Radio IP debuts mission-critical mobile VPN
HOUSTON — Radio IP Software unveiled this week at the Association of Public Safety Communications Officials conference Mult-IP, a network-agnostic mobile VPN built from the ground up for use in mission-critical environments such as public safety.
Mult-IP is unique in that it is the only mobile VPN that supports all networks — private mobile radio (IP and non-IP), cellular, Wi-Fi, LTE, WiMAX and satellite — and enables seamless roaming between each network, said Patrick Tabourin, Radio IP’s vice president of marketing and product management. The latter capability is made possible by the company’s Concurrent Networks technology that was developed last year.
“It allows IT managers to maximize their infrastructure resources,” Tabourin said.
The technology does so in two ways. First, IT managers can prioritize the networks that are being used by an agency. Should the preferred network become unavailable, voice and data traffic automatically will transmit over the next-preferred network, and so on. This occurs because the technology establishes a separate tunnel for each network that is always on.
Second, IT managers can select the type of traffic that will ride on each network that the agency has at its disposal. For example, mission-critical voice traffic could be transmitted over a Project 25 digital network, video from the in-vehicle camera system could be sent over LTE, and low-bandwith data such as a license-plate query could be transmitted over a cellular network.
Mult-IP also enables multiple agencies to leverage the same mobile VPN, because it lets IT managers determine the data that each agency can access and permits each agency to determine the authentication its personnel will use to access its network.
“This is important because, in these economic times, more agencies are sharing infrastructure,” Tabourin said.
Another important capability of the Mult-IP solution is that it allows IT managers to send updates to field personnel from the console. “They don’t have to touch the individual laptops,” Tabourin said.
That feature got the attention of Fil Martinez, public safety applications specialist for Adcom 911, which provides dispatch services for 15 agencies across Adams County, Colo., and which beta-tested the solution.
“This is a big county, and some of our deputies have to drive extreme distances to the east,” Martinez said. “The remote update and administration capability is going to save us a lot of time and money … because some of our clients are three hours away from the main center, in some cases.”
Mult-IP supports FIPS 140-2, AES (256-bit)/3DES encryption and exceeds the FBI CJIS and HIPAA security policies. It also supports two-factor authentication. Like most mobile VPNs, the solution provides session persistence by automatically reconnecting users to the network when necessary, and storing application data — for up to 16 hours — until the connection is re-established.