Steve Noel is Statewide Interoperability Coordinator, State of Oregon. Ahead of the LTE North America conference, taking place on the 21st-22nd November 2013, in Dallas, Texas, USA, we quiz him on his views on the use of LTE for public safety networks.
What are the key benefits you feel LTE brings to public safety networks?
The first benefit is having a national standard for public safety communications, and the ability to leverage industry standards to enhance technology capabilities. Having dedicated LTE spectrum for use in emergencies and using modern hardware will enables application sharing. It also provides technology flexibility.
Are there still limitations with LTE technology that will need to be overcome in terms of providing mission-critical voice and data?
Yes, especially in rural and frontier areas, where just having a presence will be a challenge. I think mission critical voice will be the biggest challenge, and the ability to enable device to device communications. In addition user adoption of the new technologies could be a challenge.
What do you feel is the optimal governance structure for public safety network rollout? Is local, regional, state or national level best?
My view is that national coordination based on regional use within each state is best, and the challenge will be to implement local controls on the network.
Are public-private partnerships going to be critical to public safety network success?
Yes, I believe based on the current funding stream for the ‘P3’ model will be a critical factor in the development of FirstNet.
What are your predictions for LTE-based critical comms network rollouts over the next few years?
I think they will follow the cellular network rollout pattern of high density areas, with growth to less densely populated areas over time – with the exception that rural development may be easier to implement in some areas of the country.
The LTE North America conference is taking place on the 21st-22nd November 2013, in Dallas, Texas, USA. Click here NOW to download a brochure for the event.