EFJohnson unveils multisite IP25
Mission-critical wireless communications vendor EFJohnson introduced a multisite capability to its Trunked IP25 Infrastructure System that features a fully distributive architecture designed to increase reliability and lower costs for first-responder agencies.
Demonstrated at this year’s annual APCO conference, the EFJohnson Project 25-compliant infrastructure system is the first mission-critical infrastructure system designed from the beginning to work in an IP environment, said David Lukeson, EFJohnson’s senior product manager for infrastructure.
“Everybody else kind of adapted their existing infrastructure, which is not distributed, to an IP format,” Lukeson said. “We began with both the IP format and the distributed architecture at the same time.”
As a result, the EFJohnson system has intelligence distributed throughout each site in the network, meaning there is no central control device that can act as a single point of failure, he said.
“Besides the simplicity and speed that it adds to call handling and call processing, it reduces our vulnerability,” Lukeson said. “It reduces the critical links in the system, which enhances the security of the system.”
Indeed, the peer-to-peer call setup avoids conflicts that are encountered in a typical hierarchical system, and it can require significantly less backhaul capacity for talk groups accessed by users from multiple sites, according to Jeff Benshetler, EFJohnson’s manager of infrastructure development.
In typical alternative point-to-point backhaul systems, a talk group with participants from four different sites would require backhaul capacity to accommodate three voice streams from the site originating the call — a reality that can become an expensive challenge when the scenario is repeated for larger talk groups on multiple channels. In the EFJohnson system, only one voice stream per talk group is needed.
“As the number of sites on the wide-area call increases, the advantages of our architecture increase,” Benshetler said.
Another advantage of the distributed architecture is that the failure of the site originating a call does not collapse the talk group. While a site failure means no communication with that particular site, other sites being used in the talk group can continue to communicate.
Similar resiliency is realized when the backhaul system fails, as was the case in many areas amid flooding in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. Without backhaul, alternative systems are unable to provide communications, even if the RF portion of the site is functional. With the EFJohnson system, a hardened site can provide communications within its coverage area when backhaul failures prevent communications with other sites in the network.
“Really, the vulnerability in a wide-area system is not individual sites in an emergency situation, it is the backhaul,” Benshetler said. “The infrastructure is certainly the most vulnerable — Katrina showed that, where you lost all of your telephone lines and you lost all your Internet connections.”
Scheduled to be generally available during the second quarter of 2008, the EFJohnson multisite system offers compelling value to customers, Benshetler said. “We are price-competitive for just buying the infrastructure with our competitors,” he said. “We have price advantage as we get to multisite, because [of] the additional options you need to buy from competitors in order to operate multisite, while our growth into multisite is not nearly so expensive.”
APCO conference attendees can view a demonstration of the system at EFJohnson’s booth, #2700. In addition, the solution also will be featured as part of the Cisco Systems exhibit.
APCO 2007 Basics
More info: www.apco2007.org
When: Aug. 5-9
Baltimore Convention Center
Mon., Aug. 6, 10:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m.;
Tues., Aug. 7, 9:30 a.m.-4 p.m.;
Wed., Aug. 8, 9:30 a.m.-1 p.m.
Mon., Aug. 6, 1:15-5:30 p.m.;
Tues., Aug. 7, 1-5:15 p.m.;
Wed., Aug. 8, 9:45-11 a.m. and 1:15-2:30 p.m.;
Thurs., Aug. 9, 8 a.m.-2:45 p.m.
U.S. Coast Guard Captain Larry Brudnicki, a 30-year veteran of the service who led two rescues during the legendary “Perfect Storm,” Mon., Aug. 6, 8-9:30 a.m.
Attendee Welcome Reception, Sun., 6:30-9:30 p.m.; Tailgate Party at Oriole Park at Camden Yards, Tues., 6:30-10 p.m.; Blue and White Gala reception and dinner, Wed., Aug. 8, 6:30-9 p.m.