NEC chosen for NSW Police radio network upgrade

NEC's iPasolink platform and terminals will be used to upgrade the New South Wales Police Force microwave radio communications network.
Written by Corinne Reichert, Contributor

NEC Australia has announced being chosen by New South Wales Police Force to upgrade its microwave radio communications network using its iPasolink VR platform and supplying 110 iPasolink terminals to the New England region.

According to NEC, the platform "enables the seamless upgrade of the radio network's capacity, effectively future-proofing communications, on demand", with the IT provider already having supplied 180 terminals to NSW Police.

"The robust iPasolink Outdoor Units (ODUs) ... are designed to operate in the harshest environmental conditions," NEC said.

"Crucial to the iPasolink selection is its small size which reduces tower load and eliminates the high cost of strengthening towers to accommodate larger, heavier equipment."

The radio comms network is used by 20,000 NSW Police staffers, NEC said, and in 500 police stations across the state. NEC's engineering team will also continue providing installation support.

NEC was similarly signed by the New South Wales Telco Authority to deliver network management systems and wireless backhaul technology for state emergency services and other public safety agencies as part of the government's Critical Communications Enhancement Program (CCEP) back in February last year.

Under the three-year deal, NEC will also provide professional services and 24/7 support via its existing technical service centres and facilitate connectivity through its iPASOLINK VRultra-compact microwave communications system and network management system.

In November, NSW Telco Authority MD Kate Foy said that during FY16, the agency increased its government radio network coverage from around 56 percent of the land mass to 91.5 percent using the AU$63 million it was allocated under the 2016-17 state Budget.

For FY17, she said the authority embarked on the next phase of its program across the 400MHz spectrum band using the AU$178 million it was allocated for 2017-18.

"We've got about 150 sites that we operate for the NSW network," she said.

"We conducted an audit, we found about 2,600 radio sites in existence throughout the state, some 27,000 radio assets; we are looking at integrating and consolidating that down to a network of 700, and trying to release the efficiencies out of that."

Unveiled in December 2015, the state's 10-year plan for telecommunications services for its PSAs involves agencies unifying their telco resources under a single integrated model, making the use of existing infrastructure more efficient, reducing duplication, improving reliability, and saving operational and maintenance costs.

This involves condensing more than 70 emergency, law-enforcement, and essential services agencies into one portfolio, with the current combined opex and capex costs associated with running 1,972 voice radio sites to also decrease. Just 732 voice radio sites are required under the plan.

Along with the NEC deal, the NSW Telco Authority also signed a five-year, AU$30 million deal with Motorola Solutions to upgrade 150 PSA radio sites and extend network coverage to 23 new sites in the north-west region of the state in December 2016.

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