For decades, land mobile radio systems have represented the gold standard for push-to-talk functionality, and the development of mission-critical communication services over broadband has been a key priority of the 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP).
Mission Critical Push-to-talk (MCPTT) is the global standard for mission-critical applications, with the specification effort led by Service and System Aspects Working Group Six (SA6) of 3GPP. To date, SA6 has completed specifications for mission critical push-to-talk (PTT) applications, a Common Services Core for all MC applications, and enhanced video and data communications.
But, deploying a mission-critical public safety system is about much more than being standards compliant. What is also required is a deep understanding of emergency responders operations, and a demonstrated ability to convert that insight into a working solution. Which is why we think there are three key criteria by which an MCPTT supplier should be judged.
1. Push-to-talk communications know-how
For emergency responders, push-to-talk serves as their lifeline in critical situations. Designing an effective PTT platform requires a deep understanding of how frontline personnel operate devices under stress and in harsh environments, and the capacity to turn that knowledge into reliable communication tools.
Since we launched our first mobile radio for public safety in the 1930’s, Motorola Solutions has been a pioneer and innovator in PTT communications. We introduced the first FM portable or “walkie-talkie” two-way radio in 1943, providing critical PTT communications for troops during World War II. In 1969, we took push-to-talk further than it had ever been before, providing reliable PTT communications for the first astronauts to land on the moon. Other firsts include the first digital encryption technology for PTT communications in 1977, and the world’s first narrowband digital PTT communications system for public safety in 1991.
In 1993, we pioneered the evolution of push-to-talk over cellular (PoC) with the introduction of Integrated Digital Enhanced Network (iDEN) technology. iDEN combined the benefits of efficient PTT communication with the unlimited range of cellular, providing users with push-to-talk, telephone, text, and data communications all in one unit.
2. Leadership in the development of broadband PTT industry standards and technology
Having direct, extensive experience in defining a standard paves the way to quick compliance with that standard. For more than 15 years, Motorola Solutions has distinguished itself as a leader in the development of industry standards for broadband push-to-talk communications. Kodiak, a Motorola Solutions Company, was a significant contributor to the OMA (Open Mobile Alliance) PoC specifications, and we served as the Rapporteur for OMA’s Push-to-Communicate for Public Safety (PCPS) specification. We are also an active participant in the definition of the 3GPP Mission Critical PTT (MCPTT) Standard, serving as the Vice-Chair of the SA WG6 working group and Work Item Rapporteurs for several key technical specifications.
In addition to our standards leadership, we are a leader in broadband PTT technology innovation. Running in a fully virtualised environment, our platform utilises Kernel-based Virtual Machines (KVMs) to enhance its scalability, making it possible for one platform to support premise-based, cloud-based, or network-wide deployment options to ensure the right fit for each customer’s unique requirements. We have also generated more than 20 patents on vital aspects of broadband PTT technology, and our Kodiak MCPTT platform has already demonstrated compliance with key areas of the 3GPP Standard.
3. Proven experience with large scale field deployments
Our broadband PTT platform is a proven solution backed by over a decade of experience delivering fast, secure, reliable push-to-talk communication to customers in all industries.
- 500+ deployments in 38 countries, including the top 50 U.S. cities
- Integration with the network, customer care, and operations systems of leading wireless carriers globally
- Over 1 million end-users
As the title suggests, demonstrating our broadband PTT leadership is truly as easy as one – two - three. Our unique combination of push-to-talk knowledge, standards and technology leadership, and deployment experience results in a broadband PTT platform that can get the right information to the right people at the right time in the moments that matter.
Michael is Marketing Manager, Kodiak at Motorola Solutions
Follow #ThinkPublicSafety, @MotsolsEMEA on Twitter
A Mission-Critical-Focused Preview of PMRExpo 2018 - Kölnmesse, Köln, Germany, 27-29 November, stand D12
Every day, governments, businesses and individuals rely on effortless and reliable communications. They call it their lifeline. From the extreme moments to the day-to-day, communication plays an increasingly critical role in protecting and connecting the world.
From mission-critical services and command centre software through to secure and reliable land mobile radio solutions, our technology is helping to advance your communications lifeline so businesses run smoothly and cities stay safe.
Come and experience this at PMRExpo 2018 in Köln. We will be exhibiting and taking part in the conference too. We’ll have the widest range of mission-critical solutions to show you. We invite you to join us at the exhibition on stand D12 where you can meet with our industry experts and get hands-on with the latest solutions.
We will be showing how you can unlock the potential of public safety in a digital age. We will be featuring purpose built devices such as the new ST7500 Compact TETRA radio, the new LEX 11 Mission Critical LTE device, the TPG2200 TETRA Pager; as well as complete radio network and command centre solutions, WAVE Push-To-Talk, Avigilon Video Surveillance and more. Check out our Mission Critical at PMRExpo event guide for more detail on what we will be showing for our Police, Fire and Rescue, Emergency Medical and other Public Safety users.
I am looking forward to participating in these sessions in the conference too:
Check out our dedicated PMRExpo microsite too for news, views, previews and videos from the show - pmrexpo.motorolasolutions.com
I look forward to seeing you in Köln.
Axel Kukuk is Director Key Account Management, Head of Sales DACH at Motorola Solutions
Follow @MotSolsEMEA on Twitter and look out for #PMRExpo.
My earliest memory of a ‘walkie-talkie’ is of a toy one I had as a child, and using it to communicate whilst out playing with my brother. It was great to just push the button and be able to talk.
With the availability of analogue and new digital radios, the situation is much the same. It still offered immediate connectivity through the ‘Push To Talk’ button. This immediate, fuss-free connectivity became essential for mission critical users such as Police, Fire or Ambulance who depend on them to help save lives.
Move into the early 2000s and cellphone users were asking to be able to connect ‘like radio users do’. This drove the development of new (infant) technology for providing a ‘PTT-like’ ability on 2G/2.5G cellphones but it was not reliable or robust enough for mission-critical applications.
Since then, cellular networks have rapidly advanced to 4G/LTE that supports bandwidth-intensive mobile data applications. PTT over broadband was developed to meet the needs of commercial users. PTT over mobile broadband has now been evolved to support mission-critical users too. Key to this evolution has been the development of international (3GPP) mission-critical standards:
Where does Motorola Solutions fit in? We continue to contribute to 3GPP standards related to mission-critical communications and lead the industry in standards implementation and compliance. Today’s mission-critical PTT users benefit from sub-second call set-up, high voice quality, numerous advanced features, as well as multimedia applications integrated on the same device.
What does this mean for Public Safety radio users? We recognise that when it comes to push-to-talk communications, one size, or in this case, one technology does not fit all. The right PTT communication platform should fit within your existing workflows, not the other way around. Our breadth of PTT solutions include PMR solutions (analogue and digital) such as ASTRO P25, TETRA and DMR standards as well as WAVE, our broadband PTT which operates over any broadband network.
The evolution of PTT has created a world of multiple technologies, and technologies that can interoperate. This enables each user to have the right technology for their situation. An example of the collaboration between technologies is Lowland Rescue:
Out in the field the rescue teams communicated by two-way radio and thanks to the interoperability provided by our WAVE solution, were able to keep a rescue-team member (at home) up-to-date with developments via a broadband connection.
Want to know more? Check out our new White Paper ‘The Evolution of PTT’
Mike is EMEA Solutions Marketing Manager at Motorola Solutions
Connect with Mike on LinkedIn
Follow #ThinkPublicSafety, @MotsolsEMEA on Twitter
If you’re planning to invest in a Land Mobile Radio (LMR) system, or already have one in place, you want to ensure the system can support your organisation’s communication needs, both today and years down the line. As LMR systems become more IP-based, critical communication has become more powerful and more complex with integrated data applications and advanced features. Today’s mission-critical networks offer technology such as geofencing tracking and biometrics, making public safety agencies and other organisations more efficient and intelligent, but also creating new management challenges.
To future-proof your investment and to deliver the desired performance, scalability, and cost throughout its lifecycle, it’s important to understand how to address the increasing intricacies of LMR system maintenance and management.
In our new white paper, “The Real Costs of Operating LMR Systems,” we help you gain an accurate picture of the costs associated with effective LMR management.
Learn more about what’s needed to:
Spearhead system upgrades to optimise security and performance
Attract, train and retain a team of skilled personnel — from subscriber technicians to networking monitoring
Safeguard your system from cyber-attacks and reduce risk
Create a Network Operations Center (NOC) to assess and remotely resolve a range of events, such as provisioning and base station issues
Meet public safety standards via activities such as frequency licence management and tower inspections
Once you have a comprehensive understanding of the total system maintenance cost, you can assess your operations to identify gaps and areas for improvement, then determine the most effective strategy for the ongoing management of your system. That strategy can help you understand which efforts can be supported in-house, which can be managed by a trusted partner, and even whether a hybrid approach that provides the best of both worlds is warranted.
Ready to understand the true costs of your LMR system? Download our paper today.
With a proven track record in successfully operating more than 500 LMR systems worldwide, we can help you achieve your performance targets and desired outcomes –check out www.motorolasolutions.com/services
Graeme is Global Service Portfolio Manager at Motorola Solutions
This year the Critical Communications World event celebrates its 20th year. The event is still relatively young compared to how long we, as a company, have been involved in critical communications. That’s 50 years in Germany, where the event was held this year. And 40 years? I was reminded of this when I watched a video interview that Julian Foster did at the event in Berlin.
Julian managed to catch up with industry expert Jeppe Jepsen and discuss his personal experience and perspective of how the industry has changed over the past 40 years of his service - and the similarities that TETRA / LTE coexistence has with changes of the past.
There are definitely some key points that Jeppe makes in the interview that I found particularly interesting:
Jeppe was asked what the ‘last comparable big change’ that happened in the industry. Jeppe identifies this as the move to single ‘one network per country’ TETRA networks from multiple analogue systems. He believes this type of technology shift takes a long time and 'it's not just the technology, it's the organisations that need to adapt to new possibilities’…
Jeppe believes that our end customers should already be using broadband offerings from cellular operators, not for ‘life and death situations’, but they should start using it today, to take advantages of new tools it can enable and to make their organisations more effective. Jeppe points out an excellent example from the conference – Harris County using their messaging during flooding. Jeppe believes end users should be testing and implementing using today’s ‘best effort networks’ as long as you have ‘TETRA service as the backup’ and ultimately ‘there is absolutely no reason not to start with it now’…
You can check out the complete interview below:
Clearly as Jeppe says - 'there are two worlds that need to come together and understand each other' to deliver what our end users need.
90 years? Well that’s how long we’ve been innovating in critical communications – ever since we were founded in Chicago in 1928.
Even though CCW is over you can still catch up with all things ‘Critical Communications World’ on our dedicated microsite: www.motorolasolutions.com/ccw
Ricardo Gonzalez is MSSSI VP EMEA Strategy and Marketing at Motorola Solutions
As an operator of a public safety private mobile radio system, you face a complex set of challenges. How will you keep pace with rapid technological change? How can you profitably grow your network’s user base? What about cyber security? In truth, there are many more questions to which operators are seeking answers.
So how can public safety PMR operators ensure that their radio system reliably and securely supports the mission-critical operations of users, while addressing their evolving requirements? Modernisation is key to addressing these challenges.
Why you should invest in modernising your PMR network
What are the risks of not doing anything? Failure to invest in the PMR network infrastructure will introduce a number of risks
- Increased risk of system downtime due to aging hardware
- Vulnerability to cyber attacks
- Rising support costs due to obsolescence
- Increased unpredictability of network maintenance costs
- Inability to add new services and functionality required by users
The need to address these risks and increase service flexibility has led to a growing number of PMR operators investing in network modernisation. For example, concerns about cyber crime and the need to implement new functionality were key drivers of City of Cape Town’s decision to modernise its TETRA public safety network. Following the upgrade to the TETRA system, City of Cape Town realised improvements in cyber security through enhanced encryption support and also greater flexibility in adding new features and additional capacity to the network. Read about City of Cape Town’s network modernisation here.
To be effective, network modernisation must be part of a long term network sustainment plan that includes:
- Network updates covering both hardware and software
- Security updates
- 24 x 7 x 365 technical support
- Fast turnaround times for network hardware repairs
Enhancing your PMR service through broadband integration
Modernisation is not just about network sustainability – it’s also about supporting the evolving operational needs of users. Increasingly, broadband data services are being demanded by public safety organisations to enable increased in-field productivity, improved situational awareness and reduced operational costs. Additionally, broadband push-to-talk technology is allowing public safety organisations to extend the reach of their networks by leveraging the wide area coverage of commercial mobile networks.
But, a concern for the public safety community is whether mission-critical voice and data services delivered over broadband networks can match the performance and functionality of established PMR systems such as TETRA and APCO Project 25. With the ongoing standardisation work within 3GPP to introduce mission-critical functionality, the prevailing view is that PMR networks and 4G and 5G systems will coexist for many years in order to get the best of both worlds.
The good news is that PMR operators are uniquely positioned to address public safety needs and to offer a differentiated service. For example, PMR operators can use their existing Key Management Facility for the management and distribution of encryption keys to both radio and broadband users. This can be achieved today using Motorola Solutions LTE handheld devices equipped with the μCryptr hardware security module.
Modern PMR systems such as DIMETRA X Core provide seamless, wireline interfaces with broadband systems. Integration of broadband services with PMR unlocks value and creates a platform for delivering truly differentiated services. For example, by integrating broadband PTT technology with their networks, public safety PMR operators can target a new segment of non-radio users that require talkgroup interoperability from their smartphone devices. The addition of such services creates revenue generation opportunities, providing a vital funding source for ongoing network investments in support of the long term technology sustainment plan.
Forward-thinking PMR operators have already started adopting this self sustaining approach to network modernisation. For example, Spain’s Telecom Castilla-La Mancha recently transitioned their legacy TETRA system to the DIMETRA X Core platform - read the press release about it here. Integrated with the TETRA system was the WAVE interoperability solution, which enabled Telecom CLM to extend PTT communication across multiple platforms (radio, broadband networks, computers, smartphones) allowing users on different networks to be connected.
To unlock the full potential of your PMR system, it is vital that you work with the right technology partner. It is important that your technology partner can support you for the long term with the right level of service, technology expertise and experience in deploying public safety systems.
Ricardo Gonzalez is MSSSI VP EMEA Strategy and Marketing at Motorola Solutions