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Critical Communications Asia 2015

The TCCA is delighted to be returning to Asia in 2015 with Critical Communications Asia. If you want to know about TETRA and other critical communications then this is a "must attend" event for you. For all the latest information including how you can participate please visit the dedicated website: http://criticalcommunicationsasia.com

ASTRID, the telecom operator for emergency and security services in Belgium, registered major peaks in radio traffic during the opening day of Mons European Capital of Culture. During large-scale events, radio communication constitutes an indispensable aid for the police and emergency services. Because of the scope of the security deployed last weekend, radio traffic registered extraordinary peaks on the ASTRID base stations covering the centre of Mons.  Exceptional measures The festivities that were held this past weekend in Mons signified a major challenge for the police and all emergency and security services. The presence of the royal couple, ministers and 100,000 visitors made exceptional security measures necessary. Hundreds of agents of the local and federal police, volunteers, military, firefighters, Red Cross aid workers, public transport agents as well as organising and safety personnel were deployed. To manage the event, all of these elements of the security system made full use of their ASTRID radios, generating far more traffic on the ASTRID network than on a normal weekend. Peaks of radio traffic on the ASTRID base stations The ASTRID systems played their supporting role flawlessly. Police radio communications went without a hitch, despite an overall radio traffic volume five times greater than normal between Saturday noon and Sunday morning on the base stations covering the centre of Mons. Communications follow the programme of the festivities On Saturday, radio traffic rose steadily from 12 noon to 3 p.m., at which time it was 9 times greater than an ordinary Saturday (413 minutes of communication/hour). The process of closing off the city to normal vehicle traffic undoubtedly generated numerous radio communications. A second peak was then registered towards 6 p.m., corresponding to the arrival of thousands of visitors in the city centre. Two other peaks were seen at 8 p.m. and 10 p.m. The traffic remained exceptionally high until midnight, and it was only around 6 a.m. Sunday morning that the communications of the police and emergency services returned to normal.  Consultation with the field ASTRID prepared for the events in consultation with the authorities. Coverage and capacity measurements were conducted in the months preceding the big day. Useful lessons were drawn from the experience with the “ducasse of Mons”, a popular festival held each year on Trinity Sunday. The mobile base station (truck) was kept on stand-by so as to be able to handle any incident. ASTRID also installed a dispatching tool in the command centre for the benefit of the medical corps. Co-ordination between motorcyclists, foot teams, helicopters, patrol vehicles, the command centre and the provincial control room requires good radio discipline and structured communication.  24/7 capacity management The ASTRID radio network is able to handle large communication peaks. Day after day, ASTRID systematically monitors the network traffic in order to identify and address potential problems well in advance, so that the capacity can continue to meet the needs of the radio users in the field. ASTRID’s particularly dense radio network has 77 base stations distributed throughout the province of Hainaut and 520 across the entire territory of Belgium. The provincial control room (CIC Hainaut) hosted the command post integrated within the framework of the security management of the Mons 2015 opening. All of the disciplines are represented there. Computer-assisted dispatching makes it possible to receive emergency calls, forward them to the competent service and assist the teams in the field.  Philippe Borza, Security Director, Local police of Mons :  « The ASTRID communications are indispensable for our teams. Their effectiveness made it possible to ensure the safety of both the field teams themselves and the large number of visitors ».    Claude Jacquard, Director of the CIC Hainaut (Control Room 101) :  « Everything functioned perfectly on the level of the ASTRID communications. ASTRID offers a serious advantage for the operational coordination of large-scale multidisciplinary events. The team localisation function makes it possible to react immediately and deploy the resources in the field in an ideal manner.»  Daniel Haché, Director External Relations ASTRID : «The ASTRID systems prove their added value for the management of large-scale events. Despite an exceptional network load last Saturday, the infrastructure was able to handle traffic peaks, thanks notably to a constant capacity management and monitoring, but above all to the excellent planning of the communications and to the consultation with the services in the field.»  A few advantages of TETRA communication in the context of major events ASTRID’s 100% digital network guarantees excellent availability, an optimal communication quality and a high degree of security. The network is multidisciplinary: the field teams can communicate with all of the members of their team, as well as colleagues or other safety organizations. This function is essential for effective collaboration amongst the intervening parties. Digital technology filters out the background noise, which increases the listening comfort of users in noisy environments such as demonstrations. Finally, the ASTRID network is reserved for the exclusive use of the emergency and security services, which ensures a capacity margin in crisis situations. CONTACT: Frederik Langhendries Mobile: 0496/595714E-mail: fred.lang@astrid.be Website: http://www.astrid.be

Steady progress with LTE, TETRA continues worldwide growth, but spectrum issues loom large Critical decisions taken this year could impact the safety and security of millions of people worldwide. With many regions yet to decide whether to safeguard spectrum for Public Protection and Disaster Relief (PPDR) use, 2015 could be the last chance the mission critical community has to ensure that political decisions continue to allow first responders priority access to bandwidth for their mission-critical communications needs.  TETRA, the world’s most successful mission-critical communications standard, operates in dedicated spectrum, ensuring that police, fire and ambulance users don’t, for instance, have to fight with Facebook users for communications capacity – but will this be the case for LTE? Steady advances with the LTE standard mean the technology looks likely to be ready to support hybrid critical communications networks* over the course of the next decade. The decisions that will be taken at the World Radio Communications Conference in November will impact the effectiveness of first responders, if harmonised protected spectrum is not agreed. Individual governments will subsequently have to decide for or against dedicated LTE spectrum or solutions for mission-critical communications.  “This is a pivotal year, when regulators decide whether the emergency services should continue to have the ability for uninterrupted communications during major incidents once the LTE standard is ready to support mission-critical applications,” said Phil Kidner, CEO of the TCCA. “TETRA networks provide unrivalled availability, resilience and efficiency for their users. Many governments intend to continue investing in their existing TETRA networks, supplementing them with non-critical broadband data services using LTE. However, without guaranteed availability, LTE cannot claim to be a mission-critical bearer – assured spectrum is the key.”. Although work to develop the LTE standard to support mission-critical users is progressing steadily with the creation of the new dedicated SA6 working group within 3GPP, the global TETRA user base continues to grow. IHS predicts a seven per cent increase by 2018.  “Europe will remain the key region for TETRA, as the national TETRA networks across many European countries continue to expand to new users,” said Thomas Lynch, Associate Director, Critical Communications, IHS Technology. “However, North America is set to be a large potential market for TETRA as the penetration of the standard into commercial sectors such as transportation increases.”  *A combination of TETRA voice and LTE data using private and commercial networks

ASTRID, l’opérateur télécom dédié aux services de secours et de sécurité, a enregistré d’importantes pointes du trafic radio durant la journée d’ouverture de Mons capitale européenne de la culture. Lors d’événements d’envergure, la communication radio s’impose comme un auxiliaire indispensable de la police et des services de secours. Vu l’importance des dispositifs de sécurité mis en place ce week-end, le trafic radio a connu des pointes hors du commun sur les antennes-relais ASTRID couvrant le centre de Mons. Un dispositif exceptionnel Les festivités qui se sont tenues ce weekend à Mons ont représenté un défi majeur pour la police et l’ensemble des services de secours et de sécurité. La présence du couple royal, de ministres et de 100.000 visiteurs ont nécessité un dispositif exceptionnel. Des centaines de policiers, gardiens de la paix, volontaires, militaires, pompiers, secouristes Croix-Rouge, agents des TEC ainsi que du personnel organisateur et de la sécurité ont été déployés. Pour assurer la gestion de l’événement, tous ces acteurs de la chaîne sécuritaire ont pleinement utilisé leurs radios ASTRID. Ils ont généré un trafic sur le réseau ASTRID bien plus important que lors d'un week-end ordinaire. Pointes du trafic radio sur les antennes-relais ASTRID Les systèmes ASTRID ont pleinement assuré leur mission d’appui. Les communications radio des services d’ordre se sont parfaitement déroulées malgré un volume de trafic radio global cinq fois supérieur à la normale entre samedi midi et dimanche matin sur les antennes-relais couvrant le centre-ville de Mons. Les communications suivent le programme des festivités Le trafic radio a connu une croissance soutenue samedi de 12 à 15 h. A 15h, le trafic était 9 fois supérieur par rapport à un samedi ordinaire (413 minutes de communication/heure). La gestion de la fermeture de la ville à la circulation a sans doute généré de nombreuses communications radio. Ensuite, une deuxième pointe a été enregistrée vers 18h, ce qui correspond à l’arrivée de milliers de visiteurs au centre-ville. Deux autres pointes ont été constatées vers 20 et 22 heures. Le trafic est resté exceptionnellement élevé jusqu’à minuit. Ce n’est que vers 6h dimanche matin que les communications de la police et des secours sont revenues à la normale.  Concertation avec le terrain ASTRID a préparé les événements en concertation avec les autorités. Des mesures de couverture et de capacité ont été réalisées dans les mois qui ont précédé l’événement. Des enseignements utiles ont été tirés de l’expérience de la ducasse de Mons. L’antenne-relais mobile (camion) avait été placée en stand-by pour parer à toute éventualité. ASTRID a aussi installé un outil de dispatching au centre de commandement au profit de la discipline médicale. La coordination entre motards, équipes pédestres, hélicoptères, véhicules de patrouille, centre de commandement et dispatching provincial exige une bonne discipline radio et une communication structurée. Gestion de la capacité 24h/7 Le réseau radio ASTRID est capable d’absorber des pics importants de communications. ASTRID suit systématiquement le trafic réseau jour après jour afin de déceler à temps d'éventuels problèmes et d’y remédier. La capacité continue ainsi à répondre aux besoins des utilisateurs radio sur le terrain. Particulièrement dense, le réseau radio ASTRID compte 77 antennes-relais réparties sur l’ensemble de la province de Hainaut et 520 sur l’ensemble du territoire belge. Le centre de dispatching provincial (CIC Hainaut) accueillait le poste de commandement intégré dans le cadre de la gestion sécuritaire de l’ouverture de Mons 2015. Toutes les disciplines y sont représentées. Le dispatching assisté par ordinateur permet de recevoir les appels d’urgence, de les distribuer au service compétent et d’assister les équipes sur le terrain. Philippe Borza, Directeur de la sécurisation, Police locale de Mons :  « Les communications ASTRID sont indispensables à nos équipes. Leur efficacité a permis d’assurer la sécurité tant des équipes de terrain que des très nombreux visiteurs ».  Claude Jacquard, Directeur du CIC Hainaut (Centre de dispatching 101) :  « Au niveau des communications ASTRID, tout a parfaitement fonctionné. ASTRID présente un sérieux atout pour la coordination opérationnelle d’événements multidisciplinaires de grande ampleur. La fonction de localisation des équipes permet de réagir au quart de tour et d’affecter au mieux les moyens sur le terrain. »  Daniel Haché, Directeur Relations externes ASTRID : «Les systèmes ASTRID prouvent leur valeur-ajoutée pour la gestion d’événements d’envergure. En dépit d’une charge exceptionnelle samedi dernier, le réseau a pu absorber les pics de trafic grâce notamment à une gestion de la capacité et au monitoring permanents mais surtout à l’excellente planification des communications et à la concertation avec les services de terrain.»  Quelques atouts de la communication ASTRID dans le cadre des grands événements 100% numérique, le réseau ASTRID garantit une disponibilité élevée, une qualité de communication optimale et un degré de sécurité important. Le réseau est multidisciplinaire : les équipes de terrain peuvent communiquer avec l’ensemble des membres de leur équipe, des collègues ou d’autres disciplines. Cette fonction est essentielle pour la bonne collaboration entre les intervenants. La technologie numérique filtre les bruits parasites ce que accroît le confort d’écoute des utilisateurs dans des environnements bruyants tels que les manifestations. Enfin, le réseau ASTRID est réservé à l’usage exclusif des services de secours et de sécurité, ce qui assure une marge de capacité en situation de crise. CONTACT: Frederik LanghendriesGSM 0496/595714Email fred.lang@astrid.be http://www.astrid.be

The TCCA represents TETRA, the most successful mission critical communications voice and narrowband data mobile standard in the world. Now available with TEDS supporting wideband data, we support the further development of the standard and promote its increasing adoption by professional users in a growing number of market sectors across all continents. For critical broadband data communications, we are driving the development of common global mobile standards.

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