Ericsson to upgrade Tasmanian emergency communications

Ericsson plans to deliver a solution called the Interoperability Gateway that will connect the communication networks of Tasmania's emergency services agencies.

The Tasmanian government has chosen Ericsson to help improve communications between the state's emergency services agencies.

Ericsson, together with its technology partner Harris Corporation and the Tasmanian government radio network (TasGRN) Interoperability Steering Committee — which was established to oversee the delivery of a future whole-of-government radio network — will deliver a solution called the Interoperability Gateway. It will connect the communication networks used by Tasmania Police, Tasmania Fire Service, Ambulance Tasmania, the State Emergency Service, TasNetworks, and Hydro.

According to Ericsson, the agencies' services currently run over different radio networks, requiring personnel to use their mobile phones to communicate with inter-agency colleagues or use shared radios between the police and the fire service.

Ericsson said the Department of Police and Emergency management trunked mobile radio network (TMRN) will be utilised to support the new gateway, because it is the most advanced network being utilised by a Tasmanian agency. The TMRN was built by Ericsson in 1998, and has managed the network since then through two upgrades. Meanwhile, Ambulance Tasmania and the Tasmania Fire Service networks will be linked to the TMRN through the new gateway.

John Kelly, Ericsson Australia and New Zealand industry and society director, said the communications gateway is expected to be up and running by early next year.

"The gateway will be in operation in February 2015 during the fire season, while the Tasmanian government continues work to implement a whole-of-government communications network," he said.

"Ericsson is pleased to contribute to the TasGRN Interoperability Steering Committee's goals of supporting emergency services, providing better communications and improving coordination of service deployment and agency interoperability in times of emergency."

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