The Region of Lazio’s mission-critical radio communications have undergone an important upgrade.Thanks to the technological assistance from Leonardo, the Civil Protection and the 118 emergency medical services will now be able to count on more efficient, secure communications for everyday operations and emergency response efforts.
With Leonardo’s technological support, in recent years the Region of Lazio has introduced an innovative and integrated ‘mission-critical’ radio communications system to support services of interest to the entire region, particularly the Civil Protection and 118 emergency services, providing better response to the communications requirements of both every day and emergency operations.
In response to the call for tenders of LazioCrea, the Region of Lazio’s in-house company, Leonardo – at the head of a temporary consortiumof companies including Tim and Installazioni Impianti – has successfully completed the technical testing and the latest technological upgrade of the secure communications system. This system now provides the Lazio network with over a hundred base stations, covering a surface area of more than 16,000 km2.
The Region of Lazio’s mission-critical network is now ready to support emergency communications even more effectively and securely. The benefits of the solutions implemented will guarantee an excellent coverage of the regional territory (95% of the vehicles involved in the services in question), ensuring redundancy – therefore continuity of operations even in the event of critical situations and disasters – and preventing unauthorised personnel from accessing the network. This will improve on-site operations throughout the region and enable immediate coordination of emergency response actions.
The solutions adopted
Actions taken involved reinforcing the regional backbone and radio networks of the Civil Protection, as well as the emergency medical services accessed via the telephone number 118. The requirements of the project were met using Digital Mobile Radio (DMR), a European digital standard guaranteeing the flexibility, versatility and security of emergency communication networks.
Leonardo supplied a complete turnkey mission-critical system, including base stations, , microwaves connections, mobile devices control room hardware and software, as well as installation, commissioning and maintenance of the entire system.
The regional backbone
The regional backbone, guaranteeing connection of radio base stations with each other and with the control rooms, consists of 107 connection sites distributed region-wide, connected via GHz frequency radio microwaves links. The architecture of backbone implements several rings, making the system robust and fault-resistant, as it allows rapid re-routing of information flows in the event of malfunctioning of equipment or interruption of a link.
Radio networks: the Civil Protection and 118 emergency medical services
The Civil Protection secure communication system can now rely on provincial DMR Tier 3 simulcast networks (supporting trunking mode, the technique used for multi-user communication systems)with the automatic management of radio resources and simulcast networks with a regional extension working in DMR Tier 2 Dual Mode, capable of managing both analogue and digital DMR communications, while guaranteeing interoperability with terminals from other regions.
Lastly, a VHF Ground-On board-Ground channel with amplitude modulation (AM), composed of eight AM devices operating in cellular mode, guarantees aeronautical connections.
The radio system for 118 emergency medical services, on the other hand, consists of five provincial networks operating in simulcast mode and DMR Tier 3 (trunking) technology with automatic management of radio resources. In each of these networks it is even possible to configure a timeslot (a virtual radio channel) in DMR Tier 2 (conventional) mode to permit the management of fleets not compatible with trunking mode.
The system includes a total of five control rooms: one for the Civil Protection based in Rome, and four for 118 emergency medical services, for the provinces of Rome, Latina, Frosinone, and Rieti/Viterbo. Each control room has radio dispatchers enabling the management of radio terminals, all voice communications (group and individual) and text messages, and allowing the geo-localisation of terminals and their display on cartographic maps.
One of the Civil Protection's control rooms in the Lazio region with Leonardo's secure communications systems