When it comes to designing communications systems for first responders, Edison, NJ-based V-COMM engineers solutions that must work every time.
by Susan Bloom, NJ.com
In a world that’s come to rely on instantaneous communication and access to information, clear, efficient, and reliable connectivity is critical. And Edison, NJ-based V-COMM, a leading provider of integrated engineering services for the wireless and public safety industries, has been instrumental in supporting those objectives.
With over 40 years of experience in the wireless industry – “before anyone even knew what wireless was,” he said – Founder and President Dominic Villecco launched V-COMM with business partner David Stern in 1995.
Providing all of the design, construction, and operational support that goes into activating a cellular system, V-COMM serves all of the major cellular carriers. “We help them develop engineering and designs for the expansion of their network, assess performance, and come up with solutions to enhance service in certain areas,” said Villecco, a former Vice President of Engineering & Operations for Comcast Cellular who helped build that company’s network in the Philadelphia and central New Jersey region. With an increasing load on electronic devices today and usage growing faster than carriers can keep up with, “we’re involved in design, testing, performance, and solutions-development and work to build competitive and resilient networks from the beginning.”
Two decades ago, V-COMM entered the public safety arena and has since become the premier provider of engineering solutions to the public safety sector in New Jersey, designing systems that support over 75% of the state’s 21 counties.
“We design the radio systems that first responders such as police, EMTs, and firefighters use to communicate with dispatchers or each other,” Villecco explained. “One of the first systems we designed was for Camden County and based on the resiliency we built into that system, they never missed a beat when their primary communication system went down during Superstorm Sandy in 2012 because their back-up system activated immediately.” Since extending their expertise to 15 other counties, he said, “our systems currently support the needs of over 100,000 first responders, and, subsequently, the communities and residents they serve.”
“Before our involvement, New Jersey’s public service agencies used a lot of disparate radio systems that weren’t interoperable, so these systems weren’t able to talk to each other,” Villecco explained. “At V-COMM, we promote an open standards network so that all radio systems can communicate with each other and the state system, and, by deploying these designs, we’ve helped to remove the borders between counties and governments and enable fast and reliable connections.”
Ensuring Effectiveness, Reliability, and Resilience
Another of the company’s areas of expertise involves in-building coverage for cellular carriers and first responders in malls, office buildings, and other facilities where cell service may not work due to the presence of low-e glass, Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) construction, and other energy-efficient building materials and practices that, while keeping energy from leaking out, can end up preventing radio signals from getting through.
“We’re the engineering firm that’s helped bring cellular service into the New York and Philadelphia subway systems, major tri-state area airports, and other spaces where it’s difficult for cellular signals to penetrate buildings,” said Villecco, who noted that those needs are transitioning to other areas as well. “With more people working remotely, there’s a greater demand for indoor cellular service, a need which wireless carriers can only address so fast, so we’re building systems to enable outdoor signals inside,” he said. “Building codes in the public safety arena – where robust service is critical to saving lives – are actually starting to require this capability up front and we’re seeing a significant increase in that type of work across counties and municipalities.”
Supported by 30 employees across its locations in Edison, NJ, Somers Point, NJ, and Exton, PA, “we’ve a very solutions-oriented team that’s focused on making things work and have a great track record of success in both the cellular and public safety arenas,” said Villecco, who also currently serves as President of the Manalapan-based New Jersey Wireless Association.
“So much goes into these projects and as many networks and towers as we’ve turned up, I’m still always amazed how well it works,” said Villecco of the V-COMM team’s successful ability to think abstractly and devise effective solutions to complex telecommunications challenges.
“We hope to continue to help people communicate and shine a light on how we’re able to do this,” Villecco said of V-Comm’s goals. “We take pride in ensuring the effectiveness, reliability, and resilience of these systems.”
For More Information
V-COMM is a leading provider of integrated network engineering, radio frequency engineering, and business services, with offices in Edison, NJ and Somers Point, NJ and Exton, PA. V-COMM delivers the needed expertise and cost-effective solutions to governmental agencies and wireless operators. V-COMM also provides design and design/build services for In-building, In-tunnel, and other wireless telecommunications networks. For more information, call 1-800-930-4307 or visit www.vcomm-eng.com.