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      • TETRA now and in the future Author: Elvan Lindberg

        Published Dec 09 2016, 8:10 PM by Paul Jeffs

        Many Governments and Public Safety Authorities around the globe are eager to embrace the potential that mobile broadband and the resultant data services can bring to frontline officers. Increased intelligence and efficiencies are all without doubt strong drivers for adoption. But this does not mean we will see mass migration to LTE from TETRA in the near term. There are huge complexities to be addressed on a case by case, and country by country basis which means the timeline for any transition at best could be described as fluid.

        Tor Helge Lyngstøl, Director General, Norwegian Directorate for Emergency Communication (DNK) when questioned about the use commercial or dedicated LTE for Public Safety in Norway confirms that it is an avenue for definite investigation, but is quite clear that for Norway at least it is still very early days. Right now DNK is looking to see, “How we can get the most out of our brand new TETRA network, how we can get the benefits out of that.” You can watch Tor Helge speaking further here about the launch of the brand new TETRA network, the increasing demand for real-time data services, and the widespread potential of TEDS to develop a secure and relevant Public Safety voice and data communications solution.

        We know that end users want to use data. Some nations or Public Safety agencies will be looking to build and own a LTE network, costly as that may be, while many more may opt to use commercial networks as services become available for Public Safety applications. There are pros and cons to both approaches. As a result, broadband is going to be available in a number of flavours, but right now many users are still looking to their current TETRA digital radio networks to provide the data services that they require. And they are happy to do so. But, they are highly aware that broadband exists; the question is how they will move towards this?

        TETRA and LTE will be collaborative, and there will, for the foreseeable future, be a place for both technologies. There are two drivers for this. The first, and this remains critical for Public Safety organisations, is the guarantee of instantaneous group voice services, so there is a tremendous impetus to deliver a voice bridge between Private Mobile Radio and broadband networks. Second, it will take time for mission critical data applications over LTE to be adopted, though it is worth stating that many mission critical applications actually require modest data rates such as the location and status of an officer. This vital information is demanded during a crisis situation when a commercial network maybe overwhelmed or inoperable.

        So there will be notable opportunities to drive more data over the digital radio network and this will require a very particular range of applications not only for TETRA, but that over time can equally operate over LTE as it becomes available. We envision that LTE will clearly provide a richer multimedia experience whilst TETRA provides a hardened set of vital information. And this means, that for a broad majority of Public Safety agencies TETRA will remain an integral facet of their critical communications for many more years.

        Elvan Lindberg is Head of Communications, Europe and Africa, Motorola Solutions. Elvan is on LinkedIn at linkedin.com/pub/elvan-lindberg/5/461/994

        Follow @MotSolsEMEA on Twitter. Follow #MissionCriticalHandheld

        Join the Motorola Solutions Community EMEA at http://www.linkedin.com/groups/Motorola-Solutions-Community-6519590/about

      • Are you willing to settle for anything less than mission critical communications? Author: Richard Bennett

        Published Dec 09 2016, 8:10 PM by Paul Jeffs

        Those new to Public Safety communications systems often wonder if these networks are over-designed and ask whether or not commercial systems could be used to save costs. Consider the following..

        When Superstorm Sandy came roaring ashore on the East Coast of the United States in October of 2012, 25 percent of the region’s commercial mobile cell sites were knocked out of service. A week later, many of those sites still remained inoperable and as a result some public carriers reported nationwide network issues.

        Private, mission critical networks in the region on the other hand, remained in service throughout the event. What does that mean? Public Safety officials and government agencies could communicate and coordinate responses across cities, counties and departments. Emergency calls connected instantly. First responder group calls were established in under a second. Lives and property were protected.

        Mission critical networks are different because they have to be. Designed to a more rigorous standard, they ensure public safety and government agencies have voice and data access where and when it’s needed for daily operations, events and the unexpected. They offer five defining characteristics that public carriers simply can’t match:

        • Standards-Based Communications Capabilities - Accepted by government agencies around the world, P25 and TETRA deliver over-the-air interoperability and call prioritisation; voice connectivity for all users in under a second; dedicated, resilient system coverage where and when it’s needed; security and encryption; and much more.
        • Control - Mission critical networks give agencies control over which users can access what resource, what changes need to be made and when, who gets priority in an emergency.
        • Coverage When and Where It’s Needed - Mission critical networks are designed and optimised for coverage that caters to the operations of first responders and provides capacity for emergencies.
        • Network Capacity and Resiliency - A mission critical network is purpose-built to withstand multiple failures before communications are affected and is specially designed for multiple levels of active redundancy.
        • Devices Built for Public Safety - Mission critical devices built for how Public Safety works means batteries that work for 8-10 hours at a time; rugged form factors designed to stand up to heat, cold, rain, dust, drop and vibration; intuitive applications; and loud and clear audio so responders can hear and be heard despite the chaos that surrounds them.

        There’s no substitute for a purpose-designed and purpose-built mission critical network for the critical operations of Public Safety.

        Motorola has been committed to Public Safety customers for more than 80 years. Our mission critical systems are in use every day in more than 60 countries around the world. We continue to innovate to serve government and public safety better, building networks and devices that offer true mission critical capabilities on TETRA, P25 and next generation Public Safety LTE networks. A great example of the type of device designed for the networks of both today, and tomorrow is the LEX755 Mission-Critical Handheld.

         

        Richard Bennett is Senior Manager, Solutions Marketing EMEA.

        Richard is on LinkedIn at uk.linkedin.com/pub/richard-bennett/1/19b/238

        Follow @MotSolsEMEA on Twitter. Follow #MissionCriticalHandheld

        Join the Motorola Solutions Community EMEA at http://www.linkedin.com/groups/Motorola-Solutions-Community-6519590/about

      • From the Radio to the Smartphone and Beyond Author: Richard Bennett

        Published Dec 09 2016, 8:10 PM by Paul Jeffs

        For decades, public safety agencies have been focused on building robust, mission-critical, interoperable Private Mobile Radio (PMR) networks. There are nationwide systems in Europe, Asia, and Latin America. Public Safety events, planned or unplanned – such as a major flood, sporting event or terrorist attack -- repeatedly demonstrate how important reliable interoperable networks are to Public Safety.

        There have been tremendous leaps in the capability and importance of data in the world. Only 15 years ago, email was just starting to be used and the World Wide Web was brand new. Now, we don’t know how to run organisations without these tools, which keep valuable information flowing and at our fingertips.

        Public Safety has seen the same phenomenon, where data is increasingly critical to operations, be it computer-aided dispatch, database access, in-field reporting, video surveillance, mapping or building plans. As data has become more critical, wireless data network speeds have increased, with 4G LTE networks becoming widely deployed.

        Agencies want to be able to leverage the capabilities of PMR and LTE networks together in one system and have them operate as one. For example, a dispatcher could select a single talkgroup on their console GUI, which could include TETRA radios, Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) public carrier smartphones or Public Safety LTE devices such as the LEX755.

        Unified Push-to-Talk (PTT) capability can make it easier for a user to connect regardless of the device being used. Unified PTT is a two-way push-to-talk client that can be loaded on an Android BYOD smartphone or purpose-built Public Safety Android device to enable two-way voice interoperability between that device and the PMR network, unifying those communications.

        Now senior officers – even though they may not carry a radio – can participate in interoperable Push-To-Talk communications with other PMR users. Having a client that can be easily loaded on a smartphone can prove valuable for PMR users that do not take their radios home, such as off-duty police officers, firefighters and paramedics. Volunteer firefighters, who often rely on pagers to receive alerts asking them to respond to an incident can also leverage Unified PTT to communicate with radio users. Equipping users with a PTT client on their smartphones can enable many new users to participate in critical communications over a PMR system.

        The convergence of voice and data is upon us and will soon bring extremely powerful capabilities to our first responders. Unified Push-to-Talk enables users to easily connect and bring teams together to solve problems, keeping communities safer.

        Learn more about Motorola’s VALR™ Mission Critical Architecture, which allows public safety personnel to securely and seamlessly transition between radio and broadband networks, both private and public. It unifies data sources and services that enable next generation mobile applications, and dynamically prioritises information to get it to those who need it most, when they need it. And it is built on a flexible, migratable open platform.

         

        Richard Bennett is Senior Manager, Solutions Marketing EMEA.

        Richard is on LinkedIn at uk.linkedin.com/pub/richard-bennett/1/19b/238

        Follow @MotSolsEMEA on Twitter. Follow #MissionCriticalHandheld

        Join the Motorola Solutions Community EMEA at http://www.linkedin.com/groups/Motorola-Solutions-Community-6519590/about