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Public Sector – Secure mobile connectivity solutions

Mobile Connectivity in the Public Sector

  • Resource light public bodies need to escape framework restrictions   
  • Gateway to all major UK networks broadens connectivity horizons 
  • VPN platform gets the green light from Blue Light services

Police, Fire & Rescue and all public sector organisations are tasked with delivering critical services to businesses and residents within tight frameworks and even tighter budgets. Vital to this is the seamless transfer of often sensitive and confidential data, which, fuelled by the expectation of ‘anywhere, anytime information’, is now in higher volumes than ever before.

With congestion and latency not an option, this demands a highly secure network infrastructure to support mission critical services and high bandwidth applications. Yet for cash-strapped and resource light public sector bodies, having the budgets and technical know-how to implement the optimum solutions remains an ongoing challenge.

Sector-specific challenges

The use of a Private Access Point Name (APN) has long been a preferred, and often mandatory requirement for this sector due to its resilience and security. Traditionally however this has been with a single mobile network provider which means putting all your eggs in one basket. Connectivity demands have to be shoehorned to fit around that one network leading to gaps in coverage that are costly to address while the operator, who without the engagement of the M2M/IoT divisions of the network,  may be lacking the specialist knowledge of that marketplace.

With the mobile network operating in ‘silos’ many of these organisations will be managed by the Enterprise voice divisions who may not want to hand-over their precious customers (and commissions) to another division.

A further challenge arises from the public sector’s preference for a fixed interconnect such as leased line connection to their data centre instead of the Virtual Private Networks (VPN) commonly used in commercial organisations. As a physical link between two locations, leased lines are perceived to be more secure but remain very costly to implement.

To overcome these pain points among others, the sector is increasingly looking to M2M/IoT aggregators who can provide alternative network options through fully managed solutions that incorporate the delivery of cellular infrastructure and offer something beyond their standard frameworks agreement.

The Wireless Logic proposition

As a leading M2M & IoT connectivity platform provider,  Wireless Logic is fast gaining a strong reputation for its work in this sector. Several Ambulance Trusts, County Councils, Police, Fire & Rescue are tapping into Wireless Logic’s experience and sector knowledge which is seeing their data transmitted more reliably and competitively with no compromise on security.

At the heart of its offering is a resilient, secure and fast Virtual Private Network platform – NetPro, used as an overlay across all the UK’s major mobile network operators to provide a single interconnect and peerless level of choice to secure the best cellular network option. The result is a cost-effective alternative to organisations wishing to avoid major investment in their own IT architecture, leased lines and associated support costs. And where it is specified to use multiple networks, Wireless Logic’s SIM management platform – SIMPro, enables the user to manage, control and monitor multiple network SIMs through one intuitive window.

Wireless Logic’s ability to work closely with the organisation and tailor a solution to meet their requirement flexibly rather than a one size fits all solution and the inevitable compromises is another significant advantage. Rather than being left to it to work directly through their framework agreement with the existing network operator, in Wireless Logic they have a consultant and senior counsel who understands the nuances of their sector and can advise accordingly.

 

How it is working in practice:

Ambulance Trust: Triaging on route to hospital
One way in which the public sector consumes Wireless Logic’s services is through its system integrator partners, an example of which is a pre-hospital care technology provider which has created an automated triage solution for the emergency services.

Wireless Logic teamed up its core solution which transfers emergency patient data via a tablet from the ambulance on route to the hospital to the Ambulance Trust. To make this happen, Wireless Logic took out the cost, time and logistics for the ambulance service by providing two leased line interconnects which run from the group’s fully redundant London-based data centre to the customer’s data centre terminating onto managed routers, which were supplied and pre-configured on behalf of the partner & trust.  The result was a managed service which was ready to go and working at optimal efficiency and covering failover and disaster recovery all wrapped up in one model.

Police ANPR
Traditional ANPR cameras which communicate car number plate data back to the police station as one way traffic pose minimal security risks. However, the advent of more sophisticated in-vehicle intelligent ANPR cameras involving a two-way data exchange throws up far greater security implications. With budget cuts seeing designated ANPR CCTV departments often replaced with generalist IT project managers, ANPR providers are now being asked by police forces to deliver a fully managed solution. Wireless Logic forms a fundamental part of this offering as communications provider, supplying the System Integrator, & ergo the customer a one stop shop connectivity solution.

Wireless Logic began working with a police force which was tied to an agreement with a single mobile network provider. Shortfalls in connectivity had led to latency which was affecting the performance of existing ANPR solutions both in-vehicle and at fixed sites. With resilient and secure connects and interconnects paramount, it implemented a dedicated Virtual Platform Network across the standard cellular connectivity to provide a gateway to multiple network providers. As well as reducing both CAPEX and OPEX, this introduced far greater choice and a more tailored solution delivered in one, affordable package.

To learn more about Wireless Logic’s connectivity solutions within the ANPR sector, click here.

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Hao Shi, Solutions Consultant, Arkessa, part of Wireless Logic Group discusses why cellular connectivity is an option to replace legacy PSTN technology before the switch off in 2025.

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