West Africa

Supporting Niger's Strategy for Security and Development

In May 2018, Codan supported the European Union Capacity Building Mission (EUCAP) in Niger by installing, testing and training EUCAP personnel with encrypted voice and data communication and encrypted vehicle tracking across the entire EUCAP sector of Niger.

The purpose of EUCAP's mission was to support Niger's overarching strategy and development that encourages regional and international coordination in the Sahel against terrorism and organised crime, with the intent to reinforce the rule of law, and train local officials and police (Police Nationale, Gendarmerie, and Garde Nationale).

Following successful in-country on the ground training and Codan products being synonymous with ease of use, the EUCAP drivers were able to place calls to speak to the rear bases with the same simplicity as they would have in placing a normal phone call.

EUCAP base station radio operators were able to track all vehicles from either the Niamey or Agadez bases at will using radio asset remote control, ensuring that even if an asset on the ground is unreachable from one base, it could instantly be reached from another. Both Codan RTS tracking software programs were linked into EUCAP's internal mail server, allowing vehicle position updates to be sent to any email account via internet anywhere in the world.

An individual radio operator in either base was able to monitor both the Niamey and Agadez stations at the same time using dual control points running side-by-side, choosing from either hard console control, computer control with the Codan Virtual Control Point (VCP) software program or smartphone control using the Codan Xtend app. This control covered the entirety of both EUCAP bases, as well as EUCAP's residential housing. This meant that one operator could monitor both networks using dual control points without needing to be in the radio room, and allowed (for example) the chief of mission to speak directly to an asset on the ground over HF radio, using his personal smartphone without leaving his house.

This same remote functionality extended to Codan SprintNet data and RTS tracking control of the radio tracking screen could be transferred from the radio control room to an operational briefing room in seconds simply by closing down one program and opening another.

The SprintNet SMS gateway at EUCAP's Niamey base station allowed drivers to contact the security operations officer on his duty GSM phone regardless of his position in the wood (as well as any other national or international GSM number), with the Emergency call function of the Codan Envoy also tied directly to this phone number. GSM users anywhere in the world could also make contact with any radio on the ground using the SprintNet GSM gateway.

The SprintNet POP3/SMTP functions allowed internal email to and from radio users to a dedicated internal email account existing on EUCAP's network.

EUCAP technicians have used the Envoy's network functionality to relocate the Niamey transceiver equipment (RFU and antenna) to another site outside of Niamey city centre, joining the two sites over a microwave link, in order to combat unavoidable high levels of interference (seen in all large African cities). This addition is totally transparent to radio users, and has resulted in a 15dBuV reduction in local interference, rendering vehicle to base communications 100% reliable.

To summarize, EUCAP Niger used 3G/AES256 capable Envoy. X2 base and vehicle radios running SprintNet and RTS. The IP functionality of the Envoy base radios allowed EUCAP to have total control of both the Niamey and Agadez radios from any of their facilities in Niamey or Agadez, including voice & data (SprintNet), programming / diagnostics / reconfiguration and full use of tracking software. This was possible as both radios were configured into the VLANs shared by all EUCAP installations. The only additional requirement for this configuration was a pair of transceiver to ethernet cables and access to EUCAP's existing network infrastructure.

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