ESChat Completes Migration to AWS, Allowing Nationwide PTT Comms with LMR Users
Tuesday, November 10, 2020 | Comments

ESChat announced it completed a migration of all its U.S. based public-safety customers to the Amazon AWS GovCloud environment. The migration was the final step in a suite of enhancements required for the company to facilitate nationwide interagency push-to-talk (PTT) communications between ESChat customers and traditional LMR users.

The consolidation of users onto a single platform supports the company’s interworking functions (IWF) for both native ESChat users and external LMR users, providing interagency and intersystem interoperability. The native IWF is currently used to connect neighboring local agencies with overlay county and state agencies, as well as regional and national overlay agencies. The external IWF currently provides intersystem interoperability between ESChat on broadband devices (smartphones and tablets) and traditional LMR networks, using protocols that include the Inter-RF Subsystem Interface (ISSI) for Project 25 (P25) networks and Application Interface Specification (AIS) for Digital Mobile Radio (DMR) networks.

ESChat’s service infrastructure is doubly redundant. The Amazon AWS architecture provides redundancy zone capability within each data center. In addition, ESChat operates across multiple AWS data centers, providing the second level of geographic redundancy. In the eight years since ESChat began hosting its service via Amazon AWS, the company has provided service availability greater than 99.999%.

“We first migrated ESChat to Amazon AWS in 2012, and have been operating a bifurcated network with military customers on AWS GovCloud, and all other customers on AWS Commercial Cloud,” said ESChat Chief Technology Officer Brett Moser. “This latest migration puts all our military and public-safety customers in the same secure AWS environment, which was a requirement to facilitate complete intercarrier, interagency, and internetwork interoperability. We added the interagency portion of our IWF in 2014, and the advanced P25 (ISSI) and DMR (AIS) IWF features in 2018. Having all public-safety customers on GovCloud removes prior restrictions that prevented our military and federal users from communicating with all ESChat state or local public safety users.”

ESChat launched its PTT service in partnership with Verizon in 2008 with the first deployment at Edwards Air Force Base in California. Government and military markets have driven the company’s feature set and road map. Advancements in broadband network and device technology have been a key enabler for ESChat.

ESChat is a First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet) Certified solution and is also approved by the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) for U.S. military operational use. ESChat operates on and across all wireless carriers, providing intercarrier interoperability. ESChat supports quality of service (QoS) and radio access network (RAN) priority and preemption enhancements available to FirstNet subscribers, as well as QoS and RAN priority enhancements on the Verizon Wireless and AT&T commercial networks. In North America, ESChat is the primary PTT offering by T-Mobile and TELUS.

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