Croydon Council, the local authority for the largest populated London borough in the UK, has enlisted Simoco Group to upgrade to a digital mobile radio system.
This latest move follows the need for resilient communications technology for its mobile radio users who are frequently relied upon for critical communications across environmental, cultural, sports, housing and planning services.
Simoco’s partner Chatterbox, a radio specialist in South London, has installed eight Simoco Xd base station repeaters on four frequencies across two sites, providing eight channels per site. The base stations communicate with each other via microwave links and ADSL to deliver reliable and extended coverage.
At the control room, the council has deployed a Simoco Xd dispatcher to control the system. Using simple direct IP connections to each base station, the Xd dispatcher provides voice, messaging and radio system health monitoring information to the operators.
With over 10,500 staff, the council is dependent on communications support to help those operating on the ground in various services across the borough. The Simoco Xd deployment supports issues that are prevalent to local people, businesses and visitors to Croydon, including parking and ticketing, safety and security, housing and facilities management.
Its base stations enable integrated communication so users from all services can instantly communicate with each other and the control centre.
“Croydon Council is committed to investing in recruiting people with the right skills to deliver the best services in the region,” said Ian Carr, CEO at Simoco Group (pictured above). “It’s therefore an obvious choice that the council has invested in more resilient technologies to help staff deliver these services effectively.
“With the Simoco Xd infrastructure, they have the confidence that the digital base stations built on international standards that will allow interoperability for offering an excellent platform for expanding the system further.”
Simoco has also been enlisted to support the Safer Croydon Radio initiative, which was set up for local businesses such as pubs, clubs and retailers working together to tackle business crime. The council heavily relies on hand portable radios and base stations to manage schemes such as the shoplifting prevention scheme, Shop Watch.
To cope with the demand, Chatterbox has installed four additional Simoco Xd base stations to interoperate with the new Hytera hand portable DMR radios, arming the council with the best tools to reliably and securely communicate throughout its sites.
Croydon Council’s director of environment, Tony Brooks, said: “With ambitious plans to improve our services across the borough, we know that radio communication is critical to the performance of these services as well as the safety of the public and our 10,500 staff.”
The Simoco Xd base station is a single common hardware platform that builds on the highly successful and widely deployed Xfin blade from Simoco. The base stations deployed at Croydon Council support analogue, DMR Tier II and DMR Tier III modes, VoIP telephone connectivity, as well as open standards applications.
The Xd system can also be interconnected over an IP backbone to form wide area radio systems without any additional or centralised switching components.