Like DMR, you must register your callsign with a gateway. This is to ensure that only suitably licenced amateur radio operators can access a D-Star the D-Star network. D-Star Gateways enable users to connect from a local D-Star repeater, equipped with a D-Star Gateway, to any other Gateway equipped D-Star repeater.
Unlike DMR, you program your callsign into your radio. The D-Star network can support up to 8 variances of a callsign, based on the extension programmed into the user’s radio, but each callsign must be registered for access through a D-Star Gateway. This is particularly useful if a person has multiple D-Star radios that may be running at the same time, eg: Home, Car, Portable Hand Held, etc.
The real power of D-Star comes from being able to use a local repeater to access other repeaters and reflectors all around the world. You can’t use a DV-Dongle, DVAP or other similar devices without registering them. Use your registered callsign to get access to the D-Star Intranet. Register here.
Digital modes can differ in the bandwidth they use. The chart below will give you a good idea on which mode uses what. AS you can see, D-Star is lean and mean when it comes to bandwidth.
For more information about the mode that is D-Star and setting up and registering your radio, there are plenty of sites about that can help. In Australia, the main site is dstar.org.au. Here you’ll be able to find Australian centric information.
Rob Locher has a great getting started page here, and Icom Canada has a great D-Star paper too.