Police Can Give Data Networks A New Voice
Voice over Wireless LAN (VoWLAN), which also works on Metro Area Networks and Wide Area Networks despite its name, provides substantial benefits to law enforcement departments that quickly equal a positive return on investment.
The technology offers police officers mobility of wireless while maintaining a direct link to the department’s phone system, which is not available with most portable and mobile voice communication devices.
Analog portable radios often experience a decrease in effectiveness due to static or fading, which is not a problem with VoWLAN. VoWLAN also offers the ability to talk without public access to the conversations, as is the case with analog radios due to analog radio scanners.
Some police departments are using cellular technology, but VoWLAN can offer the same convenience and reliability without the high monthly costs. Costs are also decreased due to less required maintenance and oversight of a single converged network compared to a standalone voice network.
VoWLAN provides departments with an important backup communication system if an emergency takes out both cellular and analog radio communications.
The challenges involved with VoWLAN technology are: Lack of interoperability with other departments; increased sensitivity of voice data loss due to the data becoming worthless in just seconds; and significant costs associated with purchasing enough wireless coverage to ensure reliable connectivity.
Abstracted by the National Law Enforcement and Corrections Technology Center(NLECTC) from the Law Enforcement Technology (07/04) Vol. 31, No. 7, P. 130; Rotondo, Rick .