UK-based IT specialist Simoco Wireless Solutions has opened a Network Operations Centre (NOC) at London Heathrow Airport to monitor and sustain communication networks at the airport.

The new NOC comprises 24/7 monitoring, troubleshooting and maintenance service for on-site radio networks.

It has been set up to monitor an assortment of mission-critical communications networks which ensure smooth operations within Heathrow.

In the UK, the centre covers networks at 26 separate locations, including 11 bus depots and the radio communications network on the new Elizabeth Line Crossrail link.

Additionally, networks are covered at two data centres and two separate telematics software platforms that are used to track vehicles involved in operations of the airport.

“Heathrow, like any airport, incorporates a huge range of different security areas and communications networks, all of which need to work seamlessly together to keep the airport operating smoothly.”

Simoco Wireless Solutions chief operating officer Ian Carr said: “We’ve worked hard to build specialist aviation expertise at Simoco, maximising our capabilities at delivering truly mission-critical communications networks.

“Heathrow, like any airport, incorporates a huge range of different security areas and communications networks, all of which need to work seamlessly together to keep the airport operating smoothly.”

A combination of digital (DMR) and analogue radio technologies is in place at the airport. A range of different manufacturers provided the equipment, so the capabilities within the NOC are broad.

Overall, Simoco is supporting approximately 11,000 devices and 180 separate customers across the UK & Ireland with this NOC.

Furthermore, the centre will be used to finish network administration tasks including system statistics reports and freeing up engineering resources to focus on mission-critical operations.

When Simoco’s experts recognise a network incident, they categorise the issue over the phone. This rapid decision making prevents smaller incidents from escalating into a significant operational disruption.

In case of a critical incident, customers are informed throughout its duration and offered up-to-date progress reports till the problem is rectified.