A PortaSwitch-based solution enables emergency control room personnel work from home during the coronavirus outbreak in the Netherlands


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Redworks creates an LTE-based E112 emergency service solution in just one week to help emergency control room personnel work from home during the coronavirus outbreak.

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused people all over the world to switch to working from home, even those in critical areas like emergency response services. While in most cases a sustainable Internet connection is enough to create an efficient home office, for emergency services a secure and reliable connection is vital, as any interrupted call could cost someone’s life. Therefore, a standard home Internet is simply not an option.

A solution to allow 112-service dispatchers to work from home while meeting the highest safety standards is required. Following a request by the Dutch National Police, multiple telco operators (including the “big guns”) took up this challenge. But the first to come forward with a working solution was Redworks, a VoIP provider from Maastricht in the Netherlands!

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Using PortaOne’s PortaSwitch, Redworks has been a provider of Unified Communications as a Service (UCaaS) for over 10 years now. The company has been providing services to emergency response control rooms in Rotterdam since 2013, including SIP trunk for the 112 control room and alarm systems. PortaSwitch’s open architecture and their own in-house experience enabled Redworks to produce the requested solution in just one week!

Redworks created packages for emergency services consisting of a laptop with 112-control room software, a 4G/LTE router, and a SIM card. The dispatcher connects from home using a high-speed LTE wireless network, with voice calls sent via VoIP over LTE. The mobile connection makes use of a dedicated APN and is protected from all other mobile subscribers – only dedicated IPs/SIMs can connect to it. All data is routed to a separate 4G circuit on Redworks’ core network; it is firewalled (IPSec optional) and forwarded to one specific destination only: the control room systems. Service management is fully automated, with SIM cards enabled or disabled by provisioning plugins via the API.

PortaSwitch represents the core of this solution. Redworks deploys it in a geo-redundant configuration to ensure the necessary degree of reliability, and entrusts it with user authentication, billing, call routing and all Internet-related services. Thanks to PortaOne’s “nothing to hide” licensing policy, Redworks has accumulated years of in-house expertise in expanding PortaSwitch, building components around it using APIs, and sometimes even modifying the source code. Together with PortaSwitch’s unlimited license in terms of subscribers or features, this was what allowed Redworks to come up with their solution so quickly.

In these turbulent times, PortaOne is still here, as always, to support CSPs in creating fast, out-of-the-box solutions to satisfy new communication needs and help people.

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