Exalt Communications announced that South Metro Fire Rescue Authority (South Metro) in Colorado has upgraded its mobile emergency communications network with Exalt EX-4.9i microwave radio systems. South Metro provides fire and emergency services over 176 square miles in Douglas and Arapahoe counties, serving communities such as Centennial, Cherry Hill, Greenwood Village, Parker and most of the Denver Tech Center. The organization deployed Exalt EX-4.9i radio systems to increase bandwidth and reduce interference issues it had faced with legacy Wi-Fi®-based radio systems.

“We initially moved to a radio-based infrastructure about five years ago to improve capacity and eliminate recurring costs from leased T1 and ISDN lines, but we had a lot of challenges with interference from other users in the 5.3 and 5.8 GHz bands,” said Rob Krause, IT Director at South Metro Fire Rescue Authority. “By using Exalt microwave radio systems in the 4.9 GHz public safety frequency, we eliminated our interference problems while further improving capacity.”

South Metro network and communications manager Steve Macaulay worked with KNS Communications, an Exalt Platinum Elite partner with extensive experience in municipal systems, to deploy the upgraded microwave network. To connect two towers, five fire stations and two headquarters buildings, KNS and Macaulay have so far deployed 20 Exalt EX-4.9i radio systems in weatherproof enclosures, with six more systems yet to be deployed. The radio systems carry 55 megabits per second of Ethernet traffic, which is more than enough to support South Metro’s computer-aided dispatch system, IP telephony system, e-mail and other applications.

With the Exalt microwave radio systems in place, South Metro has virtually eliminated interference in its radio network to enable continuous availability. For example, one hop that ran between a fire station and a communications tower was nearly impossible to keep running reliably. ”With our Wi-Fi-based radios, that link was completely overshadowed by a small ISP that was using the 5.3 and 5.8 gigahertz frequencies for backhaul,” said Macaulay. “The 4.9 gigahertz microwave radio systems from Exalt completely solved that problem.”

By moving to Exalt’s microwave radio systems, South Metro Fire has built a critical communications network that has 99.999 percent guaranteed link availability under all weather conditions, and which provides the capacity and security it needs to perform its mission.

“We are seeing a strong trend among public safety agencies to deploy our microwave radio systems to replace legacy systems, as is the case with South Metro Fire, or to eliminate the monthly recurring costs of leased lines,” said Amir Zoufonoun, CEO of Exalt Communications. “With our broad portfolio of licensed and license-exempt systems, first-responder agencies such South Metro Fire can address their communications challenges quickly and cost-effectively, and ensure the carrier-grade reliability and performance they require.”

All Exalt radio systems – licensed and license-exempt – are carrier-class systems offering guaranteed link availability, guaranteed throughput and low, constant latency. Systems are available in frequencies from 2 to 40 GHz and in capacities from 10 Mbps to more than 700 Mbps per channel, providing a range of options to fit countless network applications. Designed to enable a smooth transition to IP, they offer native support for both TDM and Ethernet, and are fully software configurable and upgradeable. For easy and secure management using third-party network management systems, Exalt systems support SNMP v1, v2c and v3. Data security is provided by available FIPS 197-compliant AES 128-bit and 256-bit encryption that adds zero latency to the transmission. To simplify installation and maintenance, all Exalt systems feature an embedded manual and most include a built-in spectrum analyzer.