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      • Norway's Fire Service - getting the Mission-Critical communications they need Author: Hilde Holte Eriksen

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

        Nødnett is the new digital TETRA network for emergency and rescue services in Norway. The nationwide network is nearing completion to be officially opened in December this year. A key milestone on the way was the recent completion of 2194 fire vehicle installations. Now firefighters can co-operate across municipal borders as well as with other agencies - Police, Emergency Medical Services, Customs, Civil Defence, Red Cross and other rescue organisations - across Norway.

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        Here's some key statistics about this milestone, one of many parallel delivery projects in Nødnett:

        Norway's fire services already have over 16000 Motorola TETRA handheld radios (MTP850Ex, MTP3200 and MTP3250).

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        Norway's Fire Services have 2400 Mobile TETRA radios in use…

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        1,931 MTM5400 units and 261 MTM5500 units have been installed during the second deployment phase, in addition to over 200 during first phase.…

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        2500 installations into fire trucks, boats and snowmobiles…

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        Completed on time..

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        ..in September 2015.

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        Norway has 280 municipal fire and rescue units covering the 428 municipalities across the country. All fire service units are connected to Nødnett’s TETRA radio network through the 18 fire regions, each with a new state-of-the-art emergency 110 call centre.

        At the end of the day it is all about enabling Norway's emergency services to do their job. Saving Lives.

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        See more about Nødnett here and our customer The Directorate for Emergency Communication (DNK) here.


        The national fire services in Norway are organised by the Directorate of Civil Protection (DSB).

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        Hilde Holte Eriksen is Communications Manager for Nødnett and the Nordics region ….

        Hilde is on Linkedin at https://no.linkedin.com/pub/hilde-holte-eriksen/2/836/955

        Follow @MotSolsEMEA on Twitter and look out for #Nødnett


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      • Closing your LMR system's capability gap. Why it matters and how to get it done. Author: John Moule

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

        In a recent survey of public safety decision-makers, reliable communication was ranked as the most important benefit of land mobile radio systems. The criticality of communications to public safety sets very clear expectations for LMR network service providers:

        • Ensure operational continuity
        • Safeguard data in transit, data at rest and data in use
        • Support growth and expansion of end user services

        But what will it take to ensure that your two-way radio network meets these core objectives over the system’s lifecycle?

        For public safety LMR networks, the contractual lifespan can extend from 10 to 15 or even more than 20 years.. Contrast this with the comparatively shorter lifespan of the system software and hardware, much of which is based on commercial off-the-shelf IT based technology, and it becomes clear that obsolescence risk must be carefully managed.

        Software and hardware obsolescence impacts not only an LMR system’s sustainability but also the operator’s ability to cost effectively expand the system and introduce new capabilities. Technology advancements allow new system capabilities to be developed that help enable greater efficiency and effectiveness in end user operational processes. For example, the introduction of Over-the-Air Rekeying (OTAR) removed the need for manual updates to radio cipher keys – providing public safety agencies with greater operational cost savings and enabling increased information security.

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        When system components and software become obsolete, a capability gap starts to open up. This is where your legacy system lacks the latest available technology to fulfil current and future needs. In order to close the gap and manage obsolescence, a proactive approach is required to maximise the value of the LMR system throughout its life cycle.

        To explain why, let’s look at a customer case study example. The customer is a police agency that owns and operates an LMR network supporting 10,000 front line officers, which has recently been refreshed from a legacy network. During the initial procurement phase of the network, the system manager was mindful of the future need for mobile broadband connectivity to support the force’s digitalisation strategy. The manager also looked at ways to ensure operational continuity cost effectively over the operational life of the network, 10 years and beyond. By combining known information with operational experience, the manager developed a risk mitigation plan by considering the impact of potential future events.

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        Uncertainty about the future pointed to a potentially large downside for not proactively managing the lifecycle of the network. The downside here could include the high cost of replacing system hardware that will become obsolete. For frontline officers, the most important downside is service disruption – as this increases safety risks and affects their ability to mobilise and respond quickly to an incident.

        For the system manager, doing nothing will also limit upside gains. Unless properly managed, hardware and software obsolescence will restrict operational agility – meaning that it not only becomes more expensive to add capabilities, such as increased voice and data capacity, it also takes longer to do so.

        The best approach was to minimise the capability gap and secure upside potential while also minimising the downside risk of service disruption. To address the capability gap and secure the network’s operational agility, the system manager’s optimum strategy was to refresh the core network equipment. Alongside the refresh, the manager invested in a lifecycle plan to cost effectively manage ongoing system challenges. The plan ensured that hardware and software obsolescence was proactively and systematically managed, which from a financial perspective provided predictable operational expenses over the life of the network.

        A forward-thinking LMR supplier must be able to provide lifecycle management services that optimise the cost of closing the capability gap. These services must also allow operators to keep their systems secure, supportable and flexible – ensuring that the system will keep its value and not have to be disposed of and replaced with a new system.

        When it comes to closing the capability gap and staying current, there is not a one-size-fits-all solution. With restrictive maintenance budgets, it is vital that you work with a vendor that can deliver the right lifecycle management service plan. Motorola Solutions has deep experience in delivering tailored lifecycle management services that help maximise long term value while managing operational and financial risk.

        To learn more about how we can work with your team to create a comprehensive lifecycle plan, visit www.motorolasolutions.com/lifecyclemanagement

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        John Moule is Public Safety Sales Lead

        John is on Linkedin at https://uk.linkedin.com/pub/john-moule/70/245/435

        Follow @MotSolsEMEA on Twitter and look out for #CriticalLifecycles

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      • Radio APPFORUM 2015 – Engagement and Innovation Author: Peta Spinks

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

        Now in its 6th year, APPFORUM 2015 our annual developer event attracted over 100 attendees when it took place this week in Reading, UK.

        As usual the sessions were very busy and in many cases attracted lively interaction. New for this year were sessions on Intelligent Middleware and the Industrial Internet of Things (SCADA & M2M).

        I spoke to both Motorolans and our Application Developer Partners to find out what THEY thought about the event and why it has continued to be the annual place to meet.

        Keynote speaker, Jeff Spaeth, Corporate VP - Systems & Software Enablement, presented on the MSI vision for the developer community.

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        "It's an exciting time for Motorola solutions and our developer partners. As we look to the future where workgroup solutions mix radios with smartphones, broadband and LMR networks it's clear that software is crucial to providing the solutions customers are looking for. When you also consider that the customer base for workgroup communications is huge - at least 63 different verticals, 190 nation states with different languages and different cultures, it's clear that one company can't do it all. So I really appreciate the opportunity to be here with our developer community in EA sharing our thoughts, plans and vision for how our partnership will strengthen over the forthcoming years”.

        I also spoke to some of our application partners to get their view.

        Gerald Schroth, ATS Elektronik Gmbh, Germany “It’s very important for our company to know what is happening and what technologies are in focus. The combination of overview sessions with detailed ones is very good.”

        Nick Vaas, from UK based Vaas Communications commented “to keep up to date with the latest developments in the portfolio and we can ask the team if we have any questions. It’s the only time that developers meet up. And for us it’s important to get the tools to develop specific applications that can form part of bespoke solutions for our customers.”

        The event was opened by the leads of Motorola’s MOTOTRBOTM and TETRA application developer programs, Dietmar Kloss and Rob Nichols. Here’s what they had to say about the AppForum.


        Dietmar Kloss this event allows us to provide our developers with the latest product information and roadmap but much more closely focused on developer interface kits than in other partner events. We can also highlight potential market opportunities based on our interfaces. We interlink our developers with our engineering teams here so that they hear direct feedback from each other and bring developers together in a community to establish a level of communication." Dietmar is Senior Business Manager, EA MOTOTRBO ADP

        Rob Nichols "the AppForum is an opportunity to get everyone together to have one to one discussion about how we align our businesses to get ready for the future. Detailed discussions on technology and how to position for future market developments. In TETRA we are seeing growth in data but it is still early days, it is still a voice world but as we move towards convergence with broadband we are seeing critical communications customers bringing data into their operations. It important that we continually develop the way we operate as the market and technology evolves and the AppForum is a perfect place to have that discussion”. Rob is Head of TETRA Applications Program for Europe & Africa, Motorola Solutions.

        Tim Clark, Director of EA Sales Channel and Product Go-To-Market team had the last word!

        “Our Application partners are key to our business strategy and give a competitive advantage. We are seeing growth across our radio portfolio and a large part of this is driven by value added solutions and applications. It’s great to see the AppForum going from strength to strength and this year there is a real buzz of innovation, it allows us to show commitment to our partners as they are a critical part of our success and we need to stay engaged together and keep innovating together”.

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        Learn more about Application Developer Program.

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        Peta Spinks is Director, Customer Engagement, Europe & Africa

        Peta is on LinkedIn at https://uk.linkedin.com/in/petaspinks1

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      • To patch or not to patch? Understanding the implications for LMR Systems. Author: Mick Palmer

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

        More and more often when users log into their personal devices, they are greeted with “New Security Updates Available…Install Updates Now.” Whether we realise it or not, security patching has become an integral part of our digital environment as a result of us always being connected to and highly dependant on electronic devices. Software vendors are constantly releasing patches to protect our personal and professional information from the more than 117,000 cyber attacks happening each day worldwide. What used to be a common best practice has become an industry tactic for survival.

        In the case of enterprise IT and mission critical radio systems, the burden of security patching is exponentially higher. The frequency at which they are released exacerbates the issue to the point where keeping up with the patching cycle becomes an overwhelming endeavour. It quickly escalates into a full time task that commands devoted expertise and technological resources. These networks are imperative to daily operations, so the question of whether to patch or not to patch is not even up for debate. Everyone agrees on its importance, the challenge is how to do it best.

        Industry research shows that system administrators are not keeping up with the patch cycle which is, in turn, putting systems at risk from malicious software that is designed to exploit these vulnerabilities. According to a study by the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) approximately 75% of all cyber security incidents exploited a vulnerability that already had a patch fix available. Recent research from Symantec on a coordinated attack aimed at the oil and gas industry pointed out that the hackers in this instance were not particularly advanced and exploited an old vulnerability using older malicious software (malware) that had been available through the cyber underground for some time. Hackers can rely more on inadequate patching, rather than their own ingenuity to develop new malicious tools.

        When Land Mobile Radio (LMR) systems were based on circuit switched technology, the LMR system was considered a closed network. Those days are long gone. Today’s LMR system is at an optimal level of robustness due to its transition to an IP based environment. This changeover enabled the introduction of new features, interconnectivity to other IP based systems, use of standards based technology, and commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) hardware and software. In fact, from a fundamental standpoint, the differences between an LMR network and an IT network is simply the type of traffic traversing the system - predominantly voice on LMR and data on IT. However, the increase in COTS content borrowed from the IT industry and new interconnectivity has left the LMR system with the same security challenges - not previously experienced in traditional LMR - faced by IT system administrators. Therefore, keeping the LMR system patches current is now an imperative that cannot be ignored.

        So, how hard is it to apply patches when they become available for the LMR system? We just accept the patches and move on, right? Not quite that easy unfortunately. First, the newest patches absolutely have to be tested in a sandbox environment before being deployed to the system. This is to ensure the fixes do not have a negative impact on highly sensitive, mission-critical operations. Software vendors are not privy to the mix of applications running on an LMR’s operating system (OS), the configuration used or the hardware they reside on. As a result, these vendors can not test all possible interactions.

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        Pre-testing and deploying patches in a timely manner are the cornerstone of good security practice and go a long way to reducing overall risk. Motorola Solutions has dedicated test environments with LMR system engineers who pre-test all applicable security patches and provide simple deployment options to make patching as easy and painless as possible. We understand cybersecurity, and we have the expertise to meet all needs. We have over 300 customers worldwide we support today with patching and other security services.

        To learn more about our what we are doing to secure LMR systems and how we can work with your team to patch and protect your mission critical systems, take a look at our Security Update Service.

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        Mick Palmer is the Global Cybersecurity Services Manager at Motorola Solutions

        Mick Palmer is on LinkedIn at https://www.linkedin.com/pub/michael-palmer/2/b24/374

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        Originally published in Fresh Ideas in Public Safety