Australia’s attorney-general has re-ignited the carriers-versus-emergency-services, creating a steering committee to develop a mobile broadband plan for public safety agencies. As spectrum is vacated in the digital TV rollout, Australian carriers have been drawing their wagons into a circle around the newly-available radio …
Because thats just what our emergency services need to be spending their limited budgets on - specialised equipment in a relatively small volume (complete with specialised and relatively huge price) as opposed to off the shelf kit already produced in bulk.
So who wants to place their bets on which telco the AG is lining up a job with when this is all finished?
Read what you link to. The US uses 800MHz for emergency services:
Public safety radio systems (such as those used by police, firefighters and emergency medical technicians) operate in several portions of the 800 MHz band, which consists of spectrum at 806-824 MHz paired with spectrum at 851-869 MHz. The 800 MHz band is also home to commercial wireless carriers and private radio systems.
800 MHz Releases
Verizon uses 700MHz for LTE 4G
700MHz in the US
"In the US, for example, the whole 108 MHz of spectrum from 698 MHz to 806 MHz has been designated for public safety applications."
Ummm - not it hasn't. >60Mhz of this digital dividend spectrum was divided up into 5 blocks (A/B/C/D/E) and auctioned off in 2008 in one one of the most hotly debated and public spectrum auctions of all time. Yes there are some deisgnated public safety chunks but nowhere near the whole 700Mhz chunk.
I expect better from El Reg - this new fad of sourcing local Australian content is adismal failure when it comes to quality and accuracy.
700MHz is only in the USA
Only the USA is using 700MHz for public safety LTE following a directive from the FCC in January. I'd hardly call that a worldwide standard. This frequency allocation is to be used for the next generation LTE system. I think the writer of the article needs to talk to some real world radio planners.
The only internationally standardised public safety spectrum allocation, it doesn't include the USA, is 380-400MHz which is largely used for TETRA (410-430MHz is for commercial TETRA systems). There are also TETRA systems running in 800MHz in some places. Traditional VHF/UHF FM systems normally work in 146-174MHz and 430-470MHz.
I know Public safety LTE systems will be in the 800MHz band, I'm working on the deployment one in the Middle East in Band 20 (800MHz). We are also looking for spectrum above 2GHz for urban deployment.
The big problem for public safety is the regulators are trying to flog off spectrum for as much money as they can get and public safety tends to get the leftovers. Public safety systems generally need spectrum below 1GHz because it is better for lower density deployments than higher frequencies which reduce cell sizes and allow higher traffic densities at the cost of an increased number of cell sites. The cellular operators are talking in terms of gigabits per square KM.
Who needs more public servants
Why dont the emergency service personnel just use the telco networks. If they could be prioritised and had access to several carriers then they would have a far more robust system than their dinky little operations at a fraction of the cost.
Public safety networks are different to commercial offerings ..
There are a lot of reasons why Public Safety networks do not use commercial GSM/3G/LTE networks most are technical, others are logistical.
Public safety networks are designed with extremely high availability requirements. The network I work on has site outages measured in seconds across the entire network and we have to account for each outage. All sites on this network have at least 8 hours battery backup and generators, I can't see many cellular operators going for that. Same goes for microwave backhaul systems which are duplicated and diverse. Cellular networks are not even close to the same reliability which costs a lot of money.
The type of traffic on a Public Safety network is completely different, its common to have over 500 subscribers on the same talkgroup (virtual channel) on a public safety system. PTT on cellular is a complete joke by comparison. Group calls outnumber individual calls by about 10 to 1 on the system I monitor.
Call setup times are different. Public safety networks generally guarantee call setup in less than 0.5 second. That fireman doesn't want to wait when he is in a burning building. Then you have dispatching centres which can join users and talkgroups on demand instantly whilst recording every word which was spoken on the network.
Then there are issues of encryption and authentication, cellular operators can do this but the costs are extremely high along with the consequent limitations on them changing their network without prior security reviews.
Public safety networks are designed to be used during civil emergency when power is off and cellular networks down. Cellular networks can sometimes be used as a backup if the public safety network is down not the other way around. Saudi Arabia
There are other reasons for not using commercial networks but I hope the list above gives an idea of some of the issues.
LTE is interesting as it is the first cellular technology which could meet public safety requirements with the appropriate applications (to be written) running on the handsets however the availability issues remain for commercial operators.
Do you really want
emergency services to have to slot into the queue of people ringing to see if uncle Ted is alright - when it's there job to ensure that uncle Ted is alright?
we installed some emergency telephones for the police in KSA
the police always switched off the system 'as it made a noise and disturbed their sleeping', these were the RET roadside emergency phones strung along the highways. It's not like there were ever any traffic accidents in Saudi Arabia anyway? I'm sure the rural police are now fine-non-sleeping citizens and this was just a single incident in the past.... (No! every bloody RET at every bloody copshop was off, disabled, stuffed with rice, 'lost' - for the 2 years I tried to make them work anyway!)
Doha sounds rather more upmarket!
LTE will have priority access by blue-lights, according to a HelloMoto salesrep?
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