Ensuring reliable availability during times of crisis: critical infrastructures require “double support”

20.03.2020

Berlin, 20 March 2020: Germany is (almost) shutting down. Due to the rapid spread of the novel corona virus, some federal states are declaring a state of emergency. In practice, this means focusing on the essentials, for example safeguarding critical infrastructures (CRITIS). However, the sudden massive burden on existing IT and TC systems due to millions of mobile or home office activities is creating an unprecedented situation in the digital communications sector too. So it is all the more important that CRITIS emergency crews, among others, are able to rely on a second infrastructure.

Millions of employees, students and school pupils in Germany are getting a vague impression at the moment of what “readiness” means. The short-notice relocation of management or communications departments to mobile or home offices, the shifting of face-to-face appointments, meetings and conferences to the Internet or simply an increase in the number of digital telephone calls, correspondence or training are subjecting the existing ITC infrastructure to a massive stress test. The infrastructure does not always pass this test, and the number of significant delays or outages is increasing.

A real standby service for emergency crews in critical infrastructures depends on stable communications systems in order to be reliably reachable and therefore available promptly in the event of emergency. From emergency assistants to members of the company fire brigade, CRITIS team members rely on dependable alarm and emergency communication systems all across Europe. This is why a second infrastructure - a second support - is so important alongside digital and mobile radio systems: it must be possible to alert rescue and security teams reliably. The second infrastructure needs to be available at all times, not just when the primary solution fails (e.g. land line telephones, mobile phones, TETRA). This is the only way that control and deployment centres and crisis teams will be able to reach emergency crews reliably at all times.

Europe’s largest security radio network operated from Berlin
The Berlin-based professional radio network operator e*Message is one of the most experienced providers of such a second infrastructure. e*Message maintains Europe’s largest security radio network: independent and with satellite support, it has around 800 transmitter stations across the whole of Germany. On this security radio network, e*Message operates the e*Cityruf alert service, for example, independently of mobile phones and land lines.

Emergency crews of all kinds use e*Cityruf. e*Cityruf provides reliable communication wherever strict response times must be observed or where there is a risk of disruption with consequential damage - in the city, in the countryside, in buildings, cellars and in underground car parks.

“We guarantee a high-availability, redundant infrastructure”, says Carsten Hofman, Managing Director of e*Message.

The new 2wayS hybrid service uses two communication pathways: GPRS and POCSAG are combined in a single device. Messages are sent independently of each other via the e*Message security radio network and public mobile radio networks. This multi-channel alert system ensures even better reachability.

“We cannot rely on just one primary communication technology”, warns Hofmann. Current developments in light of the spread of the corona virus show very clearly how unpredictable some situations and their effects can be.

Albrecht Broemme, Honorary President of the German Federal Agency for Technical Relief (THW) and currently the construction manager for the corona virus hospital being built on the trade fair grounds in Berlin, knows and values e*Message from his many years of collaboration with the company. On the occasion of the company's 10th anniversary, he further pointed out that the “rapid attention of entire groups of residents” could also be ensured. “e*Message services can be used across a very wide area, are instantly sent nationwide and can be used for more than just CRITIS.”

About e*Message:
The e*Message Wireless Information Services GmbH (e*Message Europe) operates Europe’s largest security radio network. As one of four mobile network operators on the German market, e*Message maintains a satellite-based radio network with around 800 transmitting stations throughout Germany which is independent from public networks. e*Message provides specialised messaging services focusing on security, mobile organisation solutions and integrated solutions. This allows individuals and groups (e.g. doctors, authorities, fire services, winter maintenance services, service personnel) to be notified, warned and alerted reliably, quickly and accurately via digital devices. Established in December 1999, e*Message took over both the Deutsche Telekom and France Télécom’s paging services in 2000 and has been developing them continuously. The corporate group’s operating centres are located in Berlin and Paris. (www.emessage.de)

Company Contact:

Anke Lüders-Gollnick
e*Message Wireless Information Services Deutschland GmbH
Schönhauser Allee 10-11
10119 Berlin

Tel.: +49 30 4171-0
Fax: +49 30 4171-1933

E-Mail: presse@emessage.de
URL: www.emessage.de

Press Contact: 

Christof Kaplanek / Bettina Göttsche
Hoschke & Consorten Public Relations GmbH

Tel.: +49 40 36 90 50-38 / -48
E-Mail: c.kaplanek@hoschke.deb.goettsche@hoschke.de

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