Digital transformation supports security forces and emergency services 

In a world of constant technological change where emerging and evolving threats lead to new uses of critical communications in order to provide the public with all-round protection, without limitations or borders.

By Airbus Defence & Space

Digital transformation at the heart of critical communications evolution

In a global context of constant progress in digital technology, public-safety organisations are seeking to develop their tools, technologies and architecture to cope efficiently with these changes and adapt to the emerging forms of threats while continuing to provide the population with a high level of security and protection.

To support the evolution in uses and users’ missions that digital transformation induces, some limits entail a change of technology and/or architecture. As a consequence, the transition towards broadband (4G, 5G, WLAN), the use of digital technology, the convergence between telecommunication and IT technologies and ecosystems, and the emergence of technologies such as Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Big Data, and Virtual and Augmented Reality are essential topics requiring major research and development efforts to provide public-safety users with the adequate communication and collaboration products and solutions in situational information and data management, suited to optimised use in the field.

The current paradigm is to increasingly rely on such technology to provide future solutions to security forces and emergency services. A high level of interdependency between public- safety issues and societal issues can also be noted.

As a consequence, public-safety organisations increasingly require mission-critical communication and collaboration multimedia services that are resilient and trustworthy, and smart situational information services that are integrated with control centres and emergency call centres in preparation for future change.

Tactilon Dabat, the key to smooth, secure interoperability within the public safety sector

Digital transformation is an opportunity for security forces and emergency services, and interoperability is a key to this transformation in critical communications.

Interoperability between devices, operating systems and – in some cases – countries, supports, on the one hand, emergency call centres and control centres, including on a European level, in addition to all organisations involved in emergency and public-safety missions.

This major factor in operational effectiveness and budgetary efficiency for public-safety organisations enables co-operation between organisations and states. It also helps optimise the renewal costs of infrastructure and equipment and is suited to the 4G, 5G, IP and Big Data technologies involved.

Interoperability is at public safety users’ fingertips with Airbus’s Tactilon Dabat. The state-of-the-art hybrid terminal combines and offers both Tetra and LTE radio technologies in one unique terminal. The end users can therefore perform their daily duties without being solely restricted by the Tetra radio coverage available. The device also enables individual or group communications with other professionals carrying either a terminal or smartphone device, or with the control centre with the installation of the Tactilon Agnet solution.

Furthermore, the Dabat Hybrid Roaming feature available on the Tactilon Dabat extends Tetra radio coverage by switching to LTE coverage through the Tactilon Agnet application installed on the device. This enables a seamless network change, ensuring support for public-safety operations and optimising the advantages of hybrid communications. The solution’s security is maintained as Tactilon Agnet traffic is securely protected via the secure client VPN. In the event of a lack of 4G coverage, end-users can now benefit from an instant and seamless switchover between Tetra and LTE to ensure full support for their mission-critical and business-critical operations and communications.

Through Airbus’s SmarTWISP application programme for the Tactilon Dabat smartphone and terminal, public-safety users such as policemen, firefighters and other emergency personnel also have access to an array of applications offering innovative functionalities such as facial recognition, licence plate recognition, sensor monitoring, security camera activation, and more !

These technologies are designed by Airbus to function in a completely transparent and fluid manner. They enable law enforcement, and emergency teams to work together effectively, in a secure environment while reducing their response time, and improving the effectiveness of co-ordination between teams, cross-border communication, and communication between end users on different systems.

Improved operational efficiency through the Tactilon Agnet collaboration platform

The sharing of information is essential for mission-critical and business-critical organisations. Professional smartphone users become key players in the professional world with easy, reliable and seamless access to voice, data, video and geolocation data at their fingertips. End-to-end encrypted data and information can therefore be sent reliably and securely to the control room or to other colleagues thanks to Airbus technology.

Communication between public-safety professionals has never been simpler thanks to Tactilon Agnet. Users can now securely benefit from a wide range of broadband services while also enjoying full interoperability by adding different users, if required.

Airbus’s Tactilon Agnet solution is a forerunner in the field of critical communications and is perfectly interoperable with both Tetra and Tetrapol communication technologies, enabling secure and flexible communication between both smartphone and radio users. The state-of-the-art collaboration solution also offers features such as the geo-positioning of each user, and the creation of tactical maps in order to monitor the position of each individual or group of users.

The Airbus Tactilon Agnet collaboration platform also offers the possibility of group communication and the sending of images, videos, text or data through the push-to-talk (MCPTT), push-to-video (MCVideo) and push-to-data (MCData) features, in addition to full use of all the possibilities of a smartphone, together with added security. Personnel involved in an emergency operation can easily benefit from a secure connection for voice, images, and data, even if they do not have the same technology, equipment or network!

When the unexpected happens, there is no time to lose! Help is at the user’s fingertips with the integrated emergency button which emits an alarm and, once activated, sends immediate geographical location information to the control room.

The interoperability of systems for security forces and emergency services, at a regional, national, European or even international level, is a major factor in operational effectiveness and budgetary efficiency. Digital transformation and technological change are unique opportunities to achieve these objectives and optimise tools and working methods in order to effectively improve the prevention and handling of issues and dangers, and provide the public with undisrupted protection and security. Digital transformation in the field of public safety can now be embraced by end-user organisations, thanks to secure and reliable communications technology and solutions, provided by Airbus.