All posts tagged communications

Intracom teams with Inmarsat to offer Cloud Based PTT Services and Matrix Intercom over Satellite

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Intracom teams with Inmarsat

VCOM Cloud, from Intracom Systems, LLC, turns any PC, laptop or smartphone into a secure, multi-channel push-to-talk device. The solution extends land radio or satcom communications to any compatible laptop or smartphone as an easy-to-use cloud-based solution. Moreover, phones lines can be brought into VCOM via SIP enabling dial-in / dial-out capabilities to private and public phone networks.    Intracom immarsat

As workforces become more complex, so too do their communication needs. The ability to instantly speak to one or several of your personnel at the touch of a button can streamline decision-making, increase operational efficiency, and improve safety. VCOM Cloud is a software IP-based multichannel solution that can transform any Mac, PC, tablet or smartphone into a pushto- talk (PTT) device. Extremely scalable, VCOM Cloud can support a virtually infinite number of securely encrypted channels and conferences, so your entire workforce can communicate. It is highly interoperable, so your existing PTT solutions can be integrated into VCOM Cloud quickly and easily, even if you have multiple different PTT networks. The software allows rapid reconfiguration of your network, setting up communications groups and individual conferences at the touch of a button through its intuitive and easy-to-use administration interface. Designed for mission-critical communications, VCOM Cloud’s resilient network setup means that should the master server fail, a backup can immediately be initiated, and communications re-established in seconds.

Using VCOM Cloud together with Inmarsat’s global 3G IP network means that you can implement reliable, secure push-to-talk connectivity no matter where your business operates, even in areas where cellular and radio connectivity can’t reach, thanks to Inmarsat’s 99.9% network availability over its satellite and ground network. Through its Certified Application Partner programme, Inmarsat has certified VCOM Cloud as Inmarsat-ready. If you’re looking

to leverage the reliable global reach of Inmarsat’s award-winning satellite network to provide instant communications for your workforce, VCOM Cloud is ideal. VCOM Cloud has been certified for use over the following Inmarsat services:    BGAN  and  FleetBroadband

Usage scenarios

  • Oil & Gas’ – HQ can easily communicate between offshore rigs and onshore field teams
  • Mining – communicate between camps and with personnel in the same camp
  • Aid – first responders use PTT to coordinate between ground teams and HQ
  • Utilities – provide field engineering and maintenance teams with reliable communications
  • Media – use PTT to coordinate with technicians for on-the-ground broadcasting

Inmarsat coverage

VCOM Cloud is supported by Inmarsat’s global L-Band network coverage, ensuring reliable access to critical data from remote sites anywhere in the world.

vcom immersat coverage



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Intracom teams with Inmarsat to offer Cloud Based PTT Services and Matrix Intercom over Satellite


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Communications Systems or “Matrix Intercoms” used in the Broadcast Television industry have traditionally been hardware-centric. These systems rely on signal specific circuit cards, circuit card frames and frame interconnection methods.

Now broadcasters are able to bring their communication and intercom systems into the future with the VCOM Virtual Communications platform. VCOM eliminates the need for frames, circuit cards and scales to thousands of users while supporting virtually an unlimited number of point-to-points, group calls, and Party Lines (“PLs” for conference channels).

VCOM is software based, completely virtual, fully configurable and redundant capable. The System can run on anything from the smallest notebook PC to the largest of professional business class servers. Moreover, IntraCom’s own selection of hardware Touchpanels is complemented by the largest selection of compatible user interfaces of any communications system on the market.

With VCOM Cloud Services, for the first time ever, traditional communications systems can be replaced or augmented with cloud based communication infrastructure. Use the VCOM Cloud as a stand-alone system without having to provide your own communication systems infrastructure, or interface communications from disparate locations thru the VCOM Cloud to a local VCOM or traditional communication systems.

The VCOM Software GUI runs on any Windows, Mac, iOS or Android device, breaking wide open the possibilities of providing user interfaces catered to any broadcast client.

VCOM’s compact matrix profile and user interface possibilities just begin to describe the striking differences between VCOM and traditional broadcast communications systems. VCOM is also compatible, and in some cases intelligently interoperable, with existing hardware based systems. This allows Broadcasters to install both new, stand-alone VCOM Systems, or add VCOM to their existing intercom systems to “bridge” current and future user interfaces and signal transports. Using VCOM’s integrated SIP server and / or device interface software, customers can readily connect SIP, MADI, DANTE, VOIP, ROIP, analog, two-wire, four-wire, and traditional wireless systems.

VCOM can also bring access to two-way radio systems to VCOM platform users, saving cost for radios, maintenance and repeaters and can also patch radios together into talk groups.

The advent of the VCOM Virtual Communications and intercom platform has already opened the eyes and minds of many major broadcasters, and the applicability of this unique system to any new or existing communications environment literally creates new ways of doing business every day.

VCOM has been used by major broadcasters for communications in News, Sports, and Entertainment programming. Some of the ways Broadcasters can use VCOM include:

  • Coordinating the logistics and technical quality for distribution of broadcast content;
  • Providing control room to remote studio communications;
  • Enabling remote producer communications to home base;
  • Local edit room communications;
  • Replacement of analog intercom telephone interfaces with VCOM acting as a SIP interface server;
  • VCOM on Handhelds and iPak for studio wireless communications and belt-pack applications;
  • SmartMic conference talk-back systems for use in studio audience talk shows.



Mini Case Study: EBU Eurovision (Geneva, Switzerland) 

The broadcasting operational world is mostly based on communicating. For that reason, EBU has always distinguished itself from the competition by choosing a system of communication dedicated solely for their member stations; namely an EMEA consortium of 175 broadcasters coordinating all satellite newsfeed uploads (and DSNG feeds) from every world capital city and any remote news, sports and entertainment events to their Geneva NOC/MCR operations.

Two 20 year old Drake systems used for NCC (News Coordination Circuit) and TCC (Technical Coordination Circuit) required a renewal. The Drake conference system was installed to allow Engineers at NOC to communicate with the EBU members and people located at remote special events. Conferences were over an analog system interconnecting bidirectional analog lines between EBU NOC/MCR and each member using a Private network connection. That analog system was no longer supported by the service provider and apt to fail at any time, so EBU was seeking an alternative solution. They engaged Sofnisys, an Intracom-certified VCOM system design and integration partner located in Geneva, Switzerland


  • Replace existing Drake hardware-based intercom/conference gear and Motorola gateway that was no longer supported
  • Migrate the entire system without changing the member’s hardware
  • Implement new intercom without system interruption
  • Offer NOC engineers a new way to communicate
  • Augment prior communications by adding new mobile technologies
  • Connect more customers to/from and between private and public Internet
  • Increase overall system reliability for more secure 24/7/365 operations
  • Fully integrate new solution with Cisco Unified Communications Manager (Call Manager & PBX)
  • Integrate IFB capabilities into the new system solution
  • Provide ad hoc, multi-user conferencing connections via “2 clicks”


  • Replaced prior system with VCOM Virtual Matrix Server (mixing/summing engine) connecting users into a virtual matrix via
    • VCOM Control Panels (PCs, Macs, smart phones, tablets, etc.)
    • External audio connections via VCOM Device Interface to legacy intercoms, two-way radios, etc.).
    • SIP connectivity for direct access to VoIP & PSTN telephony from their control panel via Cisco CUCM
    • Mapped two-way radios into VCOM system to be accessible from any user
    • Connect IFB into VCOM system
    • Provide instant patching of telephones and radios to each other and user groups
  • Shifted from analog, private circuits connecting fixed HW devices to both private and public IP connections
    • Reduced cost (no more leased lines)
    • Higher quality audio
    • Greater reliability and security
    • New flexibility (can connect to anyone to anyone with any IP connection, including mobile devices)

Member stations can instantly open talk paths to NOC/MCR via party lines and/or point-to-point connections and also have 10 private conference lines for discussions that do not require NCO/MCR participation. The number of individual users and party lines is virtually unlimited.

For satellite uplink control and coordination, they use VCOM “PL Assignment Mode” to dynamically assign remote SIP-based terminal devices to a bank of 8 human coordinators to balance their respective workload on the fly.

PL Assignment function is also used for very rapid, two-way radio interconnect (“patching”) between any radio users anywhere in the world to other radios and all can be made accessible to any users, groups, smart devices, computers and external systems (VoIP, PSTN, etc.).

Today VCOM is used in all majors EBU events coverage (Champions League, Europa League, NBA, elections, World Cup, Olympic Events, Formula 1, GP Moto, Cycling) and news gathering.  They recently used VCOM at the Davos World Economic Forum to connect two-way radios, mobile smart phones/tablets and PSTN lines together, including some Skype users, and also connected local IFB into one cohesive matrix intercom with full control of interoperability.

For remote coverage, personnel can hand-carry portable SIP devices to a job site, connect to any available Ethernet to automatically log in to NOC/MCR for a true plug-and-play deployment.

intercom vcom


intercom vcom

Eurovision use of VCOM:





  • Turner Broadcasting & Turner Studios: Using VCOM for connecting Telex matrix intercom frames between New York City, Atlanta and other sites with added IP access and for remote operations at sporting events, such as between NBA-TV, Turner, and CBS Sports; using VLINK (RTS Telex version of VCOM with RTS proprietary, intelligent-trunked connections) and expanding their existing VCOM systems to include remote broadcast trucks and adding SIP telephone connections.
  • NBC Universal: Use VCOM for live productions comms within NYC studios; created iOS-based belt-packs for wireless coverage via Wi-Fi including elections coverage analysis desk and other applications. Expanding their use of VCOM by building it into the basic comms architecture of many new production studios and replacing legacy telephone hybrid interfaces with SIP connectivity to VCOM server

NBC Universal Studio Wireless Intercom App Using Intracom iPakTM

intercom vcom


intercom vcom



Click here to see Pacific Interactive TIF/SIP Tally Studio Control System

  • BBC News: World Cup coverage, National Elections, etc., via own server and VCOM cloud services. This news facility has a permanent VCOM installation and also periodically rents cloud hosted ports for events coverage needing additional users. In November 2014 they reported “ …using system in US for Mid-terms [elections] mainly as comms to people out and about but also to deliver clean feed to those teams from London.” In April and May 2015 they used VCOM similarly for covering the UK elections. Following the 2014 World Cup events in Brazil, where BBC News used VCOM for roaming coverage at Copacabana Beach, they reported, “VCOM has been doing sterling work here for us.  Working really well with our wireless IP Camera backs. It’s being doing such good work we are trying to integrate it further with our existing old school [name redacted] boxes.”
  • iTV Sport (London): used VCOM for 2014 World Cup coverage, similar BBC News and CNNI.
  • CNN International: VCOM used for remote events coverage, example below is from 2012:

intercom vcom

  • ESPN: Multiple World Cup games coverage; also used for X Games (extreme sports), and other sports events, transmission communications and broadcast coordination, depicted below.


South Africa Broadcasting Corp:
SABC used VCOM for interconnecting intercom systems for 2010 World Cup from several different manufacturers (Prospect Electronics, Bosch/RTS/Telex, ClearCom, and Riedel) at seven different sites in-country, including IBC, SCC, MCR, and four remote venues, while adding additional remote connectivity to those existing systems. They have since increased their VCOM system size for remote coverage of extraordinary events, such as municipal and national elections, overseas news coverage, etc., and also in remote broadcast trucks.

SABC Use of VCOM Intercom:
On the next page is a drawing of how SABC interconnected the respective matrices into a cohesive system. SCC was at Convention Center running Riedel matrix frame; MCR used ClearCom & Drake; IBC was Host Broadcaster build out that used ClearCom and/or Prospect; DSNG1 and DSNG2 used 3G/cellular for fixed mobile operation; PVE1 and PVE2 used ClearCom Eclipse matrix.

intercom vcom

  • Aquavision / National Geographic WILD: Live broadcast at night to observe if Great White Sharks would attack humans swimming. Produced from diving boat platform located at reef 6 km offshore (Aliwal Shoal, South Africa), underwater IFB, on-boat coord, on-shore (local MCR) and US MCR using Wi-Fi/wired/satellite links.
  • TV2 (Denmark): 50 remote journalists worldwide connect to ClearCom frames at MCR in Copenhagen via VCOM using laptops, iOS and Android devices from live events anywhere in the world.
  • CBS Sports: private VPN to Broadcast Center for coord and remote access from broadcast trucks at events, also for auxiliary cameras comms for major events, i.e., NCAA March Madness coverage.
  • Microsoft: Production, edit suites, remote operations and global event coordination using VLINK (Bosch RTS Telex version of VCOM):

intercom vcom

For more information about these applications or to explore VCOM for your own matrix intercom application needs, please contact Intracom Systems, LLC

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Using VCOM in Aerospace Applications Today with SIP (part2)

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Several NASA locations have been using VCOM for several years in communications applications. I will describe some of them and also mention some other VCOM users in this market.

NASA Ames Intelligent Robotics Group

NASA Ames Intelligent Robotics Group (“IRG”), located at AMES / Moffett Field, CA, uses VCOM locally and to interconnect projects and operations in conjunction with KSC, JSC and other NASA sites.

From the IRG website:   “Intelligent Robotics Group (IRG) explores extreme environments, remote locations, and uncharted worlds. We conduct applied research in computer vision, geospatial data systems, human-robot interaction, planetary mapping and robot software.”  “IRG operates the “K10” series of planetary rovers…” […] “We conduct robotic field tests each year in planetary analog sites, such as Black Point Lava Flow and Haughton Crater.”

The Intelligent Robotics Group (IRG) conducted an engineering field test with the K-Rex rover during the first week of October 2012. The field test took place at the Basalt Hills quarry, California. Image credit: NASA; Source:

The Intelligent Robotics Group (IRG) conducted an engineering field test with the K-Rex rover during the first week of October 2012. The field test took place at the Basalt Hills quarry, California. Image credit: NASA; Source:

During 2015, IRG is supporting ongoing field testing of the Resource Prospector Mission (RPM) for NASA’s Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate’s Advanced Exploration Systems Division. Expected to be launched in 2018, RPM will be NASA’s first attempt to demonstrate in-situ resource utilization (ISRU) beyond Earth. The Moon happens to be an excellent location to use such technology to locate and determine viability of extracting hydrogen, oxygen (or even water) as a precursor to later missions to Mars and elsewhere that will depend on utilizing in-situ resources

Following the Summer 2015 Resource Prospector field mission, a Lead Engineer at Resource Prospector Ground Data Systems within the NASA Intelligent Systems Division related “…the Resource Prospector demo was a great success here. We remotely commanded the rover at JSC from Ames, with KSC commanding the payload.   All three centers plus the folks in the “rock yard” at JSC used VCOM for all of our voice com, so you all were a big part of our success.”

Here is a link to an article about the Summer 2015 mission

Photo of the Regolith and Environment Science and Oxygen and Lunar Volatile Extraction (RESOLVE) platform. Image credit: NASA, Source:

Photo of the Regolith and Environment Science and Oxygen and Lunar Volatile Extraction (RESOLVE) platform. Image credit: NASA, Source:

Other NASA Groups Using VCOM

Another group at NASA Ames also used VCOM for simulated communications during a study analyzing “behavior of humans in the loop” for a Next Generation ATC (highly computerized Air Traffic Control system) for an FAA evaluation study. They selected VCOM for its flexibility and ease of rapid re-configuration during testing loops.

Other NASA groups using VCOM include Kennedy Space Center, Marshall Space Flight Center and also NASA Mission Operations Directorate.

Contact Intracom Systems to learn more about how VCOM can be used in your own aerospace applications.

Fred Urrutia +1 518-391-9023


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Using VCOM in Aerospace Applications Today with SIP (part2)

Using VCOM Matrix Intercom in Aerospace / NASA Applications Today with SIP

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Using VCOM in Aerospace Applications (Part 1)
Several NASA locations are using VCOM for several years in communications applications. I will describe some of them and also mention some other VCOM users in this market.

NASA Desert Research and Technology Studies
NASA’s Desert Research and Technology Studies team (“Desert RATS”) use VCOM for IP communications by replacing some radio systems at desert and arctic testing sites for extraterrestrial excursion vehicles connecting via a 100 km by 100 km Wi-Fi mesh locally and to other NASA facilities using satellite backhaul from the desert test site.

Here is a description of their operations from the NASA Desert RATS webpage:
“The high-desert terrain and isolation of northern Arizona provides an ideal backdrop for the development and testing of spaceflight equipment and technology. NASA’s Desert Research and Technology Studies (Desert RATS) are carried out at a series of experimental sites within a 75-mile radius of Flagstaff, with the area around Winslow, Arizona’s Meteor Crater site serving as a major research hub.”
“The arid climate, harsh winds, and rocky desert terrain of the region allow NASA to evaluate different conditions that will enable multiple destinations for future human exploration including high Earth orbit, Lagrange points, the Moon, near-Earth asteroids (NEAs), Mars moons, and ultimately the surface of Mars. Experiments and training conducted at the Desert RATS site focus on equipment and spacesuit tests, vehicular excursions and exploration, remote communication protocols, and astrogeology.”

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Using VCOM Matrix Intercom in Aerospace / NASA Applications Today with SIP