When it comes to emergency response vehicle equipment, communications devices are vitally important. Without the ability to communicate quickly and effectively at all times, your employees can’t carry out their jobs correctly and lives could be put at risk. Internal cellular and in-car internet gateway are two types of systems used for fleet vehicle communication. Here, we’ll compare using the two together vs. using internal cellular as a stand-alone system for emergency response.
Internal Cellular Stand-Alone Systems
An internal cellular system by itself can connect emergency service fleets through the most common three types of cell phones. With this system in place by itself, in-vehicle connections are at a high risk of being vulnerable to hackers or cyber attacks. These vulnerabilities can interfere with communications among people who need it most—first responders who are trying to save lives. In the past, a cellular USB dongle was used to keep communication devices safe, but this is now an outdated technology that no longer works well.
Internal cellular stand-alone systems are vulnerable to dropped calls, missed calls, and spotty reception. Effective cellular communication depends on cell towers. In more remote areas, where fewer cell towers are available, phones may not pick up a signal at all. When you move closer to a cell tower, your phone automatically chooses that tower for reception over one that is farther away. If you happen to be in an area without good reception, the public could be at risk as a result of emergency first responders being unable to communicate with each other.
Internal Cellular with In-Car Mobile Gateway
More advanced communications systems in public safety vehicles combine internal cellular with an in-car internet gateway, allowing greater flexibility and connectivity no matter where you are. This type of system offers the best security on the market today. The advantages of this communications system include support for multiple networks while providing secure wireless technology between vehicles and the infrastructure. It provides secure and intelligent switching between your networks automatically, so all of the information is safe, and communications are provided in real time with no delays. An internet gateway used in conjunction with internal cellular creates a mobile hotspot for both hardwired and wireless technologies in the vehicle as well as near the vehicle outside.
Sierra Wireless Capabilities for First Responders
Sierra AirLink products, such as the MG90, ES450, and the MP70 routers supply your vehicle upfits with all of the latest technology to provide the best support for first responders. When you include these systems in your upfits, it also makes it more cost effective to add upgrades to your system at a later date, avoiding extra expenses down the road.
Sierra Wireless systems can provide police officers information while they are on the way to a call. They can access previous calls at the address, names of persons involved, and past records. Advance knowledge helps police officers with courthouse applications and license plate recognition, too.
Emergency medical service applications include the availability of electronic patient care records to understand a person’s medical history and conditions while on the way to an emergency call. Vital signs can be transmitted to the hospital from the field to speed up the process and save valuable time upon arrival.
Firefighters obtain access to important information on the way to a fire, such as if there are hazardous materials involved and their location as well as the best access areas to the fire to help protect all emergency personnel and the citizens on a scene.
If you are planning a new first responder upfit, it is in your best interest and the interest of the public to get the latest and greatest in technology. Contact Keltek for more information about Sierra Wireless or any of our other products or services, or click below for a free quote.