One of the more unique plans for upgrading to digital involves the use of a centrally located "control" repeater used for redirecting signals to localized or "pocket" repeaters designed to provide coverage in multiple operating areas. Dual redundant control repeaters with automatic switchover and the ability to handle both analog and digital communications are now available at reasonable cost using the IDAS system by ICOM.
The pocket repeater system provides the ability to control a network of local area repeaters or to communicate directly with these repeaters by radio, via fiber network, or the Internet. FCC licensing is greatly simplified and there is no disruption to analog system operation (i.e. paging operations can continue in the analog mode while system operations can be analog, digital, or both without the need to maintain two separate system).
The pocket repeater system is a lesser cost alternative to P25 migration, yet both systems provide essentially the same functionality. If you are thinking about migrating a county wide or multiple station repeater system, the IDAS pocket repeater system may be just right for you. Additional information is available by calling us at 800.489.2611.