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Kantonspolizei Bern: Heading to the Next Mission with Ultra-Fast WLAN

From Fire Alarms to Tablets: Digitization in Firefighting

The incorporation of digital systems has become an integral part of firefighting services. Alongside conventional techniques such as pneumatic tube systems, smartphones and tablets are now frequently employed. A dedicated app delivers essential mission specifics and supplementary data like hydrant plans. As a result, a robust and fast WLAN network was a critical prerequisite at the new Bern Forsthaus West Fire Station. BNC had the honor of assisting the Bern Cantonal Police in this initiative.

 

A New Base for Bern's Professional Fire Department

In March 2010, the Bern electorate overwhelmingly voted in favor of the construction budget. On Saturday, December 6, 2014, all fire department vehicles made a symbolic procession from Viktoriastrasse to Murtenstrasse, officially moving into the new fire station facility. Countless hours of work from construction professionals, architects, plumbing and electrical experts, as well as BNC's IT specialists, were invested beforehand to ensure the fire department's immediate operational readiness and the safety of the Bern residents.

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A High-Performance WLAN Network for Efficient Operations

In the spring of 2014, BNC, on behalf of the Bern Cantonal Police (KAPO), implemented a WLAN solution that caters to the needs of the Bern Professional Fire Department. As an Aruba Gold Partner, BNC introduced the latest Aruba AP-205 Access Point models for indoor use. These models, equipped with 2:2x2 MIMO technology, deliver throughput of up to 867 Mbps. The Aruba solution is not only flexible but also scalable, accommodating various models within the same system as per requirements. To ensure seamless outdoor coverage around the fire station building, weather-resistant Aruba AP-275 Access Points were strategically deployed.

Thanks to collaboration and the synergistic efforts of the Cantonal Police and the Fire Department, the number of WLAN controllers employed was streamlined from four to three devices: the KAPO data center houses two controllers operating in a master/standby mode, while the fire department employs a local controller. In the event of the local controller's malfunction, the access points seamlessly connect to the KAPO controllers.

Beyond establishing a seamless, stable, and high-performance WLAN network, the associated authentication and monitoring platforms play a pivotal role in WLAN systems. Aruba offers Clearpass, an all-encompassing authentication system facilitating use cases like 802.1X authentication, guest portals, and BYOD, including self-registration.

Supplementing the system is the Aruba Airwave monitoring suite, an advanced solution capable of overseeing and managing not only the WLAN infrastructure but also all network components. This comprehensive network oversight proves crucial in swiftly addressing network disruptions.

"We opted for BNC due to our longstanding experience with the company as an outstanding and competent network partner. Additionally, we aimed for a proven, industry-leading WLAN solution that caters to our present and future demands, with seamless scalability." - Thomas Krähenbühl, Deputy Head of Basic Services at the Bern Cantonal Police.

 

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