Barrett Communications in partnership with STAR Solutions and NVIS Communications of California (Barrett’s Systems Integrator in North America) will launch the Barrett FirstLink Rapid Field Deployment System (RFDS) at the International Wireless Communications Expo (IWCE) in Las Vegas from 16-20 March.
The Barrett FirstLink RFDS is a complete solution for extending FirstNet’s* Band 14 LTE footprint from any location over short, medium and long-haul distances back to core.
It provides responders with ‘reach back’ and ‘reach forward’ over high frequency (HF) radio. HF radio extends the FirstLink RFDS’s reach to up to hundreds of miles away, without additional infrastructure and is free to air.
STAR Solutions identified that there will be a period of time before the FirstNet network provides the blanket coverage throughout the US that it is tasked with providing.
Star Solutions CEO Mr Jack Mar commented: "The amount of towers that it will take to create this blanket coverage is a daunting task and in addition to the technical complexity, the cost and hardening of these sites is astronomical by any standard."
In response to this, STAR Solutions developed the IMPAC system, which provides rapid deployment of a combined Band 14 LTE voice and data system.
From there, Barrett Solutions, through NVIS Communications have partnered with STAR Solutions to develop the FirstLink RFD, which provides an immediate blanket Band 14 LTE footprint with ‘reach forward’ and ‘reach back’ capability via HF to either another RFDS or to HF bases many miles away.
NVIS Communications president Mr John Rosica said: "HF radio in the US has predominantly been used by government and public safety for critical communications. They typically operate as a fallback system or for remote coverage."
The FirstLink RFDS ensures first responders have secure reliable communications wherever they need to deploy within America.
Mr Rosica went on to say that the FirstLink RFDS servers as a common operating platform for federal, state and local government support agencies, where normal communications infrastructure is unavailable.
The FirstLink RFDS is controlled via an app on the Band 14 or FirstNet handset. All the complexities of linking and protocol conversion of SMS text to HF/AMD text and the crossover of voice to other digital voice or encryption are automatically managed by the RFDS.
Barrett Communications general manager Mr Andrew Burt said: "We see from our conversations with current and prospective customers that there is a real need for this system in the field.
"The fact that it is highly portable, automatically self managed, and on air in minutes as something unique in the market.
"We look forward to showcasing the Barrett FirstNet RFDS at IWCE next week."
To find out more information about the FirstLink RFDS visit the Barrett Communications and NVIS Communications stand 2235 at IWCE.