TETRA is a user-driven, digital mobile communications open standard for professional users. The standard supports a range of critical applications including voice, data and messaging services for simple one-to-one or complex group communications. As a founding member of the TETRA Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) Association, Motorola Solutions has been actively involved, along with other vendors, in the development of the TETRA standard since its inception, and we are committed to investing in future innovation.
TETRA hardware is easily understood - it is physical infrastructure. Similarly, TETRA software is simple to explain - the coded programs and other operating information used by the computers, like software for any other application. But Intelligent Middleware? That one continually stumps radio users and partners alike. Public Safety agencies need to understand what Intelligent Middleware is to fully realise just how much they need it. And to understand what Intelligent Middleware is, we need to understand where it came from.
Where did Intelligent Middleware come from?
Motorola Solutions originally introduced unified services for TETRA to provide a common source of information from which multiple applications could pull to get reliable, consistent data. For example, many applications might want to know the GPS location of a radio or if a specific radio was turned on and registered on the system. Rather than have multiple apps ping the radio for the same information, it would be more efficient for a service to ping the radio once and then disseminate the results to all applications needing that information. This reduces radio traffic, reduces battery consumption and provides consistent information across multiple applications.
What is Intelligent Middleware?
Simply put, Intelligent Middleware is the next generation of unified software that bridges across applications and networks to provide a suite of services that provide radio users with a consistent experience across devices, platforms and applications. Information such as talkgroups, location and presence is made available to any application regardless of the network or device type. For example, you may have multiple mapping applications, one for CAD, one for control room staff and another for the front line people. With Intelligent Middleware all your applications have access to the same data in order to plot the location for TETRA radios and LTE devices. As another example, you may have multiple applications that need to know the definition of a group (mapping apps, messaging apps, workflow apps, report writing apps). Allowing each app to create its own definition of a group introduces tremendous overhead as you on-board and off-board staff and change assignments. These types of changes would need to be made in multiple places. Failure to do this accurately could result in people not getting the communications they need when they need it resulting in inefficiencies and potentially decreases in safety. Centralising this ensures consistency across all applications.
Why is Intelligence Middleware important for my organisation?
Increasingly, public safety organisations are adopting smartphone technology to be more efficient and keep officers safe. However, these devices shouldn’t be outside of the normal organisational communication structures. Integration is key. The convergence of applications and services is a key step toward that convergence of TETRA and broadband. How you are connected becomes less important because your workgroups follow you as you move across different environments. Whether you are on a TETRA or broadband network, your workgroups are always available to you to collaborate. With middleware, abstracting your applications from various network interfaces, third party developers do not need to develop unique applications or interfaces for each network, simplifying integration.
Intelligent Middleware is compatible with DIMETRA TETRA systems shipping today which means you may already have the foundations of convergence today. To learn more about Intelligent Middleware, you can read our Intelligent Middleware White Paper or visit our Convergence Suite web page.
Tunde Williams is Head of Field and Solutions Marketing for Europe, Middle-East and Africa
Follow @MotSolsEMEA on Twitter and look out for #IntelligentMiddleware
Join the Motorola Solutions Community EMEA at
Will the cloud deliver benefits for Public Safety?
The use of cloud computing has been around for a while. Salesforce.com, after all, arrived in 1999, and has been embraced by commercial organisations across the world. When it comes to Public Safety (PS) however, early adoption is not the model organisations adopt as the stakes are too high. Better to let someone else iron out the issues first ...
That isn’t to say PS has ignored the advancement, it has been investigated and tested and internal, private clouds, have been in use for some time. With the explosion in PS data, many of the initial concerns over cloud having been dealt with PS agencies are now looking at how they, alongside commercial organisations, can fully benefit from an increased use of a cloud approach to applications, data management and storage.
There are some obvious potential commercial benefits to a cloud approach. For organisations with accommodation issues reallocating space occupied by a room of servers to front line operational use is always going to be an attractive way of avoiding the need for more real estate. But letting go is never easy and passing across the responsibility for storing and managing what can be very sensitive data is a big step, especially where there are regulations and even laws governing how PS data is handled. The new Motorola Solutions White Paper - Converting to Cloud for Control Rooms looks at the challenges and opportunities around PS cloud solutions. One of the points the paper deals with the issue of security, how do you know your data is secure? Is a cloud approach more or less secure than a traditional on-premises data storage and application server approach? You may be surprised by the answer.
The paper also looks at the drivers behind cloud. How will the continued growth in the amount of data PS organisations now handle – data bases, video, applications and records? All these impact their ability to operate. How much new data will be produced, needing organising and storing as body worn cameras increasingly become the norm? Use of a cloud approach can let PS focus and invest in their mission rather than racks of storage and servers.
Contrary to views often expressed cloud is not an expensive option nor is it delivered as a one size fits all solution. On the cost side the paper highlights total cost of ownership differences in traditional and cloud models. The paper also looks at the different ways in which a cloud solutions can be deployed, running from a wholly owned private solution all the way to one that is fully shared and third party managed.
For more on the cloud and its use in PS you can download the white paper Converting to Cloud for Control Rooms and find out if clouds have both commercial and operational silver linings.
Harnessing the cloud can provide Public Safety agencies with flexible solutions to their data management challenges leaving them to focus on keeping us all safe.
David Parry is Director, EMEA Marketing
Follow #ThinkPublicSafety and @MotSolsEMEA on Twitter.
Join us at Critical Communications Europe 2017, Bella Centre, Copenhagen, 8-9 February, Stand A11
The Critical Communications series provides users a regular opportunity to meet and network, and to catch-up on thought leadership and the latest trends in TETRA and other critical communications technologies.
This year’s event will showcase all corners of the continent with the underlying theme promoting collaboration and interoperability between technologies, neighbouring end user organisations, between different verticals and countries, and between vendors and customers.
We are gold sponsors of the event and we will be contributing to both the conference and the exhibition (stand A11) this year.
In the conference, be sure not to miss these speakers on Wednesday 8th February 2017:
12:15 - Are industry players meeting the demands of the end user? - Ricardo Gonzalez, EMEA Strategy Director, Motorola Solutions
14:50 - Should cross-border interoperability be replicated across other countries? - Jeppe Jepsen, Director of International Business Relations, Motorola Solutions
16:55 - How can we ensure closer collaboration between countries’ networks? - Steen Petersen, Director - TETRA Infrastructure Customer Solutions
And in the exhibition? The operational landscape of public safety organisations is changing. Narrow-band technologies are being paired with mobile broadband, bringing unprecedented capabilities to the edge of the public safety network. Powerful data analytics help law enforcement officials uncover actionable insights from massive volumes of structured and unstructured data; advancements in sensors and in personal area networking are bringing contextual awareness to Public Safety applications, helping to ensure that users are not overwhelmed by information.
In this year’s exhibition we will be showing a set of solutions that are optimised for Public Safety and are critical elements of our new mobile intelligence framework: a set of software and services, platforms and devices that span multiple networks and enable communication interoperability, seamless information sharing and collaboration. Here are some highlights:
Intelligence-Led Policing Solutions - CommandCentral, our intelligence-led public safety platform, will be showcased along with a new Connected Police Officer solution developed by our Chief Technology Office. This includes our Si500 body worn camera, LEX L10 LTE handheld device and CommandCentral Vault
Unifying TETRA and Broadband Networks - Using our WAVE interoperability platform and more we show how you can connect any device to any network and enable seamless workgroup collaboration.
Purpose Built Devices – We will showcase recent additions to our public safety device portfolio, including the new MTP6650 TETRA handheld radio, the TPG2200 TETRA pager, ST7000 small TETRA radio, transportable mission-critical radio networks, and more.
Services - With a proven track record in successfully operating some of the largest and most complex mission-critical communications systems in the world, we have the expertise to take on the responsibility of guaranteeing system performance, while relieving you of the financial and operational risks associated with managing your communications system.
And, of course, you never know but we may have something new launching on the day....
Find out more about these and keep up-to-date with news, videos and more during the show by visiting our dedicated event microsite – http://www.motorolasolutions.com/cceurope
We look forward to seeing you!
Tunde Williams is Head of Field and Solutions Marketing for Europe and Africa
Follow @MotSolsEMEA on Twitter and look out for #CCEUROPE