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
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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
Recognition from Fortune & Thomson Reuters
2018 started off with an announcement that Motorola Solutions has been recognised in several corporate ranking lists, the Fortune Most Admired Companies list, Thomson Reuters list of 100 global Tech leaders and The Wall Street Journal’s Management Top 250 list. This year Motorola Solutions also celebrates its 90th anniversary, but clearly the industry pundits recognise the company has lost none of its entrepreneurial spirit.
But why do industry rankings matter? The rankings are all based on a set of slightly different but broadly related criteria, and essentially give a report which investors, customers and potential employees can all look to as a measure of the all-round health and well-being of the company
And it matters because a good ranking is like an independent school report, it takes a holistic view and it has to be earned. So you know you can trust its findings!
The Thomas Reuters ranking system has eight basic pillars of performance including innovation in technology. But companies also have to show commitment and competence across the areas of finance, management and investor confidence, risk and resilience, legal compliance, people and social responsibility, environmental impact and reputation.
In today’s evolving business world, it is more important than ever that companies can demonstrate solid technology foundations and business strength, coupled with other softer values such as a commitment to corporate responsibility. When today’s millennials are looking for their next opportunity they want to know that the company can be depended on to ‘do the right thing’, be socially aware, as well as technologically innovative.
90 years young, the corporation with a start-up mentality.
In my experience, technological innovation has the power to shoot start-ups to prominence. But, to maintain growth and long-term health they need to achieve operational stability. There is always danger that business processes cannot keep pace and that will damage their prospect for longevity.
Companies that have a proven heritage, commitment to change, continuous innovation and a strong engagement both within the company and with customers and partners have all the ingredients for a long-term exciting future.
This year, Motorola Solutions is celebrating 90 years since the company was founded in Chicago in 1928. We are also celebrating 50 years of Motorola Solutions in Germany. Please join us on the celebrations, come and see us at Critical Communications World in Berlin.
Ricardo Gonzalez is MSSSI VP EMEA Strategy and Marketing at Motorola Solutions
Follow @MotsolsEMEA and search for #ThinkPublicSafety and #MSIquality on Twitter
Following our blog on the Top 6 Think Public Safety Public posts of 2017, I’d like to share our Top 6 list of EMEA Public Safety YouTube English-language videos published in 2017.
1 - Lowland Rescue Finds Missing Person - Lowland Rescue uses WAVE Push-to-Talk service from Motorola Solutions to coordinate a search and rescue.
2 - WAVE™ Control Room Solution – WAVE Control Room Solution transforms control room operations by combining mission-critical security and availability with elastic capacity through Motorola Solutions’ private cloud, hosted in ESN data centres.
3 - DIMETRA Express at Critical Communications Europe 2017 - Paul Wilson introduces the new DIMETRA Express - a fully integrated 'all-in-box' TETRA system that supports TETRA voice services, short data, and VOIP telephony. Paul explains how simple the system is to install - taking less than 15 minutes!
4 - Welcome to Critical Communications Europe 2017 - Tunde Williams welcomes us to Critical Communications Europe 2017. With over 1000 Public Safety and Commercial visitors expected how are we meeting their challenges? How are we future-proofing TETRA? Why is our new DIMETRA Express solution so important?
5 - Poppy Social Story: Honouring Those Who Keep Us Safe - Every day, Emergency Services personnel are using social media to inform the public and engage with the communities they serve. UK Police Twitter Award Winner, Sgt. Harry Tangye from Devon and Cornwall Police shares his top tips for building a loyal and engaged following on social media.
6 - PMRExpo 2017 stand tour - by drone - With over 4000 visitors, this year's PMRExpo was a real buzz. In case you missed it, or didn't see it all - here's a tour of our stand.
If you are receiving this blog post by email, the links to individual videos may be missing. You can access them in this YouTubePlaylist instead - Think Public Safety - Top 6 New Videos 2017
I hope you enjoyed this round-up.
Don’t forget, once you are registered for this blog community, you can comment on posts and subscribe to email alerts.
Best wishes for the new year!
Paul Jeffs is Public Safety Editorial Lead for Europe and Africa at Motorola Solutions.
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