Stand by for improved mobile connectivity in Emergency Services
Mobile connectivity is essential for the people who are employed by our emergency services on the frontline, who work tirelessly to keep us safe.
There has never been a more poignant time for companies and organisations to implement technology that keeps employees connected, no matter where they are. Mobile connectivity is now deemed essential, both for business operations and staff morale. This is even more critical when those people are employed by our public services on the frontline, who work tirelessly to keep us safe.
Emergency services, which includes fire stations, ambulances, police and the NHS across the country acknowledge that digital transformation will relieve the burden of outdated analogue processes. From automation to artificial intelligence, to analytics and the cloud, they are adopting new collaborative technologies to ensure front line and back-office staff have a network of information available that can be shared and acted upon.
How is the digital transformation affecting Emergency Services?
Part of the digital transformation journey is a move towards a mobile-first working environment. Old, decommissioned phones and pagers are being replaced with smartphones and tablets. These new smart devices automate information sharing between the back office and front line and can reduce the number of calls placed to the control room. The control room can send an incident to the mobile device in the Fire Engine or Ambulance, plot the best route, and track the emergency vehicles. Once on-site, a body-worn camera or drone can live stream progress and automatically upload the recording to the cloud for future reviews about the incident.
Emergency Services Network
When the highly anticipated Emergency Services Network programme is rolled out, it will fundamentally change the way critical communication is delivered amongst Emergency Services. The current Airwave radio system will be replaced to operate on existing 4G mobile data run on Motorola Solutions and EE infrastructure. This aims to deliver a much better voice and data service to the emergency services, especially at times of network congestion. It will create a single platform for sharing data and imagery and enable faster adoption of successful mobile applications.
Stable, robust 4G mobile signal has become operationally critical, both in the field and in the support office.
Why does poor mobile connectivity exist in Emergency Services?
However, in many Fire Stations, hospitals, emergency control rooms, and hospital buildings, good mobile signal is often hard to come by. This is usually due to the layout of Emergency Services buildings which are made up of several buildings and outbuildings, constructed with building materials such as metal, galvanised steel, and thick glass. These materials effectively create a Faraday-cage effect, meaning mobile signal is unable to penetrate the building. Often, there is sufficient mobile signal outside of the building, but due to the building materials or proximity from cellular towers, inside is a mobile dead spot.
In 2021, many are still not aware that there is a cost-effective, legal, and easy to deploy solution available on the market to dramatically improve in-building and in-vehicle mobile signal coverage.
Wakefield Fire Station, home to West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service, was one of the many Fire Stations that have historically suffered from poor in-building mobile signal coverage. However, when the 26,000 ft² site was reconstructed in May 2019, they had an opportunity to rectify this. They contacted Frequency Telecom to provide them with an OFCOM-compliant, network approved in-building mobile signal coverage solution.
The Cel-Fi SOLO solution was proposed as the best fit and most cost-effective solution to deliver enhanced mobile signal based on the size and layout of the building. With a mix of core fire and rescue equipment already in situ, the Cel-Fi SOLO signal booster equipment had to be placed in specific locations to maximum signal gain whilst simultaneously causing minimal disruption to site operations.
Both the site survey and installation of the solution was performed by Boost Pro Systems, one of Frequency’s Cel-Fi certified and approved installation partners. The project was overseen by the lead contractor on site, Murray Building Services Ltd.
The project was signed off by the client with the EE signal having increased from 1 bar of signal, before completion, to a steady 5 bars throughout the fire station.
Feedback following the deployment has been very positive. Aside from enjoying faster data speeds on their mobile devices and voice calls no longer dropping, Wakefield Fire Station employees have particularly mentioned the joy of not being forced to go outside to stay in touch with their loved ones.
Frequency Telecom is the master distributor of Nextivity’s Cel-Fi range of mobile signal boosters. Cel-Fi has a range of in-door mobile signal solutions available for any size building. They are easy to install, cost-effective and provide an exceptional coverage footprint for voice and data.
The Cel-Fi GO M is the latest edition of the range. This in-vehicle booster amplifies mobile signal in fire trucks, ambulances, or any other road vehicles. It automatically adapts to the moving environment to boost 3G and 4G mobile coverage for voice and data. The Cel-Fi GO M is IP65 weather-resistant and easy to set up for users and installers.
Cel-Fi products are also the only mobile signal boosters that fully comply with the regulatory requirements of OFCOM in the UK and COMREG in Ireland.
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Established in 2002, Frequency employs over 60 people, across the UK, Germany and the Netherlands. Frequency Telecom is the master distributor of Nextivity’s Cel-Fi range of mobile signal boosters in the UK and Ireland. Cel-Fi products are licence-exempt and fully meets the regulatory requirements in the UK (Ofcom SI 2018/399) and Ireland (ComReg S.I.No.283 of 2018).
Headquartered in San Diego, Nextivity Inc. develops the award-winning line of Cel-Fi products that optimize cellular coverage in homes, office and enterprise buildings. Cel-Fi products are self-configuring and leverage the advanced signal-processing and radio design of Nextivity’s IntelliBoost chipset to deliver the industry’s highest gain at the lowest cost per square foot. The Cel-Fi commitment is to protect the operator’s network, deliver the best in-building mobile performance, and be the easiest solution to install.