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Sonim, ESChat, & Intrepid Networks Equipped LA-RICS with FirstNet Ready Smartphones to Maintain Security for 2016 Tournament of Roses Parade

Date: 2016-01-21
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XP7, ESChat and STING delivered mission-critical communications to meet heightened security measures

Sonim Technologies, SLA Corporation, and Intrepid Networks teamed up to provide Los Angeles County First Responders with ultra-rugged smartphone technology during the 127th annual Tournament of Roses in Pasadena, which drew nearly one million spectators from around the world. The combined hardware and software platform was key in demonstrating a working solution that can be used in live operations for end users on a Band 14 network soon to be procured under the recently released FirstNet RFP.

One of the leading OEMs in public safety broadband deployments, Sonim partnered with the Los Angeles Regional Interoperable Communications System (LA-RICS) and the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department to provide FirstNet Band 14 enabled XP7 smartphones to 60 first responders including the LA County Sheriff’s Department and LA County Fire Department during the event.

Sonim is one of the first OEMs offering the ability to deploy the FirstNet Band 14 spectrum in its ultra-rugged smartphone technology. The company said by utilizing Band 14, first responders have priority access to others on the network without the potential capacity constraints that impact commercial mobile networks during an emergency.

“We understand the conditions first responders have to work in and are focused on providing technology that will make them more effective, efficient and safe,” said Robert Escalle, Vice President – Public Safety & Defense, Sonim Technologies. “Unlike other Band 14 capable devices, the Sonim XP7 provides an open Android platform with access to all of the mission-critical apps required to support public safety operations.”

In addition to the Sonim XP7 smartphones, LA-RICS teamed up with Enterprise Secure Chat (ESChat) by SLA Corporation and STING by Intrepid Networks, two applications that collectively provide encrypted Push to Talk (PTT) over LTE voice communication and enhanced situational awareness for their mission. This combination provided public safety officials and first responders with secure communications and a clear understanding of the location of personnel and real-time critical visual information, thus significantly improving response times. Sonim’s platform combines the PTT and situational awareness capabilities into one solution eliminating the need for officers to carry multiple pieces of equipment.

The ESChat system provides one-to-one private PTT calls, adhoc (one to many) PTT calls as well as Group Calls. System configuration was coordinated to ensure operational ease of use. As a result, the STING and ESChat systems utilized the same call-sign naming conventions and ESChat adopted the same talk group names as the County’s radio networks.

During the Rose Parade, first responders using the XP7 devices with ESChat and STING commented, “The design of the product and the naming conventions implemented created a system that was very intuitive and easy to use. The ESChat and STING products are integrated allowing users to simultaneously coordinate and communicate. Also, one of our staging areas was outside the Band 14 LTE coverage area, however users were never out of reach as ESChat was able to provide PTT communications over WiFi.”

“Using ESChat on the LA-RICS Band 14 public safety broadband network, first responders were able to experience the benefit of dedicated LTE spectrum,” said Josh Lober, President SLA Corporation who makes the ESChat product. “As the Rose Parade started, the commercial LTE carriers’ bandwidth diminished by parade spectators who were sharing photos and video on their social media networks. However, first responders had unfettered access to LTE on the LA-RICS Band 14 network. The ESChat deployment also included P25 radio interoperability providing first responders a glimpse into the future of integrated mission critical communications.”

The preoperational and operational periods for the event covered a 24-hour period beginning at noon on Dec. 31, 2015 and ending at noon on Jan. 1, 2016. During this period, the system processed 461 PTT calls of which 275 included interoperability with two County LMR radio networks. In total, the ESChat PTT calls included over 2,400 endpoints with an average of 5.26 LTE users per call. Total PTT over Band 14 LTE talk time for the event officials was over 38 hours.

STING was also deployed to provide a Live Common Operating picture among Los Angeles County Law Enforcement and Fire Department users. The first responders found the solution to be very simple to use, highly reliable and impactful to the security of the event. In particular, the ability to place static markers for important points of interest and the ability to quickly share photographs significantly improved the effectiveness and coordination of the personnel.

“We have successfully supported several live events throughout the country over the last five years, and we find Public Safety is now demanding STING for large public events to enhance security operations,” said Britt Kane, CEO of Intrepid Networks. “Our situational awareness application provides essential real-time information in order to deliver flawless safety to the attending community, which perfectly augments the ESChat and Sonim platforms.”

- Corporate News/ (via Sonim Technologies, 1/14/16)



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