DHS Finishes Testing Devices Enabling Wireless Calls During Overloads

The solution enhances the DHS’ WPS capabilities by expanding its ability to handle specific network overload conditions
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The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has completed network field-operating activity testing of Verizon Wireless’ LGS Innovations’ devices that enable wireless emergency calls to be placed during network overloads.

LGS Innovations, a provider of emergency and tactical communications; infrastructure and installation; and video teleconferencing and surveillance, says the Alcatel-Lucent CDMA Wireless Priority Service Enhanced Overload Performance solution (WPS EOP) for DHS’ National Communications System (NCS) was successfully tested.

The solution enhances the DHS’ WPS capabilities by expanding its ability to handle specific network overload conditions, LGS said.

During times of emergency such as a natural or man-made disaster, wireless call volume increases dramatically as individuals attempt to call their family, work, friends or other contacts, LGS says. The WPS capability, as enhanced by the EOP program, provides priority treatment to authorized users who perform services to save lives and restore normalcy, allowing for improved emergency management communications, according to the company.

During November 2011, Verizon Wireless successfully tested the WPS EOP on its network, the first time EOP features have been proven to work in the field.

Based upon the results of that testing, the solution will be deployed by U.S. government authorized carriers nationwide.

WPS, and its complementary landline Government Emergency Telecommunications Service (GETS), are NCS services coordinated with the Federal Communications Commission that provide authorized users key communications capabilities that leverage the commercial networks throughout the country.

“As the leader in networking solutions for the federal government, LGS is acutely aware of the bandwidth challenges that key government officials face with wireless networks,” said Lt. Gen. Ronald Iverson (Ret.), LGS CEO. “As wireless users and their devices proliferate in our society, these issues will only grow. WPS EOP allows those mission-critical calls during an emergency situation to be placed so that resources can be deployed quickly to save lives and assets,” he said.