Comprehensive Communication Services (CCS) is a longtime FrontierUS Peplink Channel Partner and reseller based in Ft. Worth, Texas. Since 2007, they have been manufacturing their own line of mobile command center trailers and vehicles called Mobile Emergency Response Centers (MERCs) that are used by agencies in 14 countries. MERCs provide mobile communications and power resources to First Responders that enable them to respond to any manmade or natural disaster.
In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, the founders of CCS recognized that the most important elements of disaster response are the ability to communicate and coordinate resources effectively. At that time, many existing mobile command centers lacked a communications package capable of providing those key capabilities. Often, they had only mobile radios, with either no satellite service or very limited satellite network connectivity. They also frequently lacked interoperability with other First Responders, cellular connectivity, video surveillance for situational awareness, and access to news media resources.
With that in mind, they established CCS with a total commitment to providing mobile communication platforms for First Responders that allow effective communication anywhere in the world regardless of the local conditions.
They saw a need for a company that could not only manufacture a robust line of mobile command centers, but more importantly provide and integrate the vital communication equipment First Responders require. Their goal was to develop the most robust communication package on the market for mobile command centers and enable First Responder communication across multiple platforms.
Two key components of the MERC units’ communications package are satellite connectivity and LTE/5G connectivity. After a hurricane or other disaster, LTE and cellular service are often unavailable for hours or even days. During these outages, satellite connectivity may be the only option available.
CCS has been utilizing the Peplink router line for many years because it provides customers with a very robust cellular connection using multiple SIMs from multiple carriers. Peplink’s patented SpeedFusion technology can bond these network connections together, combining their speed and bandwidth into a single resilient data pipe.
By utilizing the WAN port on the Peplink routers, CCS can also use SpeedFusion technology to include satellite network connections in this bonded network. By feeding all these network connections into a single Peplink router, CCS ensures that the customer is getting the best possible network connection. Peplink’s network management platform InControl 2 (IC2) even makes it possible to automate the network selection process, ensuring customers always have the best connection possible.
The result is on full display with the 48-foot MERC mobile command center CCS delivered to the State of Louisiana Fire Marshal’s Office in September 2023. This agency is responsible for responding to any disaster in the state, including hurricanes and wildfires, so the ability to communicate and coordinate resources effectively is of paramount importance to them.
Their new MERC command center features a spacious conference room furnished with a 12-foot table and an 8×8 video wall. A 40-foot Fireco pneumatic mast with a video camera security system on the mast head is also included. For power, there is a 30-kilowatt diesel generator and rack mount UPS. There are Motorola 700/800 radios, hosted VoIP phones, a Direct TV HD satellite dish, and an off-air HD antenna and tuner. A Mutualink IWS system facilitates cross-agency communication by seamlessly integrating radio, phone, video, text, and data.
Peplink and Starlink are at the heart of the communications system for this command center. The Peplink router comes with dual 5G modems, which allows for carrier network redundancy from AT&T FirstNet and Verizon Wireless SIM cards. Starlink is connected to the WAN port on that router, and Peplink’s SpeedFusion technology is used to bond everything together into a single, unbreakable network connection. During early deployments in Baton Rouge, this complete solution has consistently provided networks speeds between 150 and 200 Mbps down and up.
“The MERC Lite satellite trailer worked perfectly and provided continuous power allowing us to stay in constant contact with the responding Guardsmen.”Sargent Jerry Hensley, from the Kentucky National Guard
- Supplemented Transit WANs for more bandwidth and redundancy
- Dual 5G cellular modem
- High bandwidth and processing power
- With 4 cellular channels, 2 Wi-Fi and a GPS, the Mobility 42G provides ultrawide bandwidth within a single antenna housing.
- The Mobility 42G is designed for heavy network usage and solid reliability.