Baltimore taps TCS for emergency response pilot

The Baltimore Health Department has completed a pilot project to enhance its emergency communications by using a portable wireless solution from Telecommunications Systems Inc., the company announced this week.

TCS of Annapolis, Md., provided its SwiftLink 2300 deployable communications solution to support emergency response exercises that the department conducted last month. The solution gave mobile satellite-based remote data and voice services to teams operating from remote locations during two exercises.

SwiftLink 2300 is a rugged, portable wireless communications terminal that is packaged in a medium-sized backpack or rolling case. It can be online in 10 minutes and can be taken down and repacked in less than five minutes, according to the company.

The solution will provide Baltimore with simultaneous voice-over-Internet Protocol, integrated 802.11 wireless local area network data and two-way Internet Protocol-based video reach-back to the home office.

It also offers real-time information exchange capabilities, easy-to-use interfaces to integrated components and network functions, and battery backup. SwiftLink uses commercial encryption to protect sensitive information.

Tim Lorello, TCS' senior vice president and chief marketing officer, declined to disclose the contract's value, but said the company's SwiftLink product line costs from $15,000 to more than $100,000. The 2300 model is one of the company's smaller systems, he said.

In the wake of the pilot project, the company hopes to broaden its customer base with Baltimore, become more involved in health care and replicate the model for other cities, Lorello said.

TCS has more than 500 units deployed in various government agencies, including the FBI and departments of Defense and State, he said. The company is discussing possible deployment of SwiftLink with nearly a dozen local governments, he said.

The company offers wireless data solutions to carriers, enterprise and government customers. It has about 630 employees and annual sales of $92 million.

About the Author

William Welsh is a freelance writer covering IT and defense technology.

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