Enhanced responsive and secure communications in crisis situations

How Airbus secure communications technology is crucial for emergency and public safety teams during the Covid-19 pandemic crisis
Airbus, Secure communications, Covid 19, Pandemic, Connectivity

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The Covid-19 pandemic was first discovered in China at the end of 2019 and, due to globalisation activities, by early 2020 the virus had spread to multiple continents, including Europe. This crisis is one of the worst medical crises known since the Spanish flu and now, more than ever, government bodies and citisens alike, turn to, and put their trust in public safety and emergency teams. As the situation spreads, it becomes vital to have secure, resilient, reliable, and available critical communications networks up and running to help police forces monitor and ensure that the rules imposed by the state are respected by all citisens, as well as to help medical, rescue, and emergency teams work efficiently.

Airbus provides the necessary communication means for Public Safety users, based on Tetra and hybrid technologies, implemented as dedicated solutions with purpose-fit technologies. To this day, Airbus has implemented approximately 190 Tetra networks counting 1,650,000 users in 83 different countries.

What makes Airbus Tetra solutions indespensible to the police, fire, emergency or healthcare personnel, is its independence from commercial networks. This means that Tetra terminals and radios from Airbus will continue to operate if a national crisis like COVID-19 or any other, congests commercial communication networks.

In addition, thanks to the Airbus Secrure Mobile Network Operator (SMVNO) approach, 4G/5G solutions can be applied to Public Safety organisations in such a way that large scale network solutions are either completely based on consumer networks, or are hybrid solutions combining consumer networks and dedicated resources. This is not only a technological change which helps such organisations gain in efficency but it also changes applied business models.

Like police and fire fighters, emergency forces and medical care staff deal with the Covid-19 threats in the best possible way while gaining in responsiveness and operational efficiency. Smooth collaboration between operational teams has become an essential element. Thanks to reliable communication networks, infrastructures and equipment from Airbus, professionals can protect citisens around the world on a daily basis with reliable, available, time-critical communication means, even during such a crisis.

Optimised disaster response for public safety organisations

Events like the Covid-19 crisis demand extensive law enforcement measures,– especially during periods of confinement when the population faces travel and circulation restrictions-, public safety actors need to have access to stable, available, and secure network coverage at all times as well as robust and easy-to-use devices. In a split second, the officer or command room wants to be able to react and have immediate access to one or multiple colleagues on the field.

Public safety organisations such as police forces, aim to improve operational efficiency and security with enhanced situation awareness. They can benefit from a variety of sensor-based and data centric applications that can simplify their ways of working. Picture this: imagine that policemen have the possibility to identify a person by simply scanning the numberplate of the car they are driving or by facial recognition. Or even, in the near future, that they have access to an application that can measure the temperatures of people they encounter on the street for such cases of Covid-19 or other pandemic issues. This can all be made possible thanks to Airbus’s Tactilon Agnet solution.

Airbus’s Tactilon Agnet platform and application, is used by Public Safety authorities/users in many countries around the world such as China, United Arab Emirates, Indonesia, Spain, Germany, Switserland, France, Finland, to name only a few. This unique tool provides direct communication through voice, message or media communication to one or more users at a time! In case the situation requires scaling up the number of responding personnel well beyond normal workforce level, it is also helpful that the communication solution can be easily scaled up to easily accommodate new users.

Voice, data, video, and location services are brought to the fingertips of policemen and women with the reliability and strict security that is expected in this field. Essential information, and various types of data such as photos, messages and videos can hence be sent to other colleagues immediately and securely at the push of a button, regardless of their whereabouts.

Over 32,000 Tactilon Agnet licences have been distributed to different organisations over the world since its launch, and both mission critical and business critical companies are showing growing interest in this state-of-the-art solution which can be tailored to their needs, on and off the field.

When something unexpected happens, there is no time to waste. Help is promptly and easily at hand through the dedicated emergency button on the application. An audio alert is immediately activated and the position of the officer’s device tracked and shown on a map so their colleagues can proceed to the scene of the incident.

Coordination made easier for medical bodies

Teamwork is key to medical care coordination during the Covid-19 crisis. Emergency staff are never at the same place at the same time so they need to have consistent and reliable means of communication in the event of meetings, to transfer information or to provide immediate support to patients from specialised units such as laboratories, blood banks, X-ray / MRI and surgery.

With Tactilon Agnet, Airbus gives medical care employees a tailored response to their everyday issues and constraints. In times when hospitals are flooded with admission requests, employees have no time to lose and the possibility to alert a whole team or multiple stakeholder with a single group message speeds up the response remarkably. Equally so, preparatory data, photos, videos, and calls can be shared securely to the team and emergency calls can be made with this reliable group communication tool.

Thanks to Airbus’s safe communication technology, perfectly adapted to both mission-critical and business-critical use, companies and institutions can gain in situational awareness and this is equally true for hospitals who can benefit from secure communications on three different levels: internal, inter-hospitals and field-to-hospital. All key parties are therefore kept informed of the patients who travel through the treatment chain; each department therefore knows when and where the patient is, hence providing faster care more securely and safely.

Precious minutes which can be put into treating patients are no longer wasted by searching for people and equipment, waiting for someone to answer the call, continuously busy lines, or wrong numbers. This also improves the capacity of a hospital in times of crisis and reduces an unnecessary load from personnel who may already be feeling stretched close to their limits.

By allowing the secure use of standard smartphones for sensitive mission critical communication, these solutions can also provide fairly quick scalability in terms of number of users, not to mention the flexibility of involving various experts in communication groups.

Harmonised interoperability possibilities between all safety professionals

During events such as the Covid-19 crisis, effective communication means are the most important factors in achieving an efficient response, and are also key for linking together and coordinating between multiple authorities such as from a hospital to a field unit, or from a doctor to policemen.

Interoperability becomes inherent for medical workers and officers alike. Tactilon Agnet is fully interoperable with Tetra technology, and allows secure and flexible communication between both smartphone users and radio terminal users.

Public safety personnel using smartphones can now communicate with their colleagues using Tetra without concern. Once installed on a smartphone or device, Tactilon Agnet allows the user to smoothly switch networks, from Tetra to LTE, in a seamless manner and thus according to availability. With this switchover option, police services can rely on having uninterrupted and secure seamless connections, even in the event of poor Tetra coverage in remote sones and in the field. It enables a more efficient coordination in the field, with no loss of information whatsoever. This can even save lives.

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