Messaging | 2018-12-03

Swissphone Launches New Module for the s.ONE Platform

Source: The Critical Communications Review | Gert Jan Wolf editor

Swissphone announced that the company has expanded its s.ONE software solution with an additional module, s.ONE Fleet.

This provides for fast updates and centralised management of pager data such as RIC addresses or keys. The pagers are programmed over TCP/IP via remote configuration. This avoids errors, reduces programming effort and increases data security.

Targeted and efficient alerting is the key to effective event management. The s.ONE resource management solution meets this requirement, enabling dispatchers, station managers and first responders to improve the efficiency before, during and after an alert. These tasks are performed by the s.ONE modules Availability, Monitor and Alert.

To these, Swissphone has now added a fourth module, s.ONE Fleet. This module enables remote programming of classic POCSAG pagers as well as two-way capable terminals such as the RES.Q. The infrastructure required for this is extremely lean: a remote configuration client can be installed wherever Internet access is available, at base or in the field using a data stick.

With s.ONE Fleet in a station, emergency personnel who need to update their pagers can now do so in less than a minute. An IP-capable programming station is connected to a PC in the station. In practice, this means that when adjustments must be made to the alarm structure, any necessary changes can be made extremely quickly and efficiently. The pagers do not have to be collected, as every emergency response team member visits the station from time to time -- enabling even larger reconfigurations to be implemented more easily. In addition, the firmware of the device can also be updated automatically during remote programming. Previously, this was possible only at a central location . Users can thus benefit both from the new functions in the firmware and from continuing improvement of existing functionalities.

Advantages when implementing POCSAG alerting system

Remote programming can also simplify the planning and development of new projects.

"Initial testing with pagers can be carried out at an early stage without the need to commit to a firm alerting and triggering order", explains Manfred Piontek, managing director of Swissphone Telecommunications GmbH, Germany. “Full programming can be carried out later without great upheaval. “This extra freedom enables in-house radio coverage testing to begin early in the project. Once the definitive RIC allocation has been determined, a new programming file can be placed on the server. "The next time you arrive at the fire station, the update will be done in just one to two minutes," adds Piontek.

The advantages are decisive. Programming data can be modified over the course of time, as necessary. Time pressure is reduced and the burden of agreeing at the start on an error-free, ideal configuration for several thousand wireless devices is eliminated. Confidential data such as keys can be managed by the central office, while rights and roles associated with secondary data can be delegated.

Defining rights and roles

The new software module enables the assignment of rights and roles to individual emergency services personnel to be finely tuned. This simplifies handling of the radio devices from the point of view of both the control centre and the radio control room. Sensitive data such as encryption keys are shielded by the system from unauthorised access. In particular, the administration of RICs and encryption keys becomes much more secure without needlessly restricting the autonomy of volunteers. And if a terminal device is lost, a replacement device, configured individually via s.ONE Fleet, can be made available quickly, anywhere.

Integrated security architecture

This protection by authorization is only one element of the integrated security approach of remote programming with s.ONE. The transmission of the programming data itself can also be encrypted via HTTPS connections. In addition, the detectors are protected with a random password so that the programmed RICs, configurations and stored messages cannot be read from the detector by unauthorized persons. The password is only known to s.ONE, i.e. the configuration of the detector cannot be read out and manipulated.

With these features, s.ONE Fleet significantly expands the functions of the s.ONE platform and simplifies the handling and updating of devices and their encryption for all parties involved -- control centre, radio control room and the rescue services themselves.