Posts tagged ‘public safety’

VP of Government & Industry Affairs and Deputy General Counsel, Utilities Telecom Council: “Utilities are likely to use LTE to leverage the worldwide economies of scale that will likely follow.”

Brett Kilbourne, VP of Government & Industry Affairs and Deputy General Counsel, Utilities Telecom Council

Brett Kilbourne, VP of Government & Industry Affairs and Deputy General Counsel, Utilities Telecom Council

Brett Kilbourne, VP of Government & Industry Affairs and Deputy General Counsel, Utilities Telecom Council is taking part in a panel discussion on “Perspectives on the Urban/Rural Issues for FirstNet” on Day Two of the LTE North America conference, taking place on the 21st-22nd November 2013, in Dallas, Texas, USA. Ahead of the show we talk to him about how LTE use public for safety and utilities overlap.

What is the opportunity that public safety LTE provides for utilities companies?

Utilities need access to broadband spectrum to support their increasing communications needs for smart grid and other enhanced applications. They currently have extensive land mobile communications systems, but these are mostly narrowband.  They also have extensive microwave, but these are for point-to-point communications and don’t generally provide wide area coverage and mobile communications. The opportunity afforded by public safety is to share the 700MHz PSBN to support the increased communications needs of utilities, and to promote interoperability and emergency response with public safety during emergencies.

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.

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Interview: Senior Technical Advisor, Canadian Safety and Security Program: “the real challenge is in ensuring that the public safety community has total confidence that the technology will work.”

Claudio Lucente, Senior Technical Advisor (Contractor), Canadian Safety and Security Program is speaking on Day Two of the LTE North America conference, taking place on the 21st-22nd November 2013, in Dallas, Texas, USA. Ahead of the show we find about about importance of LTE to Canadian Public Safety systems.

Claudio Lucente, Senior Technical Advisor, (Contractor), CSSP

Claudio Lucente, Senior Technical Advisor (Contractor), Canadian Safety and Security Program (CSSP) is speaking on Day Two of the LTE North America conference, taking place on the 21st-22nd November 2013, in Dallas, Texas, USA. Ahead of the show we find about about importance of LTE to Canadian Public Safety systems.

To put things in context please give me some background on the Canadian Safety and Security Program.

The Canadian Safety and Security Program (CSSP) is a federal program led by Defence Research and Development Canada’s Centre for Security Science, in partnership with Public Safety Canada. The program’s mandate is to provide science and technology solutions, support and advice to various issues impacting public safety and security, including chemical, biological, radiological-nuclear and explosives threats, critical infrastructure protection, surveillance, intelligence and interdiction, emergency management systems and interoperability, support to domestic operations and responder safety and operational effectiveness.

The CSSP is providing technical support and advice to the development of a Public Safety Broadband Network (PSBN) in Canada, which is a significant national effort coordinated by Public Safety Canada, involving different policy, governance, and technical issues and many different partners in both the public and private sectors. Through the CSSP, we’ve put in place Technical Working Groups involving approximately 80 participants from all levels of government, industry and academia who are working together to provide technical advice and recommendations on the PSBN initiative. This includes looking at operational, interoperability and security requirements, as well as proposing a preliminary architecture design for the PSBN.

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.

Interview: Founder of The Digital Decision: “LTE provides public safety with the ability to deploy new life saving technologies.”

Robert LeGrande, Founder of The Digital Decision

Robert LeGrande, Founder of The Digital Decision

Robert LeGrande, Founder of The Digital Decision is speaking on the subject of “Business model options and developments” in the Public Safety track on Day Two of the LTE North America conference, taking place on the 21st-22nd November 2013, in Dallas, Texas, USA. Ahead of the show we speak to him about the important issues surround LTE for public safety.

What are the key benefits you feel LTE brings to public safety networks?

LTE provides public safety with the ability to deploy new life saving technologies and is a springboard for innovation that can speed response and recovery.

Are there still limitations with LTE technology that will need to be overcome in terms of providing mission-critical voice and data?

“Talk Around” is a major limitation that is critically needed in cases where the network may be down.

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.

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Interview: Chief Engineer, LTE, Texas Department of Public Safety: “We predict progress and success for public safety LTE rollouts.”

Mike Barney, Chief Engineer, LTE, Texas Department of Public Safety

Mike Barney, Chief Engineer, LTE, Texas Department of Public Safety

Mike Barney, Chief Engineer, LTE, Texas Department of Public Safety and Karla Jurrens, Special Project Manager, Texas Department of Public Safety are speaking on “A Discussion on the Differences between Public Safety and Carrier Broadband Networks & Opportunities”, on Day Two of the LTE North America conference, taking place on the 21st-22nd November 2013, in Dallas, Texas, USA.

What are the key benefits you feel LTE brings to public safety networks?

There are several benefits that will be critical to public safety.  They include:

  • Ubiquitous operability and interoperability
  • Network Resiliency
  • Priority
  • Security

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.

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Interview: Statewide Interoperability Coordinator, State of Oregon: “mission critical voice will be the biggest challenge.”

teve Noel is Statewide Interoperability Coordinator, State of Oregon

Steve Noel is Statewide Interoperability Coordinator, State of Oregon

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.

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Interview: Senior policy advisor and program manager, Washington State Office of the CIO: “There are huge obstacles when it comes to mission-critical voice.”

Bill Schrier, senior policy advisor and program manager, Washington State Office of the CIO

Bill Schrier, senior policy advisor and program manager, Washington State Office of the CIO

Bill Schrier, senior policy advisor and program manager, Washington State Office of the CIO, is speaking on Day Two of the LTE North America conference, taking place on the 21st-22nd November 2013, in Dallas, Texas, USA. Ahead of the show we find out more about the challenges involved in deploying LTE for critical comms for the Washington State area.

What are the key benefits you feel LTE brings to public safety networks?

LTE is a commercial technology which will reduce the costs of, deploying equipment at cell sites, central site equipment (evolved packet cores) and the cost of devices, especially if Qualcomm produces chipsets which include Band 14, as they have promised to do.

More importantly, LTE network design, construction, operations and tuning is well understood by a wide array of companies and engineers, so there is a wide body of work and expertise to draw upon in building the public safety network, as opposed to public-safety-only network technologies such as P25 which have a more limited set of expertise.

Finally there is competition. With more manufacturers of LTE equipment and devices (compared to public-safety proprietary technologies), the variety of devices available to public safety practitioners should be greater.

Are there still limitations with LTE technology that will need to be overcome in terms of providing mission-critical voice and data?

There are huge obstacles when it comes to mission-critical voice. First, most public safety responders use one-to-many dispatch, where a single dispatch centre will broadcast to dozens or hundreds of police officers, fire fighters, electrical utility workers or transportation workers in the field. Similarly, a single officer broadcasting from the field will be heard by all others on the same channel or talk group. Such functions are hard to implement in LTE networks. Next is the simplex or device-to-device mode. This mode is used extensively inside buildings or when fighting fires, especially in remote areas. This mode does not use an intervening tower, but relies upon high levels of power in the device (usually measured in watts as opposed to milliwatts). Again, such a mode is not presently or easily supported in LTE.

For public safety mission-critical data there are fewer obstacles. The two most common ones are a lack of smartphone/tablet – enabled applications, and identification of the user, as opposed to the device. User identification is important because local, state and federal laws such as CJIS (criminal justice information system) and HIPPA (healthcare) restrict access to certain kinds of data and require the user as well as the device to be identified when such data is accessed.

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.

What do you feel is the optimal governance structure for public safety network rollout? Is local, regional, state or national level best?

A combination of governance structures is required. There needs to be national standards for the LTE network, the evolved packet core, identity management (see above) and applications management. There must be national testing centres for applications to make sure they are well-behaved and secure before they are allowed on the network.

But state-wide and local governance is also required. Most applications will be developed either by vendors or by local and state-wide agencies. Operations and maintenance must be done locally as well. Finally, local or state officials must have their “hands on the knobs” during serious events or disasters to manage priority of applications, users, devices and so forth. LTE has many inherent controls for priority, but it is up to the incident commander at the local level to make the decisions.

Are public-private partnerships going to be critical to public safety network success?

Yes, such partnerships are absolutely essential. I’ll mention just a couple of examples. In network construction, FirstNet “only” has $7 billion available to construct a network, which, by some estimates, would cost $35 to $40 billion or more if constructed from the ground up. So FirstNet will need to partner and use sites and backhaul (typically fibre, maybe microwave) from commercial telecommunications carriers, other private providers (Crown Castle, American Tower etc.), non-profits (e.g. NOANet here in Washington State, which is a non-profit entity owned by the public utility districts in the state) as well as cities, counties and the state government itself. Another example of such partnerships is the development of applications. Those apps often will be developed by private vendors, but need to be tailored to local needs.

What are your predictions for LTE-based critical comms network rollouts over the next few years?

Public safety data applications already exist and are operational in thousands of jurisdictions using commercial 3G and 4G and LTE networks. One public safety LTE network is already operational in Harris County Texas. I would hope to see other public safety LTE “early builder” networks in Los Angeles, San Francisco, New Mexico and Mississippi become operational in 2014-2015. I hope certain FirstNet-constructed statewide networks might become operational in late 2015 or 2016, and to see a substantial operating by 2018. In terms of mission critical voice, I think it will be many years before an LTE network is able to handle this function – probably into the 2020s or 2030.

Interview: Project Manager, Contractor, Public Safety Interoperable Communications Office, ADOA: “The reliability of cellular traffic is not up to the standard required for mission critical voice and data.”

 

Michael Britt, Project Manager, Contractor, Public Safety Interoperable Communications Office, ADOA

Michael Britt, Project Manager, Contractor, Public Safety Interoperable Communications Office, ADOA

Michael Britt, Project Manager, Contractor, Public Safety Interoperable Communications Office, ADOA, is speaking on the subject of State Perspectives on Rural Partnership Models on Day Two of the The LTE North America conference is taking place on the 21st-22nd November 2013, in Dallas, Texas, USA. Ahead of the show we find out his perspective on what the benefits and challenges are of using LTE for a public safety network.

What are the key benefits you feel LTE brings to public safety networks?

It brings real-time situational awareness for all members of a unit, with live streaming video from each at their respective positions. Beyond the on-scene, mission critical incident management flash and glitter type of impact, there will be a huge improvement in managing the mundane, but essential, such as time-entry, shift management, reporting and tracking on standards, training and certificates etc.

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Interview: Director, Shared Services, City of Charlotte “I believe that the focus should be on regional partnerships rather than national partnerships.”

Chuck Robinson, director of shared services for the City of Charlotte

Chuck Robinson, director of shared services for the City of Charlotte

Chuck Robinson, director of shared services for the City of Charlotte is speaking in the Public Safety LTE track on Day Two of the LTE North America conference, taking place on the 21st-22nd November 2013, in Dallas, Texas, USA. Ahead of the show we speak to him about the key challenges or creating a public safety network in the US with LTE.

What are the key benefits you feel LTE brings to public safety networks?

LTE brings a standards based technology that can ensure nationwide interoperability for first responders at all levels. It is also commercially available technology that enables us to control costs and will provide us with the capacity to meet the needs of daily and emergency operations.

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Will LTE prove to be a life-saver?

4G-LTE-public-safety-366x251LTE isn’t just a great technology for uploading pictures of the cake you just baked to Facebook – it could soon prove to be a life-saving technology. What the public is becoming increasingly aware that LTE is the technology behind ‘4G’ not many realise that plans are underway in the US for it to be to be used to build a public safety network.

This is a network that is set aside from the regular communications networks, exclusively for use by first responders in an emergency situation, such as terrorism or natural disasters. While these systems already exists it is hoped that the introduction of LTE will enable these first responders to act even more quickly and effectively thanks, in the main, to one of LTE’s key features – speed. An LTE public safety network should be several times faster than the networks currently in place, enabling information to be sent and received faster and more reliably.

As such, an LTE-based system called FirstNet is currently being discussed in the US and  the opening sentence of this report prepared for the US Congress on FirstNet, indicates how acutely the issue is felt in the country, stating that, “[on] September 11, 2001…. communications failures contributed to the tragedies of the day.”

The recent events on 20 April in Boston have once again brought attention on the progress being made in developing a newer public safety network and in a recent meeting of the FirstNet board the matter of how an LTE powered FirstNet could have helped in the aftermath of the Boston Marathon bombing was discussed.

According to this report the most relevant assistance it might have brought was to board member Kevin McGinnis, who is also CEO of North East Mobile Health Services. He said that he can monitor the health of up to 20 patients on his smartphone in real time – but to do that a robust reliable network is required. Presumably this isn’t so that he can ‘work from home’ but rather he can help more people by being in more places at once, as it were, by having life-saving data at his fingertips.

Another example given at the meeting was by board member Charles “Chuck” Dowd, deputy chief of the New York City police department who said that bomb squads from different areas sometimes pooled resources and used real-time HD video to work together to diffuse devices. HD video is of course one of the things the LTE does best.

In an interview with the LTE World Series earlier this year, Tony Gray, board member of the TETRA & Critical Communications Association (TCCA) and chair of the Critical Communications Broadband Group (CCBG), pointed out that the public safety community can benefit from the economies of scale the LTE provides, lowering prices and time-to-market of equipment, which up to now has been proprietary and expensive. However, he also pointed out that LTE as a standard will have to adapted to meet the specific requirements of the critical communications community in the areas of group-based operation, fast call set-up and off-network, device-to-device working.

This and other issues will be addressed at the LTE Public Safety expo that is taking place on the show floor on day two of the LTE World Summit on Tuesday 25th June. At the expo, which is free to attend, you’ll also get to hear from other key Public Safety experts such as Emil Olbrich, lead project engineer for NIST, and Herman van Sprakelaar, who is in charge of tactical management for the Netherlands Police.

While we all hope that critical communications will never have to be used, it is reassuring to know that LTE technology will soon be on hand to assist in these worst-case scenarios.

The LTE World Summit, the premier 4G event for the telecoms industry, is taking place on the 24th-26th June 2013, at the Amsterdam RAI, Netherlands. Click here to download a brochure for the event.

Aricent Group interview: the evolution of LTE femtocells and the deployment of public safety and rural networks

Aricent femtocellIn the run up to the LTE Asia conference we bring you this interview with Aricent Group’s Sanjiv Kapur, director, product management, and R Ezhirpavai, assistant vice president – technology.

Aricent Group is a global innovation and technology services company that helps clients to imagine, commercialise, and evolve products and services for the connected world. It is an expert on LTE femtocells, and the deployment of rural and public safety networks.

How will CDMA be incorporated in next generation femtocells?

LTE and other next generation telecommunication technologies will need to co-exist with older technologies such as UMTS, CDMA and GERAN, etc. Deploying stand-alone solutions supporting individual technologies can be prohibitively expensive for both operators and subscribers.

Multi-mode femtocells – capable of supporting multiple technologies simultaneously – provide a solution for deploying these technologies to ensure that expenses are kept under control. These femtocells will provide support for LTE and one or more older technologies based on the operator’s requirements.

How can interference be reduced when macrocells and femtocells need to use the same carrier?

A: Various standard bodies have laid down detailed specifications for deployments of small cell solutions that minimize interference between base stations of different form factors.

The amount of power delivered to each femtocell determines its coverage area. Femtocell deployments can be designed to eliminate coverage holes in the macro cell UE coverage area.

Are there any standardization efforts on SON for LTE femtocells?

A: The standards for self optimizing networks (SON) are evolving and there is very little guidance available today on actual implementation. There is significant room for differentiation between vendors especially in case of small cell solutions such as femtocells.

Would LTE femtocell be marketed as operator subsidized?

Most likely! The operator today subsidizes most femtocell deployments. Operators are under huge pressure to reduce the cost per bit of providing data services and macro cells deployments are complex and expensive.

Femtocells provide huge benefits to operators, not just in terms of saving deployment and operational expenses, but also reducing the load on core macro networks via offloading. Subsidizing the cost of femtocell deployment also helps in improving customer loyalty, thus enhancing the overall user experience.

What are the choices for backhaul? Which is preferred and why? How do you solve the backhaul challenge for wide spread deployment of femtocells?

  • For Residential Femtocell, typically xDSL or Cable backhaul is used.
  • For Enterprise Femtocell, the SONET or ATM backhaul (exists on Enterprise) is used.

There are many countries wanting 700 MHz for commercial networks. Do you think this would affect public safety deployments which also require same spectrum?

Commercial providers want 700 MHz for good in-building penetration. In fact recently a provider was asked to move away from LTE only because the government of that country was not ready to offer 700MHz for commercial usage. Operators accrue huge cost savings when using this spectrum because the number of eNodebs needed in a network is minimized.

On other hand where there are commercial LTE deployments in this band, a different class of spectrum is being used for public safety as compared to commercial deployments.

How easy is it to integrate Aricent solution to any customer’s specialized applications?

Aricent’s EPC offering complies with standard 3GPP specifications for all its external interfaces enabling quick interworking with customer’s voice/media/data IMS/PMR applications. It also has well defined interfaces to integrate with external DPI engines, proprietary algorithms and external management frameworks.

Why do you think, 3G networks have not been able to capture the rural networks and why do you think LTE would not undergo the same problem in rural markets?

3G data networks lack the level of latency provided by LTE networks. Hence with 3G data networks, providing voice support is very difficult. So in order to support both voice and data, one needs both 3G data and CS networks. This brings in additional network node requirements. Moreover since CS networks are not “all IP” they require higher level of maintenance and redundancy path which is highly complex. Thus cost of laying down 3G networks as primary network for rural areas is very costly. With LTE networks, these issues are not present. Hence we feel LTE networks are more suitable for rural environment.

Are there any successful/profitable business models that leverage LTE for public safety applications that you are aware of?

There are many successful public safety applications that we are aware of. These are very proprietary to specific deployments. These applications help in services meant for public safety for e.g., in case of fire, informing the firemen, in case of defense, informing the field personnel by general in command, and providing information from field. Details of the applications cannot be revealed, but many multi-media applications are possible.

What spectrum band is likely to be used for Public Safety LTE outside the US?  E.g. in the Middle East or Asia Pacific Region?

We feel that in Asia pacific region, the 700MHz band is going to be used for public safety usage specifically in India.

Is there support of LTE for public safety markets outside of North America similar to the APCO support?

Yes, many countries are planning to use LTE for public safety. Many European countries and developing countries in Asia-pacific are considering LTE for public safety, mainly due to the advantages that LTE offers for this market.

Is LTE’s inherent security as secure as today’s Public Safety Radio networks like TETRA ?

Today’s Public safety networks offer additional security over and above what the 3G networks offer. In similar manner to offer additional security for LTE, operators are planning to use additional security mechanism, like separate frequency band, additional algorithms for ciphering and authentication etc., to offer better security in public safety networks. Application level security is additional functionality that is being considered by public safety vendors.

With current Femto & Nano cells market, how do you see LTE being used instead of already established 2G/3G Femto/Nano cells?

Femto/Nano cells help in additional radio coverage. With LTE it is not only solves the cell coverage isssue, but gives lot of additional functionality like better latency, better bandwidth, flatter architecture and single network serving both voice and data. Thus we see a definite market for LTE which cannot be fulfilled by 3G/2G femto and nano cells.

Which frequencies are optimum for the LTE deployment in rural or sparsely populated areas?

For rural deployment the lower frequency bands (700 MHz) is best suited, for better penetration and wider area coverage.

What is the overall cost for the deployment of LTE in rural or sparsely populated areas? `What bandwidth size is required?

Bandwidth size depends on the number of users and the bandwidth usage. More the usage more is the bandwidth required. Overall cost depends on multiple factors, like number of users, data throughput, area covered, redundancy requirement and alternate paths etc.

What are the challenges for core hosting in case of rural operators?

There are multiple challenges such as maintenance, remote monitoring, remote upgrades, high redundancy, finding alternate paths and establishing warning systems etc.

Does LTE for public safety support multicast services?

LTE specifications define multi-cast services which can be used for public safety as well.

Aricent will be exhibiting at the LTE Asia 2012 conference taking place NEXT WEEK on the 18-19 September 2012 at the Marina Bay Sands, Singapore. Click here to register your interest.

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