SAN MATEO, Calif., March 22, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- The Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo drew more than 2.4 million visitors this year, which required a massive public safety effort to cover an event this size. However, for the first time, local public safety agencies were equipped with the latest mobile solutions that greatly improve response times and inter-department communications.
Sonim Technologies, maker of the world's toughest mobile phones, provided a total of 75 Sonim XP7 Android smartphone devices to local public safety, fire and EMS first responders throughout the course of the 20-day event.
The deployment is significant in that it is the largest pilot program Sonim has participated in to date. With participation in eight major deployments over the past year including the Papal visit in Philadelphia, the Rose Parade and the "Big Game," the XP7 has proven to be a preferred smartphone used on LTE Band Class 14, FirstNet's high-speed, wireless broadband network dedicated solely to first responders.
The Band Class 14 network has been in the testing phase for several years and allows first responders to bypass the consumer mobile networks that tend to get congested at events of this size, which can greatly impact public safety response times. The Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo is one of many early deployments of an LTE Band Class 14 network.
"While we've made a lot of progress with our network rollout, there's still a long way to go," said Jim McMillan, Engineering Manager, Harris County Public Safety Technology Services. "Through these larger scale operations, we are learning a great deal about device and accessory use cases, coverage expectations, and how to continually improve our network as we grow and expand the system."
The XP7 smartphones are customized with software developed specifically for first responders and includes technology from ESChat and STING by Intrepid Networks.
ESChat provided first responders a secure communication platform using the dedicated LTE bandwidth required for mission critical Push-to-Talk (PTT) operations. ESChat's integrated real-time location tracking & mapping was also used for enhanced situational awareness. Harris County also opted to interface the LTE based ESChat users to three LMR channels, providing seamless interoperability between first responders using LMR and the FirstNet Band 14 LTE network.
STING, provided by the Intrepid Networks, is a Situational Awareness tool with functionality designed specifically for Public Safety use during dynamic events. STING provides First Responders essential information in an easy to use interface to provide visual information necessary for rapid decision-making. A sample of the types of shared data utilized within the system include real time GPS positions, satellite maps, floorplans, driver's license images, text notes and photographs. The system increases the ability of all First Responders to orient, observe, decide and act with greater confidence and thus improves quality of operations.
"Each deployment is a learning experience and builds on our growing foundation of expertise," said Robert Escalle, Vice President – Public Safety & Defense, Sonim Technologies. "We continue to find ways to improve and refine our entire product portfolio using these as metrics in improving and delivering the absolute best products for first responders and industrial workers worldwide."
ABOUT SONIM TECHNOLOGIES:
Sonim Technologies (http://www.sonimtech.com) is the provider of mission-critical solutions designed specifically for workers in extreme, hazardous and isolated environments. The Sonim solution includes ultra-rugged mobile phones, business-process applications and a suite of industrial-grade accessories, collectively designed to increase worker productivity, accountability and safety on the job site. Sonim's industry-leading, 3-year comprehensive warranty has redefined customer expectations of rugged technology. The company is headquartered in San Mateo, Calif., and offers its products with mobile operators around the world.
SLA's ESChat (http://www.eschat.com) is the leading solution for carrier independent Secure Push to Talk (PTT) over LTE communications. ESChat includes AES-256 encrypted PTT voice and multimedia (text and image) messaging. ESChat also provides live and historical (bread crumb) tracking and mapping. Currently used by the U.S. Military as well as Federal, State and Local law enforcement, ESChat is able to operate over FirstNet Band 14 LTE spectrum, commercial carriers and WiFi. ESChat supports interoperability with all LMR radio networks, including P25 via the native Inter RF Subsystem Interface (ISSI) protocol and DMR via the native Inter Application Interface Specification (AIS) protocol.
ABOUT INTREPID NETWORKS:
Intrepid Networks (www.intrepid-networks.com) is a provider of mission-critical mobile software solutions designed specifically to provide real-time Situational Awareness for the tactical, intelligence and Public Safety community. Their solutions provide several operational benefits to users to collectively improve First Responder safety, reduce liability risk and increase operational efficiency. STING®, which is the company's core product line, currently serves several Federal, State, County and Municipal agencies in the United States, and the platform has received NTOA Member Tested and Recommended accreditation.
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SOURCE Sonim Technologies