World’s first portable 3G base station for emergency services unveiled

A portable wireless broadband base station has been lauunched which creates a private network for the emergency services if the national telecommunications infrastructure fails during a major incident.

Jul 28, 2011
By Paul Jacques

A portable wireless broadband base station has been lauunched which creates a private network for the emergency services if the national telecommunications infrastructure fails during a major incident.

The Tactical Connect evaluation system from Roke Manor Research is the world’s first portable 3G base station to have up to a 40km range, more than 40,000 times the area covered by other similar devices.

This extends the communications range during a major incident, creating a stronger chain of command between the central control and other bases such as hospitals and emergency shelters, as well as between air and ground-based teams.

Once the base station is switched on, mobile phones with the private network’s SIM work immediately, providing a cost-effective and lightweight solution as no specialist handset is required, negating the need for training end-users already familiar with a mobile phone.

A dedicated network avoids problems with bandwidth overload. Photos and video can also be shared quickly, with fast internet access giving incident commanders an up-to-date ‘eagle eye’ view of the entire situation.

Tactical Connect is also the first to support full mobility at speeds of up to 120km per hour, allowing mobile users to travel at speed while connected to the base station.

James Fisher, business development manager at Roke, said: “Tactical Connect’s ‘plug and play’ capability means that the emergency services can rapidly deploy a vital communications link that will be reliable during a major incident or civil contingency situation. They will still be able to communicate even if the conventional telecoms network has been switched off or is overloaded due to civilian use.”

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