New South Wales Fire Agency Deploys Integrated PTT Technology
Thursday, March 08, 2018 | Comments

Fire & Rescue New South Wales, Australia’s largest urban fire service and the fourth largest in the world, integrated push-to-talk (PTT) technology developed by Cobham and Wireless Innovation within its existing communications network. By combining satellite and LMR into a single ubiquitous network, the new technology extends the reach of data and voice communication across the 880,000 square kilometer New South Wales land mass that the service is responsible for.

Cobham SATCOM’s technology combines global L-band satellite technology and least-cost routing for automatic switching between satellite, Long Term Evolution (LTE) and LMR without user intervention. By combining all bearers available, the system significantly extends communications reach for the service, providing high-quality voice and data coverage throughout New South Wales, including in radio black spots.

The system uses a handheld microphone, making it user friendly for firefighters, who can pick up and talk without thinking about which service the conversation is being transmitted on. Additionally, the least-cost routing ensures costs are kept to the absolute minimum, making it a highly viable solution for publicly funded services.

Wireless Innovation is a Sydney-based company that provides hosted and fully managed PTT solutions to airtime providers and end users with the ability to manage global networks of any scale. Wireless Innovation provides the front-end management of the PTT solution for the fire service, ensuring easy admin including establishing call groups.

“While existing coverage in cities and urban areas is fine, providing full, reliable communications across New South Wales’ entire fringe and rural land mass with high-quality voice and data is incredibly challenging,” said Graham Tait, operational communications systems officer from Fire & Rescue New South Wales. “PTT is a vital aspect to our urban search-and-rescue operations as it ensures we have full coverage even when infrastructure is taken out due to flooding, cyclones or earthquakes, but the system will help us to deliver coverage throughout the state on fire trucks also. Ultimately, PTT is acting as a catalyst toward a proposed broadband public-safety network.”

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On 3/20/18, Wayne Pryor said:
That's well fine. Congratulations to NSW for implementing PTT. I am sure it will be closely watched, followed very closely by other services around Australia. That being said, we still have not overcome the biggest fundamental problem in Australia — that is that everyone wants their own little piece of real estate and is not willing to share with anyone else as was widely talked about at Comms Connect in Melbourne in December. We still we have the problem where our emergency services cannot cross a state border when called on in an emergency to talk to their interstate comrades because everyone insists on having their own network, none of which are compatible with anyone else's network. https// wiki First_Responder_Network_Authority

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