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Critical Communications – When Our Lives Depend On It

There has never been a more important time for emergency services across the world to have reliable communications. We all worry about our friends and family when we hear of terror attacks. Its vital the police, fire and ambulance services can communicate with each other. It’s one of the reasons we will be supporting the BAPCO conference next month – the annual event for Public Safety Communications.

Working in telecoms we all understand how networks can vary in reliability. In the UK there is a vast difference in connectivity from one town or village to the next. It’s not just rural areas which suffer. I travel around the country and there are places only a few miles from big cities where the signal is almost non-existent.

Most recently the chairman of the national infrastructure commission Lord Adonis described mobile phone coverage in the UK as “deplorable.” His remarks came as he launched a public consultation into the UK’s infrastructure including traffic congestion.

He’s not wrong. If you think about the gridlock on our roads you can see he has a point. Now consider how that works on the mobile phone network. Midnight on New Year’s Eve. Now add to that an incident. Everyone trying to phone home to tell their family they were safe… while at the same time the emergency services are attempting to co-ordinate their response. It’s not good.

I do believe those of us who work in telecoms have a responsibility to flag these things up. Critical communication coverage is just that – critical. Our engineers at Roscom work on critical comms for the emergency services and understand what they need to do their job and keep us all safe.

We started in this sector when Roscom was part of Rotadata and work with the police and other blue light services to encourage independent testing of networks both in the uplink and downlink i.e. transmissions out and transmissions in. Network verification testing for the Airwave network has to be 100 per cent accurate and proven. You cannot rely on data from the public use of commercial networks.

We have unique proprietary technology assessed and approved from police user groups, policing improvement authorities and Home Office and governmental procurement departments. These technologies enable confidence from end users to accountable ministers in the services being delivered. We know and understand all the controls that must be designed into service delivery testing.

Our engineers have walked the walk. Fielded more than 70 concurrent teams, driven more than a million miles, walked football stadia, airports, shopping malls, hospitals, royal quarters and private prime ministerial residences.

We have also flown, travelled by boat, helicopter and train to test multiple transportation systems including air to ground, ship to shore and subterranean. All key staff are security vetted and approved. – we have gone the extra mile!

But that’s enough about us. We will be exhibiting at the BAPCO conference in March in Coventry not to show what we can do, but to support our emergency services and those who believe a secure, reliable and robust network is vital – not just in the UK – but across the world ……when our lives depend on it.

Mandy Blackburn, Operations Director, Roscom


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