Mobile VPN provider Padcom yesterday announced that an Ohio emergency agency has begun deploying the company’s vehicle area network solution featuring Padcom’s 8100 Remote Access Router throughout the state.

The Ohio MARCS (Multi-Agency Radio Communications System) Emergency Management Agency (EMA) already used Padcom’s TotalRoam VPN software solution but decided to become the first to use the 8100 to increase flexibility in the field, said Mark Ferguson, Padcom’s director of marketing.

Ohio MARCS uses a Motorola wireless mobile system to transport data from a vehicle-connected laptop to the agency’s primary network, Ferguson said. By installing Padcom 8100 routers into vehicles, personnel can take their data devices such as 802.11-equipped laptops outside the vehicles and still be connected to the network, he said.

“When they get to an incident scene, they frequently need to get out of the vehicle to evaluate the scene. Previously, if they took their computer with them, they lost connectivity,” Ferguson said. “With the 8100 access router and the TotalRoam software, they are able to communicate 802.11 back to the vehicle, and then the 8100 routes that information back to headquarters over the [Motorola] network.”

Ohio MARCS uses a 2.4 GHz link for its vehicle area networks, although the 8100 could be used in a 4.9 GHz environment, Ferguson said.

Deployment of the 8100s has just begun in Ohio and likely will be completed within a year, Ferguson said.