ESTA enhances emergency radio network with Motorola
In readiness for the 2010/11 Victorian bushfire season, the Emergency Services Telecommunications Authority (ESTA) has today announced the successful completion of a multi-million dollar project with Motorola Solutions, a business of Motorola Inc. (NYSE: MOT) to enhance the coverage of its metropolitan two-way radio network in rapidly-growing population areas.
ESTA provides Victorians with access to emergency assistance via the Triple Zero (000) service. The Metropolitan Coverage Enhancement Project (MCEP) provides enhanced coverage in the key areas of Berwick / Pakenham, Warrandyte and the Mornington Peninsula, all of which are areas of steady population and are considered to be extremely fire-prone. MCEP provides key enhancements to the core Metropolitan Mobile Radio (MMR) switching technology that enables further cost effective coverage and capacity expansion in the future. It also enables the deployment of secure IP dispatch consoles, improving the resilience of ESTA call taking and dispatching capabilities.
MMR provides secure mission critical radio communications for police, fire and ambulance in the greater Melbourne metropolitan area and is provided on behalf of the State by Motorola under a Public Private Partnership (PPP).
Andrew Wellwood, ESTA’s acting chief executive officer, says “the project was completed with minimum disruption thanks to the full co-operation – and participation – of Victoria Police, Ambulance Victoria and the Metropolitan Fire Brigade, ensuring those emergency services organisations (ESO) can make full use of the expanded capacity”.
In March 2004 the State Government commissioned Motorola to design, implement and manage a consolidated private two-way radio network for Victoria’s ESOs, solving the problem of mismatched, often incompatible systems while significantly enhancing coverage across the greater metropolitan area of Melbourne. The resulting MMR was the first emergency communications network service in Australia to be procured under a PPP, which ensured that risk for delivery of the service was apportioned to the most appropriate party, resulting in widespread benefits for ESOs, ESTA and the general public.
“Through the Motorola contract we have realised significant benefits. While Motorola continues to provide ESOs with next generation equipment and access to vastly improved functionality, call clarity and safety features, ESTA has been able to maintain the essential focus of emergency management and emergency telecommunications services – a package which ultimately provides a service to a safer Victorian community,” said Wellwood.
Dr Michael N’Guyen, general manager, government and public safety, Motorola Solutions Australia, said MCEP further enhances the existing MMR service that different ESOs can use to communicate with each other across the shared network.
“Mission-critical communications is one of the single-most important factors in successfully co-ordinating a public safety operation in response to an emergency, and the MMR has equipped Victoria’s ESOs with one of the country’s most sophisticated networks,” he said.
ESTA manages the MMR network on behalf of the State in accordance with the Government’s Partnership Victoria principles. The network forms an important part of ESTA’s call centre and dispatch operations, with 8,000 fixed, portable and mobile (vehicle-based) radio sets in use. The MMR service typically processes over 16 million calls per year.
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Alexandra Reynolds Guy Lerner
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