Emergency responders often operate in challenging environments where reliable communication is crucial for saving lives and ensuring operational efficiency. However, the lack of reliable coverage in remote, hard-to-reach, and often unpredictable locations seriously hinders seamless communication, real-time data access, and overall productivity. Traditional connectivity solutions often fall short in these demanding scenarios.

The challenge of single connection dependency

Consider an ambulance that relies on a single connection. This setup cannot guarantee consistent availability, as it depends on one cellular bearer or specific connectivity method. Various factors can render this connection unavailable, such as high congestion periods or coverage gaps.

Single connections are prone to failure, and even hybrid setups with failover mechanisms can experience outages. This is because if a network goes down or is poor, it simply switches to a different one. In doing so, they experience delays, which can lead to intermittent connectivity during the transition. These hybrid setups can also suffer from inefficient bandwidth utilisation causing delays as they manage multiple connections independently without truly bonding them.

bonded hybrid connectivity diagram

Why bonded is better

Bonded hybrid connectivity is a networking technique that combines multiple internet connections into a single, cohesive link. This method aggregates bandwidth from several sources—such as satellite, cellular and Wi-Fi networks —effectively increasing the overall speed and reliability of the internet connection.

  • Unmatched performance: The ability to combine bandwidth from multiple connections means significantly higher speeds and lower latency, crucial for bandwidth-intensive applications.
    Superior reliability: Continuous connectivity with no downtime due to the redundancy offered by multiple active connections.
  • Scalability: Easily scalable by adding more connections to the bond, allowing for flexible and future-proof network planning.

Real-world scenarios

 High congestion is a common issue during significant events. On New Year’s Eve, for example, many people struggle to send text messages or make phone calls as the clock strikes midnight. This congestion is due to the simultaneous demand on the network. Similar situations occur at large sporting events, festivals, or during emergencies like terrorist incidents. In these instances, everyone attempts to use the network at once, overwhelming the available infrastructure.

The importance of bonded hybrid connectivity

For critical services such as ambulances, competing for the same connectivity as the general public is unacceptable. Bonded hybrid connectivity addresses this by utilising multiple carriers and spreading the load across these connections. This method ensures resilience and redundancy, maintaining constant and reliable connectivity.

By integrating various connection types, bonded hybrid connectivity provides a robust solution that guarantees continuous access to necessary resources, regardless of the situation. This approach not only improves efficiency but also enhances the safety and reliability of critical services.

Enhancing performance and reliability in the NHS

A successful pilot study at the East of England Ambulance Service NHS Trust showed that affordable improvements in NHS connectivity can be made quickly. The technology used in the trial is part of the Hybrid Connex Digital Ambulance of the Future Project.

During the trial, the East of England Ambulance Service utilised Excelerate’s bonded hybrid network onboard four vehicles consisting of both satellite and cellular connections. The ambulances successfully maintained consistent and high-quality connectivity even whilst on the move and in poor coverage areas. This bonded setup achieved near symmetrical speeds for uploading and downloading data, handling tasks like video streaming without performance issues.

The trial demonstrated significant improvement in connectivity for emergency services, promising better patient care through enhanced access to vital information. Learn more about the trial in our latest case study.

Staying connected

Excelerate’s bonded hybrid connectivity solution is suitable for any type of emergency response or any environment where always-on guaranteed and high-quality connectivity is essential.

For more information, get in touch.