Australia's most challenging environment needed reliable emergency communication.

Serving a diverse community from metro Darwin to some of the country's most remote locations, the Northern Territory's Police, Fire and Emergency Services (NTPFES) demands reliability and advanced technology to keep Territorians safe.

Who is NTPFES?

This is the collective agency responsible for all Police, Fire, Ambulance and rescue services across the entire Northern Territory. 

The NT is Australia's least populated state or territory, with just a quarter of a million residents (less than 1% of Australians). Contrastingly, it covers 1.3 million km2, making it one of the most dispersed jurisdictions in the world — an obvious challenge for emergency service personnel.

NTPFES operates out of dispersed locations including Darwin, Jabiru, Katherine, Nhulunbuy, Yulara, Tennant Creek, and Alice Springs. 

NTPFES locations topographic

Critical communication in the NT.

The need for reliable and cost-effective critical messaging solutions is evident, given the intermittent reliability of the cellular network and numerous black spots in the Northern Territory.

In late 2021, NTPFES faced the challenge of upgrading their ageing critical messaging platform, as well as the opportunity to include more advanced technologies into their communications stack.

Further, each service within NTPFES has its own operational requirements, as well as the expected constrained budgets of any public sector agency.

Female information worker in glasses standing in front of data panels

What challenges were NTPFES facing?

Geographical Coverage

NTPFES required a messaging network that could cover its extensive and geographically dispersed service areas.

Reliability and Dependability

With the critical nature of emergency services, reliability and dependability were paramount in choosing the right messaging solution.

Integration of Mobile Phones

While paging was the primary communication medium for Fire and Emergency Services, integrating mobile phones was crucial, especially as NT Police sought to shift to mobile phones as their primary communication tool.

Command-and-Control Centre

NTPFES had invested in a Command-and-Control centre in Darwin and needed an on-premises deployment to ensure control and security.

Tailored User Views

To maintain segregation of contact information and provide a personalised experience, different views of the platform were needed for Police, Fire, and Emergency Services.

Offline Operation

Given the region's challenging connectivity issues, the system had to operate in standalone mode during network dropouts.

The Ikonix UMS with Encode and WebConnect

This deployment utilises Ikonix Encode and WebConnect, powered by Messenger, the MIE.

The Ikonix Technology Solution:

The choice of wide-area paging technology ensured reliability, dependability, and cost-effectiveness in communication across the Northern Territory. Even without mobile coverage, paging still gets the message delivered.

By integrating mobile phones alongside paging, NTPFES met the diverse communication needs of different services while leveraging a unified messaging platform.

The on-premises deployment at the centalised Command-and-Control centre in Darwin ensured security, while delivering visibility over the entire communications network.

Differentiated views for Police, Fire, and Emergency Services allowed each service to access relevant data while maintaining segregation of contact information.

The system was designed to operate locally in standalone mode during network dropouts, ensuring continuity of critical communication, even in a wide-spread crisis.

Reza Forozandeh portrait

Reza Forozandeh

A qualified engineer and one of Ikonix Technology's directors, Reza works with clients including NTPFES to design, implement and manage critical messaging systems across Australia.