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You Have to Be Agile with Today's First Responder Legacy

By Carl Ford March 21, 2018

I recently attended the International Wireless Communications Expo [IWCE] event and was impressed with the commitment to adopt FirstNet, by the vendor community. However, the reality is that law enforcement, fire and rescue and other first responders have a lot of legacy. It is not going to be a flash – cut, particularly given concerns about security. On the other hand, agency cooperation is essential these days as volatile situations arise that need to be handled by different first responders.

The goal then is to support disparate Land Mobile Radio [LMR] systems quickly and enable communication between the organizations. Speaking with Vernon Guillermo, CEO of Agile Interoperable Solutions [AIS], he pointed out that systems are closed for security purposes and when agencies want to cooperate they still want to use their own systems. AIS’s CORE and Mobile CORE are in effect mixing boards that do not broadcast one media stream but have to repack the common media stream into all the disparate systems. The system can also be configured to support internal communications being included or excluded from the other agencies to eliminate chatter or establish internal command.

“We live in challenging times for first responders and law enforcement and the absolute need for interoperable communications solutions has never been more keen. That’s why we are confident the time is now for our CORE and Mobile CORE Common Operating Radio Engine products,” said Vernon. “If the activity and interest shown by professionals attending our demonstrations at the IWCE event is any indication, we are on the correct path and our CORE technologies are providing the solutions the industry needs.”

Among AIS’s CORE and Mobile CORE features is the ability to encrypt, bond LTE from several carriers, mix 16 channels (CORE) or 4 channels (Mobile CORE) and deploy within 15 minutes. The bonding of the call is a little different than traditional bonding in the fact that it ensures calls do not get dropped regardless of a specific carrier (maintaining session persistency) and increased data speed. However, as Vernon pointed out the Mobile CORE system can be considered “a hot spot on steroids”.

While this system supports first responders, enterprises and building managers often need systems like these as well to manage events or even just for blending communications between disparate systems.

In talking with Vernon, I asked about the issue of awareness. To date, this is one of those systems you wouldn’t know existed or that you needed unless you had someone contacting you directly and catching your attention. For that reason, up until now the channel for many of AIS sales had been resellers and integrators. The company is now getting very active in proactively promoting its products and brand in various markets.

Local jurisdictions are rarely alike and what is good for one location may not fit into another location. AIS doesn’t force integration, only interoperability, which should make it the CORE of the solution.




Edited by Ken Briodagh

Partner, Crossfire Media

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