Despite a wide array of technological advances, air travel hasn't exactly gotten better over the years. However, there are some fronts where improvements can be found, and the use of Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) systems is leading the way. One airport in Texas is demonstrating that much with the new use of XOP Networks' Crash Phone (News - Alert) system.
The Crash Phone is pretty much exactly what it sounds like: a system geared toward helping first responders at airports and similar locations in the midst of emergency. Here, a person near the emergency in question can pick up the phone—literally just lift the handset—and the system will automatically place calls to other Crash Phone systems. As the targets of these calls answer, the calls automatically shunt to a conference call with the original person to place the call.
Essentially, it's like a standard conferencing system, but with several of its key points engaged automatically. This is where XOP Networks comes into play, offering a VoIP-driven alternative known as the Ring Down Firebar Conference Server (RFCS). RFCS runs as a Linux-based platform that includes not only a session initiation protocol (SIP) but also a foreign exchange station (FXS) VoIP gateway that allows for older-model “red phones” to be used with the network, but also allows for more updated VoIP or SIP phones to be brought into work. It even opens up the use of IP-driven peripherals like pagers and similar measures.
That's a great slate of benefits by itself, but it gets better. With XOP's system in play, the airport will get access to not only top-notch audio quality—which by itself could be a lifesaver—but also a network that satisfies all applicable Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) standards. Further, it includes built-in recording options and call logs, automatic scheduling to provide training options, and it even delivers all this value for potentially lower cost thanks to the eliminated need for carrier-leased phone lines.
It's hard to pass up a proposition like that; there's too much value from too many different sources to be impacted by all but the worst of economic strictures. A system that will not only add options and improve versatility but also improve response to emergencies and potentially save money in the bargain should be a welcome addition to anyone's lineup. It's actually hard to imagine what kind of objections airlines could raise to a proposal like this; “We don't want to save money”?
XOP Networks has an excellent product here, by the look of it, and one that airports the world over will likely want to consider. The sheer value involved here makes it quite worthwhile.
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