by CIO Staff

Cisco Unveils Emergency Suite

Aug 08, 20063 mins
MobileSmall and Medium Business

Cisco Systems has launched a suite of mobile services tied together and designed to help emergency response agencies communicate using voice, video and radio.

Cisco’s Solutions with Advanced Technologies, or SWAT, program is designed to integrate all types of emergency communications, including 911 emergency dialing, radio interoperability, satellite, wireless, weather alerts and video, Cisco said. Cisco introduced SWAT Monday at a conference for the Association of Public-Safety Communications Officials (APCO) in Orlando.

The IP-based suite includes the Cisco Instant and Mobile Integrated Communications Solution (IMICS), a package of products that allows police, fire or other emergency response agencies to quickly deploy communications such as secure voice over IP, Web connectivity and wireless hot spot capabilities. IMICS is designed for use in emergencies, such as hurricanes, that knock out traditional network connectivity, said Morgan Wright, Cisco’s global solutions manager for justice and public safety.

SWAT also offers up-to-date, neighborhood-specific weather information through a Cisco partnership with AWS Convergence Technologies, which operates the WeatherBug monitoring service. The SWAT program, available immediately, also offers a mobile video kit for video surveillance and conferencing, and a field-deployable 911 service, Cisco said.

The suite will help emergency response agencies move to an IP-standards-based communications platform, Wright said. In many cases, emergency response agencies use different technology for different types of communication.

In recent years, emergency response agencies have worked on operating with other police and fire departments because of communication problems highlighted in the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the United States. But in many cases, individual agencies don’t communicate that well internally, said Wright, a former police officer.

“You can’t have interoperability until you have operability,” he said. “We have operability through a common platform.”

Also announced at the APCO conference:

• Alcatel has added enhanced 911 capabilities to its OmniPCX Enterprise communications server with the help of Xtend Communications. The new product will help businesses comply with state and federal E911 regulations, Alcatel said. The partnership introduces the Xtend EADM Basic E911 server. EADM is a PC-based product operating with Alcatel’s OmniPCX Enterprise and the OmniVista 4760 Network Management for Enterprise IP Telephony systems. EADM allows businesses to send subscriber information to the 911-service provider’s location information database.

• Motorola announced its point-to-point (PTP) 49400, a wireless Ethernet bridge specifically tailored for use in the 4.9GHz spectrum, used by the public safety sector. The PTP 49400 is designed to give emergency response agencies network reliability and high bandwidth required to communicate during times of crisis. Motorola promises 99.99 percent up time with the PTP 49400, and the product offers bandwidth capable of streaming video, Internet and database access, and transfers of large files such as maps, blueprints and medical files, Motorola said. The PTP 49400, designed to replace T1 broadband lines, also handles backhaul for wireless networks and temporary fixed point-to-point links.

By Grant Gross, IDG News Service (Washington Bureau)

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