Fire and Rescue New South Wales (FRNSW) has deployed SmartConnect, a new service from Motorola Solutions, to securely extend the coverage and capacity of its mission-critical radio communications.
SmartConnect maintains reliable and uninterrupted communication by automatically switching communication channels from Land Mobile Radio (LMR) networks to the best available broadband services. The service can also roam onto satellites for extended coverage in remote areas.
FRNSW provides rapid emergency response, firefighting and rescue services to enhance community safety and resilience. Bushfires occur frequently in Australia’s hot and dry climate, with the devastating losses of the 2019-20 bushfire season ultimately leading to a Royal Commission into natural disaster arrangements that provided recommendations to enhance response and resilience to future events.
FRNSW depends on reliable, team-based communication to maintain safety and resilience in every emergency it responds to.
Motorola Solutions managing director for Australia and New Zealand, Con Balaskas, said SmartConnect helps to ensure FRNSW personnel stay connected to their essential voice communication in any circumstance.
“Fire agencies and other emergency services trust LMR networks to provide resilience and widespread coverage to fulfill their mission. By automatically switching between LMR and broadband networks, SmartConnect protects firefighters by helping them to focus on their mission, knowing that their vital communications can roam with them where they need to go," Balaskas said.
With end-to-end encryption, SmartConnect helps to maintain the security of voice communication at all times, even when switching from LMR to LTE, Wi-Fi and satellite networks. The service also mitigates the risk of communication ‘dead spots’ in places where coverage can suddenly drop, including garages, inside buildings and other built-up city environments.
FRNSW’s investment in SmartConnect comes as the organisation establishes its Connected Firefighterprogram, which will provide firefighters with the latest information and communications technologies. The initiative is being delivered in direct response to the 2019-20 Bushfire Inquiry and is part of a broader, AUD $80 million investment from NSW Government to support enhanced fire service technologies and facilities.