disrupted by geographic features that can interfere with the transmission of radio waves. These include hills, mountains, buildings with thick walls, tall or dense trees, etc. Since RoIP communication takes place over existing LAN and wide area networks, the digital voice packets and not impacted by physical features and are uninterrupted data packets. The lack of interference makes it more reliable.

Even the most sophisticated LMRS has limitations to its range of functionality. If a fleet driver travels beyond that area from necessity, communication can no longer take place between the driver and dispatch and/or other members of the fleet. Gateways for RoIP systems are the tools that convert the voice signals to digital packets and therefore are very important to the entrance into the IP networks they will travel. IP networks are as ubiquitous today as cell phones. Evan an eskimo in a remote region of Alaska can access the internet today.

Outages are a concern for anyone who uses the public internet but in most cases, RoIP communications tap into private networks for travel. Providers understand the need for consistent services when providing RoIP for transportation and therefore the routing configurations are a key ingredient when programing the gateway for RoIP systems. Therefore, the networks they are programed for are set up to continue to function fully even during a partial failure. The rare outages that do occur are usually resolved quickly.

What Are Additional Benefits of RoIP for a Fleet?

In addition to increased reliability, radio over IP offers additional benefits to a transportation company:

  • Interoperability
  • Speed
  • Affordability

From the point of view of the end-user, there may be little discernible difference between RoIP and traditional LMRS. The former’s interoperability allows drivers and dispatchers to use the same legacy devices to which they are already accustomed, while at the same time enjoying the additional benefits of clarity and reliability. Because the investment into hardware is minimal, RoIP for a fleet of buses, service vehicles or event a network metropolitan trains is a less expensive way for a fleet to upgrade their communications. RoIP for transportation networks is more common in 2019 than ever before. The technology is sound and chances are your communications system provider can point you in the right direction.

Tags: , ,

No comments yet.

Add your response