Airbus Secure Land Communications has announced it will trial the use of its Tactilon Agnet communication platform on existing public broadband networks in Belgium.

Ghent Fire Brigade will be the first of twelve Belgian fire brigades that will benefit from empowered communication and smart action support on- and off the field by integrating the Tactilon Agnet solution into its open smart device ecosystem.

The Airbus Tactilon Agnet application platform runs on desktops and standard smartphones as well as ruggedised devices to provide what the company described as “a future-proof mobile communication solution for customers with mission and business critical communication needs”. According to Airbus, the solution also harnesses emergency features such as emergency calls as well as location services with real-time user location tracking, which ensures faster response times during emergencies.

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Broadband programme manager at Airbus, Pavle Toljaga, said the main focus at the start of this multi-year, multi-service initiative is “to put a state-of-the-art broadband communication and collaboration solution to real world use in the Belgian firefighting scene”.

Sam Gydé, dispatching director at the Ghent Fire Brigade, said: “We imagine a future with an endless ecosystem of communication services and network solutions. We want to seize this momentum of transition and rethink how communication in a broad sense can act as an enabler of our operations.

“This user centric approach should result in a clear and organisation-backed roadmap towards the future use of broadband communication within fire services. Airbus is our preferred partner in this trajectory given their established track record of service delivery in all areas relevant to this project.”

The historical centre of Ghent features the old post office, Saint-Nicholas Church, Belfry, and Saint Bavo Cathedral.

The Ghent Fire Brigade was founded in 1805 and comprises more than 450 firefighters protecting the capital and largest city of the East Flanders province of Belgium. The municipality comprises the city of Ghent proper and the surrounding suburbs of Afsnee, Desteldonk, Drongen, Gentbrugge, Ledeberg, Mariakerke, Mendonk, Oostakker, Sint-Amandsberg, Sint-Denijs-Westrem, Sint-Kruis-Winkel, Wondelgem and Zwijnaarde.

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Author: Richard Hook