I must say, since the purchase of the Icom IC-7100 Amateur radio unit, I have not stopped using the Digital Dstar network.
If only I did this years ago.. With HF Cycle now dropping I'm sure the digital mode and the ability to be able to connect to other Amateur radio operators from around the world will only strengthen.
Wow it's a lot of fun and another new feature to this wonderful hobby.
Although with the current setup I have, you need a local Repeater, with this digital system, you can expand into other ways of connecting to the Dstar network..
For example, I have looked at the many option and have found the SharkRF Open Spot to be the best so far.
To keep it simple, it allows your radio to enter via the small antenna on the little blue box below and then via a Network Cable connect to your internet connection via your router or with another handy little portable wifi router like the TPLink Nano router, connect to you phones HotSpot or a 3G/4G wifi Dongle and wham ! you are on the network as long as you have a 3G/4G connection... not local repeater needed.
Great for travelling or for amateur in remote locations.
For more information on this trick little product Click Here
For the TpLink Nano Wifi Router Click Here
I hope to have one of these little setups up and running over the next few months.