Tetra | Lte | 2021-03-03

Norfolk FRS enables ESN early adoption

Source: BAPCO

Norfolk Fire and Rescue Service has deployed a suite of Panasonic Toughbooks, for use as mobile data terminals on its fire appliances.

The devices have been rolled-out in conjunction with LTE Panorama antennas, and routers supplied by Cradlepoint. The latter products – known as NetCloud and IBR1700 – will enable the vehicles to connect to the Emergency Services Network.

Speaking of the roll-out, a spokesperson said: “The solution creates a 100 metre, wireless local area network around the vehicles, providing firefighters with the ability to remove the MDT from the cab and take it with them during incidents. Once outside of the ‘Wi-Fi bubble’, the Toughbook 33 has the capability to move to its own ESN Connect-capable modem.

“The solution components are all certified for use with the Emergency Services Network. ESN will transform emergency services’ mobile working, especially in remote areas and at times of network congestion.

Norfolk FRS ICT technical manager, Anthony Fearn, said: “The Panasonic device itself is great, and we are yet to have a single hardware failure. The Cradlepoint routers have also been rock solid.

“We can observe the connectivity to each vehicle and see the physical location on a map. We can see exactly how the EE and Vodafone networks are performing, and we have seen a significant improvement in connectivity.”