Airbus Defence and Space officially introduced its new hybrid networks solution, the Tactilon Suite, at the Critical Communications World (CCW) congress in Barcelona. It allows broadband capacities to be added to existing professional mobile radio (PMR) networks in a cost efficient, secure and controlled manner.
Public safety organisations such as the police and rescue services will thereby gain reliable mobile access to new broadband applications. Thus, the operators of public safety networks can provide attractive mobile broadband services, such as video, database queries and mobile office, as well as smart devices, in a secure and flexible way.
As one of the first customers, the State Security Networks Group in Finland has already started to reap the benefits of the Tactilon Suite. Hybrid networks incorporate the best features of PMR networks and mobile broadband services.
The broadband services can be based either on a dedicated broadband network or on commercial services through the use of the Secure Mobile Virtual Network Operator (Secure MVNO) model, or it can be a combination of both. In particular, hybrid networks provide secure user management and support safe integration into mobile operators’ networks by using own SIM cards provided by the Secure MVNO.
In addition, public safety users will benefit from the ‘multi-network availability’ feature. Instead of making separate deals with several network operators, the Tactilon Suite will allow them to offer its subscribers a one-stop shop for secure broadband capacity, where each device gets the best available connection. Dedicated broadband capacity can easily be added whenever required.
This multiple-network approach is already able to provide nationwide coverage as well as ensuring capacity where the demand is highest.
The solution supports different operational models. Management can be fully centralised, for example if a public safety operator is in charge of providing for all subscribers their security needs. The second option of distributed provisioning allows individual user organisations to safely manage their own subscribers and their security needs.
“Public safety authorities are looking to new mobile data applications to improve the efficiency and safety of operations. Although today’s dedicated digital networks based on TETRA or Tetrapol standards can deliver extremely secure and reliable data services, the narrowband technology used in public safety networks does not have enough capacity for those new bandwidth-hungry mobile applications,” said Eric Davalo, Head of Products and Services Portfolio Communications, Intelligence & Security at Airbus Defence and Space.
“There is therefore a trend of looking for enhancements to existing networks and gradually introducing new data applications and smart devices. A hybrid network managed with the Tactilon Suite opens the door to mission-critical broadband, enabling the secure access to such new applications. We are happy that our customer in Finland has already started to benefit from our new solution.”