It is a property referring to the ability of diverse systems and organizations to work together. The term is often used in a technical systems engineering sense, or alternatively in a broad sense, taking into account social, political, and organizational factors that impact system to system performance.
In telecommunication, the term can be defined as:
1. The ability of systems, units, or forces to provide services to and accept services from other systems, units or forces and to use the services exchanged to enable them to operate effectively together.
2. The condition achieved among communications-electronics systems or items of communications-electronics equipment when information or services can be exchanged directly and satisfactorily between them and/or their users. The degree of interoperability should be defined when referring to specific cases.
Source: from Federal Standard 1037C and from the Department of Defense Dictionary of Military and Associated Terms in support of MIL-STD-188.
In two-way radio, interoperability is composed of three dimensions:
* compatible communications paths (compatible frequencies, equipment and signaling),
* radio system coverage or adequate signal strength, and;
* scalable capacity.
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