Frequentis has reached the next major project milestone by connecting the non-police control centres in North Rhine-Westphalia to BOS digital radio (emergency services). After the first call in the Städteregion Aachen and the Oberberg district (Oberbergischer Kreis), and after having been equipped and tested by various manufacturers in the six pilot control centres Aachen, Düsseldorf, Hagen, Kerpen, Mettman, and Oberberg district, trial live operations started on 7 September. As of this date, all control centres can be connected to BOS digital radio via a digital radio connector.
North Rhine-Westphalia is Germany’s most populous federal state and is serviced by 60 non-police control centres (fire brigade and emergency services). In December 2013, Frequentis was entrusted to enable the connection of all those control centres to BOS digital radio via a concentrator network. Five equipment rooms have therefore been equipped with concentrators based on the Frequentis Unified TETRA Gateway. Consequently, a much higher number of control centres is able to connect to the digital radio services and they have an increased number of resources available thanks to the central and common use of this technical feature. The individual authorities connect their individual system technology via the open, manufacturer-independent and standardised interface called “Digitalfunk-Stecker” (digital radio connector).
In December 2014, with the first call made at the control centres in StädteRegion Aachen and Oberbergischer Kreis, Frequentis proved for the first time that BOS digital radio can be used via the digital radio connector. Tests of various manufacturers in the six pilot control centres have underpinned this result. As of 7 September the pilot control centres and all other control centres are able to use the BOS digital radio network via this infrastructure and these interfaces within the framework of the trial live operation.
“This trial live operational period serves both to thoroughly check the system and to prepare the final operational release”, says Stephan Kruthoff, project manager in the Landesamt für Zentrale Polizeiliche Dienste Nordrhein-Westfalen (North Rhine-Westphalia state police). He continues, “The feature package includes not only audio services (encrypted and non-encrypted group calls, private calls, and emergency call services) but also data services (encrypted and non-encrypted short messages (SDS) and status messages, connecting several groups, and much more)”.
This means that Frequentis has reached a further major project milestone. The release of version 1.0 of the digital radio connector is just around the corner. Manufacturers all over Germany will profit from the successful functional test in live operation.
Now, all non-police control centres and operating forces may use the same radio network. Advantages are a very high degree of reliability, protection against eavesdropping, improved voice quality, secure data exchange, and individual user management functions for the control centres. In future, the user rights for this and other services may be centrally administered via the newly built concentrator network by the technical operations team of North Rhine-Westphalia.
Robert Nitsch, Director of Public Safety, Frequentis, says, “We are very happy about this project milestone and the excellent cooperation with our customers in reaching these goals. Technical innovations and development are as important to Frequentis as reliable and proven solutions. The expertise and experience Frequentis has collected over the years in the field of safety-critical communication systems proves especially useful in such large-scale projects and can be seen in the competent way we carry them out.”