LMR Protocol Stacks

Accelerating Time to Market for Wireless Communications Solutions

With over 20 years experience in supplying industry-leading manufacturers, Etherstack is the recognized technology leader in complex, standards-compliant APCO P25, dPMR, DMR, MPT1327 and TETRA wireless communications protocol stacks.

We help manufacturers from around the world build public safety, LMR and defense radio communications solutions in a fraction of the time it would take them to do so alone. Today, over 70% of LMR radio manufacturers use Etherstack technologies in their solutions.

Fast to Market

Etherstack offers a considerable suite of field-proven technology off-the-shelf. We also understand PMR standards and have the tools, core architectures and specialist engineering skills required to develop new protocols or features quickly and efficiently – keeping your time to market to a minimum. Our test tools also streamline your system and field testing effort.

Straightforward to Integrate

Etherstack protocols stacks are written in portable code and isolated from hardware by a well-defined abstraction layer. Integrating a protocol stack onto your platform is a simple process of implementing hardware drivers to support the well-documented interfaces. Candidate areas for DSP optimization are self-contained, making performance tuning simple.

Low Risk

A protocol stack is a complex embedded system that must co-ordinate intricate logic, simultaneous interacting events and advanced mathematical computation. It also needs full test support. A wireless standard – thousands of pages of documentation – defines the air interface; not how to implement the stack. Consequently, building robust protocol stacks is notoriously risky. Overrun is costly, difficult to fund, and cuts into a product’s market lifespan and return on investment. Large, specialist development teams can also be difficult to resource.

Etherstack has an unmatched track record of delivering stable, efficient implementations of complex standards such as TETRA, APCO 25 and DMR at fixed price, on time and with warranty included.

High Quality

Etherstack protocol stacks are consistent, robust, modular and testable. They are built from a common set of Etherstack Core Services (ECS) design pattern primitives that support an asynchronous event-driven, state-machine based architecture. Interfaces between all design entities are defined, so the stack is easy to understand, maintain and integrate.

Our mathematicians (including internationally recognized FEC experts) go all-out to extract that extra dB of link budget and ensure our implementations are computationally efficient – reducing component costs and freeing processor resources for other radio functions.

Automated Test Support

Given the complex interplay of events in a radio, and the thousands of lines of source code in a stack, verification of functional correctness at all levels is critical. Etherstack’s Lightweight Integrated Test Environment (ELITE) provides a common test framework for automated stack testing in simulation and on the target hardware. Full test script libraries are provided, along with a useful debug display tool, Etherstack TraceViewer, which allows intuitive at-a-glance analysis of signal transactions and state transitions.

Responsive to Changing Markets

An Etherstack protocol stack is a one-off investment. It is highly portable and supplied with all the tools and documentation needed to maintain it, so that it can be used across multiple products. Our customers start off small and then roll out trunking, encryption or networking in reaction to customer demand, by tapping our expertise and substantial catalogue of existing field-proven technology.

Reference Solutions

We also offer a series of baseband and transceiver reference designs for even faster entry to market.

For information about non-PMR Etherstack protocol stacks and running multiple protocols on the same radio hardware, refer to our Waveforms product page.

APCO P25 Protocol Stacks

This key North American digital radio standard is enjoying a large and growing market demand. Designed for public safety but adapted by industry to suit the needs of critical infrastructure, P25 is a highly flexible two-way radio technology suitable for a wide range of applications and geographies. P25 is the standard to see you from analog to LTE.

Implementing robust, secure, P25 equipment is straightforward with Etherstack’s complete suite of proven, off-the-shelf P25 technology. Our P25 Mobile and Base Station protocol stacks implement all functionality in the P25 standards to date, including Phase 2, and we are active in TIA standardization.

We also offer a range of supplementary technology including P25 AES/DES cryptographic modules, reference hardware platforms and our all-IP core network suite to help you differentiate your product, keep up with government mandates and exploit the opportunities of narrowbanding, advanced security and LTE.

The P25 Standards

P25 is a narrowband trunking and conventional voice standard that achieves one C4FM voice or control channel within a 12.5kHz bandwidth (Phase 1) or two 6.25kHz equivalent voice channels using two-slot TDMA (Phase 2). Standardization activities are coordinated by the Association of Public Safety Communications Officers (APCO) and the standards themselves published by the Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA).

A formal Compliance Assessment Program (CAP) was inaugurated in 2009 by NIST and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). Manufacturers currently self-declare conformity in Compliance Assessment Bulletin (CABs) following interoperability testing at an authorized laboratory. CABs are published by DHS/OIC (the Office for Interoperability and Compatibility) and can be found on the Homeland Security Digital Library. Supplier’s Declarations of Compliance (SDOC) and Summary Test Reports (STR) are posted to the FEMA Responder Knowledge Base website.

DMR Protocol Stacks

DMR is positioned as the ideal digital upgrade technology for analogue and MPT1327 radio. It offers increased capacity and advanced digital features within existing channel plans and network footprints.

Etherstack is pleased to offer DMR alongside our field-proven range of APCO 25, TETRA and MPT1327 protocol stacks. We know the ETSI DMR standards inside-out and offer compatible Mobile Station and Base Station protocol stacks as well as an all-IP network solution – allowing you to grow a single product into a family of products or complete network solution.

The DMR Standards

DMR is defined in ETSI standard TS 102 361 parts 1-4 and in the ETSI emissions compliance standards EN 300 113 and EN 300 390. DMR compliant products are suitable for use in most regulatory jurisdictions around the world, and meet Federal Communications Commission (FCC) mandates in the United States for the certification of 12.5 kHz and 6.25 kHz narrowband technology for systems covered by Part 90 regulation.

DMR uses 4FSK modulated two-slot TDMA radio access, allowing 6.25kHz efficiency within a 12.5kHz channel spacing. It is categorized into three “tiers”: Tier 1 (European License Free), Tier 2 (Licensed Conventional (Repeater) systems) and Tier 3 (Licensed Trunking). Etherstack offers Tiers 2 and 3. As with all LMR standards, a range of supplementary services and data formats are also specified.

Interoperability is a priority; interoperability testing is coordinated and executed by the DMR Association.

TETRA / TEDS Protocol Stacks

TETRA is a mature, feature-rich ETSI voice and data standard for secure public safety and enterprise communications. It is used around the world and is particularly popular in dense urban environments.

The TETRA & Critical Communications Association oversees a rigorous Interoperability, Test and Certification (IOP) process that ensures new radios will interoperate with installed networks and other manufacturer’s equipment.

With capability comes complexity. TETRA is a TDMA digital technology similar to GSM. The content of the standards is large and growing, covering functionality from simple direct mode operation (DMO), to nationwide trunked networks with advanced roaming, a range of encryption and security levels and TEDS high-speed data. With mature TETRA technology and a team of TETRA engineers, Etherstack understands these with precision. We manage this complexity so our customers can focus on their customer, market and overall radio product.

Etherstack’s ANSI C Mobile Station and Base Station TETRA protocol stacks are constructed as a set of layered components (Layers 1, 2, 3) for an adaptable architecture that is independent from the underlying operating system and is able to support radio architectures with different E2EE, AIE and security requirements.

Clean interfaces, thorough documentation and complete test support make interpreting the software function and mapping it to the standards straightforward.