Cisco announces system for safety agencies' radios

Data network company Cisco Systems Inc. on Monday announced a system that links police, fire and rescue departments' radio networks that now cannot communicate with one another.

Hospitals, transportation companies and other businesses that use different communications systems would also be able to speak directly to each other without having to upgrade or buy new networks and handsets, the company said.

The system is a combination of hardware and software that hooks into the organization's radio communications system and then converts the two-way radio signals into digital packets that are sent across networks, Cisco said.

Many systems in use today cannot talk to each other because they use different radio frequencies, Cisco said, which calls its new system the Internet Protocol Interoperability and Collaboration Systems, or "IPICS."

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