Any city administrator knows that a reliable mission-critical communications network is essential for protecting public safety. This means reliability, resiliency and deterministic QoS to ensure that first responders’ voice and data always get through in even the most congested or distress situations. Adding to the challenge, these requirements must be met in the face of today’s rapidly growing video and data traffic, while providing a platform for tomorrow’s advanced applications.
No doubt, this is a daunting challenge, but one that can be managed to the highest levels of safety and efficiency using the right technology. That is why the City of San Diego decided in 2013 to work with Nokia to upgrade its aging land mobile radio backhaul network to significantly increase the network capacity and strengthen public safety communications. The new network also has the capability to support other city services, which serves its police, fire, border patrol and water management, as well as the library system, lifeguards, the city’s business operations and other municipal users.
San Diego’s solution had to support microwave and Gigabit Ethernet-based fiber link today, with the capability to eventually evolve to 10 Gb/s and even 100 Gb/s technology, while preserving as much existing nodal infrastructure and network configurations as possible. It required stable, reliable performance, and the capability to carry Internet Protocol version 6 (IPv6) and IP multicast when necessary. It also demanded common operational procedures for legacy TDM, Ethernet and IP-based systems, along with a consistent end-to-end packet approach over microwave and fiber links. QoS policy would need to constantly prioritize critical traffic, along with the strong resilience to reroute when necessary.
Over the course of the past few years, we met all of San Diego’s requirements with a new shared IP/MPLS backhaul network based on a suite of proven Nokia products designed for mission-critical communications. We also designed a highly resilient, multi-ring network topology that ensures communications continuity in the event of attacks or failures from weather, fires, earthquakes, cyberattacks and other emergencies, and provided key professional services such as network design and on-site engineering support.
Now San Diego’s new network can evolve to support future data traffic, providing its public safety operations and the city with the capacity to run advanced applications. It allows older applications to migrate off existing legacy network gracefully, attaining operation cost savings. It enables unified management across IP/MPLS and microwave layers, integrated operational efficiency, comprehensive monitoring and an industry-leading set of network and services management tools for end-to-end visibility, fault detection/correction and service provisioning. It also assures high QoS for real-time agency applications, which now can be distributed to any point on the network with unparalleled reliability.
Compared to San Diego’s previous solution, this IP/MPLS network is far more agile, allowing the city to use shared infrastructure while providing some autonomy to its business units for their mission-critical and central services. Utilizing both microwave and optical transport, it is now supporting high-speed, high-capacity data connections between all of the city’s municipal facilities, with enhanced voice and data communications for first responders such as police and fire departments, and supports other applications, including SCADA and business operations.
Interested in learning more? You can read all about San Diego’s public safety communications transformation in this Nokia case study, which identifies and explains in detail the challenges, solutions and benefits of the city’s new IP/MPLS-based backhaul system.
Public safety is always the highest priority for any governmental entity – and communications is central to that. We were happy to provide a proven solution and expertise for San Diego, just as we do every day for other governments seeking to modernize their aging communications infrastructures for first responders.
To find out more, check out our Nokia Backhaul Portfolio Page or the following two videos:
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