New Zealand Police modernizes with IP-based communications.
With the need to develop a fit-for-purpose, secure telecommunications network, the New Zealand Police looked to develop a future-proof solution over the next 21 years.
Enhancing community safety is at the core of the New Zealand Police's ethos. Since the 1980s, Ericsson has worked with the force, building a relationship that has grown substantially over time.
In addition to a strong and long-lasting relationship between the two organizations, the New Zealand Police has already benefited from an established platform, provided and maintained by Ericsson. This included Ericsson Enterprise solutions, which have the ability to provide complete end-to-end communications solutions to enterprises and organizations.
Richard Harkett, Radio Manager, the New Zealand Police, describes the reasons for Ericsson's selection for this task: "Ericsson was chosen because of its extensive global expertise, local knowledge and proven performance. Its solutions are reliable and they meet our precise requirements."
In 1988, the New Zealand Police selected Ericsson to deliver a national voice-switching platform for its 111 emergency number and to access the police Land Mobile Radio Network (LMRN) for management of tactical response. This system was progressively evolved into a tailored MD110 platform with Ericsson Control Application for radio, Dynamic Network Administrator, voicemail and call center applications, seamlessly handling over 600 000 emergency 111 calls and 1.2 million non-urgent calls annually in the three joint police and fire communications centers. It also covers all other internal, external operational, administrative and general calls at more than 430 other police stations, without congestion and exceeding the 99.9 percent designed reliability requirement.
Historically, the New Zealand Police had utilized its inhouse low capacity radio links and leased lines from public network operators for its telecommunications needs. While effective, this proved to be costly, with limited reliability from a lack of disaster recovery capability and not enough flexibility to reconfigure the network in response to unplanned events. The organization was looking for a more practical, reliable, scalable and flexible telecommunications network to meet its operational and administrative requirements. Lyn Provost, Deputy Commissioner Resources Management, New Zealand Police, explains the high expectations for its new communications network: "We are future-proofing the transmission and telephony platforms. We need flexibility so we can reconfigure, complete additions, moves and changes quicker and make the infrastructure easier to maintain and manage centrally."
In 2005, a groundbreaking 21-year agreement was exclusively signed with Ericsson, in three seven-year sections, for the supply and support of flexible and scalable point-to-point microwave radio network systems. The contract is based on MINI-LINK™ TN and MINI-LINK™ HC, while MINI-LINK™ Manager will also be employed to supervise and manage the individual elements of the network. Through its next generation microwave network infrastructure, Ericsson will assist the police in developing its own internal nationwide telecommunications network.
This challenging solution requires the maintenance of high-quality services, combined with uncompromising security. With its own plans to evolve to IP-telephony, merging mobile and fixed technologies and future-proof solutions, the police needed to be able to manage the progressive evolution of its network, in line with its wider policing strategies. Stephen Willson, Key Account Manager, Ericsson, outlines the significance of a solution built on such a strong long-term strategic relationship: "It is a big responsibility to provide the products and services upon which such a critical organization must depend 24 hours a day and this is something we take very seriously. Ericsson understands this and is committed to delivering the right outcome for the customer."
In addition to infrastructure, key mobile security software such as Ericsson Mobile Corporate Access (EMCA) will be used by the police to turn its vehicles into 'mobile police stations'. EMCA is in worldwide use, with mobile users on handheld devices and PC laptops, but this is the first time it has been deployed on a specifically-designed PC platform to provide secure and reliable connectivity between police databases and vehicles exposed to extreme environmental conditions.
Ericsson is also progressively upgrading the New Zealand Police's telephony network with 55 nodes and over 10 000 extensions. Currently, police staff in more than 430 stations have been provided with 3 000 Ericsson fixed-IP handsets. The remaining 7 000 handsets will be upgraded to all-IP terminals using the new server-based IP system Ericsson MX-ONE™ to integrate data, voice and mobile communications into a single system. In addition, the New Zealand Police is looking at an Ericsson cellular over wireless LAN solution that will provide police users with a 'One-Phone' mobile terminal, enabling seamless roaming between the mobile operator's cellular network and the police voice-over WLAN infrastructure.
A project is also underway to activate the multimedia contact center functionally within Ericsson's Solidus eCare™ application in the police's three communications centers. It will provide a unified communications platform to answer emergency and non-emergency calls from the public and to dispatch field resources. A pilot to evaluate the benefits of establishing a Single Non Emergency Number to enhance the process of handling non-urgent calls for assistance and telephone reporting of historical incidents is already up and running. In addition the Solidus eCare™ capability to provide virtual contact center management is being assessed.
Ericsson will build on its close long-term partnership and shared vision with the New Zealand Police with dedicated support at installment, operation and upgrade. Stephen Willson explains the importance of this partnership: "We are pleased to be able to extend the already longstanding relationship with the police. We have been working with the police since the early 1980s. Ericsson is very proud to provide expertise and support to an organization whose core value is to ensure public safety."
While the scope and scale of the transmission project remains huge, initial implementation has already been completed by the police at the majority of sites in the Wellington area and will be progressively deployed to all existing sites in the country over the following years. In addition, the next generation of police cars rolling off the production line will have EMCA fitted as standard, after the successful test period has been completed.
In all, the comprehensive, flexible and reliable IP-based solution provided for the New Zealand Police in the future will deliver a variety of policing benefits. As well as the advantages of a privately-owned network, improving governance, management and total cost of ownership of the police's telecommunications infrastructure, the enhancements made by Ericsson will improve reliability, response time and quality of service for New Zealanders.
Lyn Provost describes the potential benefits for the police over the next two decades: "With the right infrastructure in place and backed by the right technology partners who understand our business, the police will be strategically placed to deliver tools to make life for its frontline staff easier and to provide an environment in which they can carry out their duties safely and effectively."
Customer: New Zealand Police