Staffordshire improves its communications systems

Staffordshire Police has issued a tender for an integrated communications and control system (ICCS) to support the introduction of the Airwave radio service.

Nov 2, 2006
By David Howell
Graeme Biggar

Staffordshire Police has issued a tender for an integrated communications and control system (ICCS) to support the introduction of the Airwave radio service.

It was a requirement that the new system should be able to offer telephony functionality and call handling to at least the same level as was currently employed.

The force had for some time employed a Siemens DX telephony system together with Hi Path Pro-centre. This technology had become fundamental in delivering force telephony and the force’s call handling strategy, consequently any reduction in functionality would have proved detrimental to the force’s call handling ability – a specialism in which Staffordshire has become a recognised leader within the police sector.

During installation, it was found that the ICCS call handling functionality did not include a subset of the DPNSS protocol, which processed call forwarding. Consequently, the Siemens DX was unable to process outgoing calls to voicemail-attached extensions.

Neither, the ICCS or the telephony supplier was able to offer a solution to this problem and the force was left to resolve it themselves. After a research and evaluation process, the Westell InterChange iQ (IiQ) 2000plus protocol converter was identified as a product that could resolve the problem.

Omnetica, a supplier of Westell products and with direct support from Westell, a member of the force’s Communications Team configured the units purchased. The IiQ2000plus converts DPNSS from the ICCS to Q.931 at the Siemens ISDX, which then allows the ISDX to fully control the call setup and manage the call from start to finish.

“The Westell product offered an ideal solution to a call forwarding issue that was jeopardising the successful implementation of the strategically important ICCS,” said Chris Bowen, communications and network services manager, Staffordshire.

“The deployment of Westell’s IiQ2000plus product enabled the issue to be resolved quickly with a minimum of problems and disruption and was instrumental in our project timescales being met to reap the benefits of the new communications system.”

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