Stable, fast, and secure cellular networks at remote sites are crucial to the public safety sector. High bandwidth connections are necessary to transfer real-time videos and images, and first responders at remote sites and those on call must stay seamlessly connected.
To achieve this, the Greenville Sheriff’s Department worked with Joe Schmauch of Greenville Media and Mark Robison of VITEC. The team used Peplink’s link aggregation routers and wireless technology, SpeedFusion, to achieve cellular bonding of LTE networks from multiple carriers. With this setup, real-time surveillance video feeds can be streamed from helicopters to public safety first responders on the field instantly without having to build specialized network towers.
They were getting this amazing video from the drone and the SpeedFusion set-up gave them a way to distribute it in real time.Joe Schmauch, Greenville Media
More than 600 municipal law enforcement agencies deploy helicopters for aerial surveillance and observation, but due to the limited bandwidth of conventional communication systems, few of them are capable of real-time video feeds for responders on the ground. Mostly, public safety professionals have to rely on industry-standard COTS microwave systems, which are expensive and require multiple signal towers and line-of-sight transmission. Adequate coverage of Greenville County would have required finding, leasing, or erecting towers to cover 800 square miles. The only field alternative was a $100,000 handheld receiver that still required a line-of-sight connection to the helicopter.
A system using Peplink’s Multi-WAN SpeedFusion secure VPN, Bandwidth Bonding, and Hot Failover was configured.
The team deployed a Balance 210 business router at the mobile command center, and a MAX HD2 IP67 or a MAX HD4 wireless router on each of their surveillance vehicles. SpeedFusion VPN tunnels were then created between each pair of these devices for the implementation of Peplink’s SpeedFusion technology. Bandwidth Bonding, one of SpeedFusion’s highlight features, bonded the cellular WAN links from the wireless routers into a robust high bandwidth connection. Meanwhile, Hot Failover, another important feature, made sure that if there was a WAN disconnection, the traffic would be transferred to another connection instantly.
These Peplink’s devices and wireless technology brought uninterrupted high-bandwidth cellular network connection to the surveillance helicopters. Via the SpeedFusion VPN tunnels, encrypted real-time surveillance videos were fed into the business router deployed at the mobile command center.
Public Safety Solution
The cost-effective system that used widely available cellular networks without additional infrastructure made things always work in this public safety scenario. With Peplink’s link aggregation routers and SpeedFusion wireless technology, the Sheriff’s department could send real-time videos to the mobile command center and the deputies responding at the scene. SpeedFusion VPN, Bandwidth Bonding and Hot Failover enabled the full HD stream to be securely broadcasted with less than two seconds of delay. Over a secure CDN, the video streams were also shared to department cell phones and to other first responders.
The Greenville Sheriff’s Department shared this public safety solution featuring Peplink’s devices and technology with other agencies through a mutual aid agreement. With a FLIR camera, the helicopters showed real-time thermal images to firefighters on the ground from the air.