April 20, 2009
Aruba Networks Releases New Technical Brief on Campus E9-1-1 Emergency Call Handling Over Wi-Fi
Document Explains How Aruba's Wireless LANs Interface With Cisco's Unified Communications Manager and Emergency Responder for a Complete E9-1-1 Solution
Sunnyvale, CA--(Marketwire) - Aruba Networks, Inc. (NASDAQ: ARUN), a global leader in wireless LANs and secure mobility solutions, today announced the availability of a new technical brief on using adaptive wireless LANs for Enhanced 9-1-1 (E9-1-1) emergency call handling in campus environments. Wi-Fi phones present unique challenges for E9-1-1 systems because they are untethered from the wired connections typically used to identify physical location. "Looking for Trouble" explains how Aruba's solution feed data on Wi-Fi phone location to Cisco's Unified Communications Manager (UCM) and Emergency Responder (CER) systems for delivering a complete E9-1-1 solution.
"The popularity of Wi-Fi devices, including PC-based soft phones, in campus deployments presents a challenge to emergency response services because these highly mobile devices are difficult to locate using conventional 9-1-1 services," said Peter Thornycroft, author of the technical brief. "'Looking for Trouble' discusses the challenges of designing a wireless LAN for E9-1-1 services, and explains how Aruba's best-in-class centralized architecture interfaces with UCM and CER to meet the needs of campus deployments."
Emergency services calls must be processed and acted upon quickly if they're to be effective. Enterprise PBXs incorporate sophisticated, dependable emergency call handling features to meet this need with stationary wired phones, associating a phone's extension number with a specific physical location on a one-to-one basis.
When voice over IP (VoIP) technology was first introduced it broke the one-to-one model. A VoIP extension number moves with the telephone, and is not tied to the location of the phone jack into which it's plugged. If a VoIP phone is moved, location identification is lost. To overcome this problem, technology was developed that identified the Ethernet edge switches to which VoIP phones were connected, and then extracted pre-configured location data from the switches. All IP PBX vendors incorporate some variant of this locationing methodology to deliver E9-1-1 services.
Wi-Fi phones present a problem in this scheme because they are untethered from the wired network. Upon power-up Wi-Fi phones connect to wireless access points, which in turn connect to Ethernet edge switches, and then register with the IP PBX. Once registered, Wi-Fi phones can and do roam anywhere within a building or campus -- moving from access point to access point, switch to switch -- without a fixed physical connection to the network.
The job of identifying the location of Wi-Fi phones falls to the Wi-Fi network itself, which must ensure that the IP address of the phone originating an emergency call accurately reflects its location. Aruba's centralized architecture is designed to allocate the IP address of each Wi-Fi phone when it associates with an access point. The identification of the access point is then associated with the virtual LANs available within network. These data are passed in real-time to the UCM and CER.
When a Wi-Fi phone makes an emergency call, its location is mapped to the emergency response location on a floor plan and the IP address is converted to an extension number. The correct location and phone number then appear on the emergency dispatcher's screen. This solution is scalable from a single campus up to multi-site locations.
"E9-1-1 has been of particular interest to college campuses where wireless LAN coverage is more pervasive in-building than cellular, and is better integrated with campus safety operations," continued Thornycroft. "Having direct control over the wireless LAN allows IT to set network priority in favor of emergency communications, ensuring that voice calls are allocated network resources ahead of all other traffic. Aruba's solution is ideal for E9-1-1 because it works with all standard Wi-Fi-capable telephones, recognizes application type and user role, and is designed to expedite emergency calls."
"Looking for Trouble" can be downloaded from Aruba's Web site at http://www.arubanetworks.com/pdf/technology/TB_EMERCALL.pdf.
About Aruba Networks
People move. Networks must follow. Aruba securely delivers networks to users, wherever they work or roam. Our mobility solutions enable the Follow-Me Enterprise that moves in lock-step with users:
-- Adaptive 802.11a/b/g/n Wi-Fi networks optimize themselves to ensure that users are always within reach of mission-critical information;
-- Identity-based security assigns access policies to users, enforcing those policies whenever and wherever a network is accessed;
-- Remote networking solutions ensure uninterrupted access to applications as users move;
-- Multi-vendor network management provides a single point of control while managing both legacy and new wireless networks from Aruba and its competitors.
The cost, convenience, and security benefits of our secure mobility solutions are fundamentally changing how and where we work. Listed on the NASDAQ and Russell 2000® Index, Aruba is based in Sunnyvale, California, and has operations throughout the Americas, Europe, Middle East, and Asia Pacific regions. To learn more, visit Aruba at http://www.arubanetworks.com. For real-time news updates follow Aruba on Twitter at http://twitter.com/ArubaNetworks.
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