Globecomm, Polaris announce partnership
Globecomm Systems has teamed with Polaris Wireless announced a partnership designed to help rural operators cost-effectively meet the FCC’s E911 Phase II requirements. Globecomm is using Polaris’ software-based wireless location solutions to launch a managed E911 Phase II service that will be managed from its operations center in New York.
Globecomm, which offers turnkey telecom solutions such as engineering and managed network services to enterprises and governments and full mobile network services to smaller operators around the world, has been investing more into its hosting business in recent years.
It now has an Ericsson mobile switch, along with proper mobile gateways that are 3G compatible. The company said it handles about 3 million minutes per month on GSM networks worldwide. It also offers services to CDMA operators.
“We’ve been branching out to provide other value-added services associated with wireless hosting,” said Ken Maynard, director of business development with Globecomm. “It made sense to add value-added services like E911. … Some of our services can be handled as a stand-alone service. E911 is one of those.”
Maynard said Globcomm already has customers that have deployed the first phase of E911, and the company is cutting over its first major customer in the next 30 days. Globecomm chose Polaris because of the different software algorithms the company provides. That means Globecomm can offer AGPS solutions, as well software solutions, to pinpoint mobile callers.
“Some of the carriers we’re working with have applied to their states for funding for Phase II,” Maynard said. “But, because of the economy, there is not enough money to go around. States are trying to fund everyone to Phase I first, then give money to the PSAPs for Phase II. Carriers going to Phase II are the third priority.”
Maynard said Globecomm is able to product Phase II in “the few-hundred-dollar type of numbers per base station.” Operators doing Phase II themselves would have to purchase their own SMLC (serving mobile location center), which is either a separate network element or integrated functionality in the base station controller (BSC) that contains the functionality required to support location services.
Of course, many rural providers haven’t even rolled out Phase I either. Andy Silberstein, vice president of network services at Globecomm, said the company’s hosted service also brings those operators up to Phase I compliance and then move them to Phase II when the area’s PSAPs also are Phase II–ready.