When Dallas, the U.S.’s ninth largest municipality, was looking for a way to enhance its emergency services’ responsiveness, it turned to Internet Protocol (IP)-based packet microwave radio technology from Murray Hill, N.J.-based Alcatel-Lucent.

The technology was used to establish a future-proof communications infrastructure. It offers resilient and secure data transmission capabilities to support voice, data and video critical services for more than 1.2 million city residents. The city installed the system in November 2014.

This new network is able to support the existing two-way radio system used by more than 10,000 city employees, from first responders to administrative personnel. It also provides high-speed, high-capacity data connections between various city facilities. The system enables enhanced voice and data communications for applications such as video surveillance.

“This is the overriding backbone for our radio system, which gives our first-responders 21st century capabilities,” says C.J. Holt, radio network manager for Dallas. “By having that backbone in place, we’ll be able to build radio systems that keep our folks safer and makes our radio systems easier to manage.”

At the heart of the system is Alcatel-Lucent’s 9500 Microwave Packet Radio (MPR) and its 7705 Service Aggregation Router. The components manage Ethernet, TDM and video services at each microwave site. A 5620 Service Aware Manager unit manages the new network.

The system’s design provides reliability and resiliency while reducing downtime on the network. “Our legacy microwave system was one big ring,” adds Holt. “With the new system, we actually have four separate rings that in some cases are connected together, and that allows better redundancy. There’s less chance of one incident taking out a good piece of our radio system.”
Learn more about Alcatel-Lucent here.

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