August 17, 2005
M/A-COM Awarded Contract to Install IP-Based NetworkFirst Interoperability Solution for Denver Police Department
NetworkFirst To Connect 13 Disparate Radio Systems in the Denver Area; Solution to Provide Increased Public Safety Communications Capabilities
LOWELL, Mass. - M/A-COM, Inc., a business unit of Tyco Electronics and a leading manufacturer of critical radio systems deployed around the world, today announced that it was awarded a contract to implement its NetworkFirst Interoperability Solution for the Denver, CO Police Department. NetworkFirst, an Internet Protocol (IP)-based network solution for public safety communications interoperability, had been temporarily installed in the city of Denver on a trial basis. The solution will be fully-implemented to tie together disparate radio systems to enable various Denver-area public safety agencies to communicate with each other during crucial emergency situations.
“Radio interoperability has been the most significant issue we have faced with our communications systems and addressing the problem has been a high priority for our department for some time,” said Dana Hansen, superintendent of communications for the Denver Police Department. “M/A-COM’s NetworkFirst system uses advanced VoIP technology that will enable us to connect all of the public safety agencies in our area and handle more than 200,000 different talk groups which officers can access at the push of a button. NetworkFirst has already proven itself to be an effective solution during our extensive trial implementations and we now look forward to expanding the scope of the network to address communications interoperability with our neighboring public safety agencies.”
“Among fellow public safety officials, interoperability, particularly as it pertains to communications, is a most critical topic,” said Chief Dan O’Hayre, Chief of Technology and Support for the Denver Police Department. “Many in the public safety community are convinced that it is impossible for disparate radio systems to link. I’ve spent time explaining the merits of the NetworkFirst talk path to several officials, and most have been truly amazed by the concept. It’s like introducing a lighter to people who have spent their whole lives rubbing sticks together to build a fire. NetworkFirst is that far of an advancement in communications technology.”
During a recent NetworkFirst demonstration for area officials, the Denver Police Department successfully used the solution to demonstrate several scenarios where public safety officials would require cross-agency communications, including multi-jurisdictional police and fire emergencies and Amber Alert situations. Colorado officials have experienced several major incidents in recent years that have called for the use of on-site interoperable communications, including the April 1999 Columbine shootings and a major apartment fire in Glendale, CO in December 2003. Both of these situations escalated into multi-jurisdictional emergencies and the radio communication between the various agencies on scene proved to be problematic. With these incidents in mind, the Denver Police Department has aggressively pursued new, viable interoperability solutions to alleviate these communications challenges, and explored several options before determining that NetworkFirst provided the most viable and cost-effective solution.
M/A-COM’s NetworkFirst Interoperability Solution provides a fixed IP-based network solution to public safety interoperability, thereby allowing real-time, in-place communications. Unlike patch solutions, NetworkFirst provides ‘intelligent interoperability’ using talkgroups as the fundamental entity for facilitating interoperability while also providing 256 talkgroup priority levels. NetworkFirst interconnects existing radio communications systems for interoperability based on routine and emergency needs. The solution uses an IP, packet-switched, infrastructure allowing nearly unlimited scalability - from connecting two nearby agencies together to connecting multiple agencies across an entire state, and even beyond. This capability makes NetworkFirst a very powerful weapon in meeting requirements for homeland security.
“We feel extremely privileged to have been given the opportunity to support the Denver Police Department’s efforts to install a capable interoperability solution,” said Chuck Shaughnessy, Vice President, System Integration, M/A-COM, Inc. “With NetworkFirst, the Denver Police Department can harness the power of IP technology to achieve true multi-agency interoperability while remaining cost-effective in comparison to alternative solutions. Denver has worked diligently to provide its citizens a safe environment that utilizes the most advanced technology available. NetworkFirst will provide exactly that.”
M/A-COM, Inc., a business unit of Tyco Electronics, is a leading supplier of critical communications systems and equipment for public safety, utility, federal and select commercial markets. Products range from some of the most advanced IP-based voice and data networks, to traditional wireless systems that offer customers the highest levels of reliability, interoperability, scalability and security. M/A-COM is also a recognized leader in the design and manufacture of radio frequency (RF), microwave and millimeter wave solutions for the commercial wireless telecommunications, aerospace and defense industries. Headquartered in Lowell, MA, M/A-COM has offices and manufacturing facilities worldwide. Information about M/A-COM can be found on the Web at www.macom.com or www.macom-wireless.com.
Tyco Electronics is a business segment of Tyco International Ltd. (NYSE: TYC, LSE: TYI, BSX: TYC). Tyco International Ltd. is a global, diversified company that provides vital products and services to customers in five business segments: Fire & Security, Electronics, Healthcare, Engineered Products & Services, and Plastics & Adhesives. With 2004 revenue of $40 billion, Tyco employs approximately 260,000 people worldwide. More information on Tyco can be found at www.tyco.com.