Too Early for LMR vs. FirstNet Rhetoric: It appears as though the more public safety agencies join FirstNet the more those following the progress as “outsiders” (not public safety personnel) are making noises about how FirstNet will “soon” become the only public safety network needed. It is not clear why vendors, pundits, and researchers are pushing this model. It is clear why elected officials in Congress, the states, and local jurisdictions are promoting the one network approach: They want to stop funding existing Land Mobile Radio systems (LMR) that are currently the nearest thing public safety has to mission-critical networks.
Further, some in Congress seem to believe LMR spectrum below 470 MHz can be auctioned for lots of money. I am not sure why some think LMR spectrum is so valuable when it has already been proven that the T-Band 470-512 MHz spectrum used by public safety in eleven major metro areas is not worth much when it comes to auctions. If we continue to allow those who believe giving up the LMR spectrum and putting all of the public safety community onto a single radio system is both the most prudent and economical way forward, we are missing the real issue: What, exactly, are the public safety community’s requirements (not our view but theirs)? We need to let those using the communications networks decide what and where one or both networks will be needed. As I have said before, simply because a technology appears to be ready for prime time, unless it is something the public safety community believes it can trust lives to, it won’t be adopted as the only public safety network regardless of what others say.
I bring this subject up because of the number of related sessions and panels at the recent IWCE conference in Orlando, articles in the trade press, and planned for the upcoming PSCR event in San Diego, the APCO conference in Las Vegas in August, the International Association of Police Chiefs (IACP), and the International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC). Technology in the United States, at least, has a tendency to get out ahead of the need or is looked at by those whose smartphone is bonded to their hand, that everything needed in the way of communications can be found either on the smartphone or over the network that powers it. Yet the reality is that while FirstNet is making great strides there are still some limitations with LTE and FirstNet that have not been solved or that have, perhaps, been solved but have not been proven in real-world testing and operation.
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JEMS.com Apr 19 04:45
For many years, I’ve been talking to my fellow paramedics and colleagues in EMS about the promise of FirstNet, the nationwide public safety broadband network. There were a lot of whens and ifs and we expect in those discussions. Today, it’s exciting to no longer have to say this groundbreaking …
Agri-Pulse Apr 18 16:45
Among the benefits he listed from e-connectivity are precision agriculture, telemedicine, distance education, and improvements to public safety. Pai, meanwhile, assured the audience that expanding e-connectivity to the entire country remains one of his top priorities. Representatives from five partner …
Urgent Communications Apr 18 10:16
… it proceeds with building the nationwide public-safety broadband network for FirstNet, according to an AT&T spokesperson. This better supports our existing network, as well as building out new macro and small-cell sites, the AT&T spokesperson said in an e-mail to IWCE’s Urgent Communications.
MissionCritical Apr 18 10:03
In a public notice, the FCC disseminated lessons learned from major network outages and reminded communications service providers to review industry best practices to ensure network reliability. The commission also touted its new network reliability page on its website to help ensure that network providers, public-safety entities and the public can readily find the FCC’s work in promoting industry best practices. read more
MissionCritical Apr 18 10:03
The First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet) Association (FNA) announced three new initiatives to boost membership. read more
Wired: Epicenter Apr 18 09:39
An FCC program promised to bring high-speed internet to remote schools. Instead, they’ve mostly gotten red tape.
Multichannel News Apr 18 00:20
The FCC also asks whether and what particular rules should apply to the auctions, such as prohibiting certain communications, for example. The 5G auctions will be the first since the broadcast incentive auction freed up TV spectrum for wireless broadband. Clyburn’s less-than-enthusiastic support …
Urgent Communications Apr 12 12:35
For example, we audited and verified testing of public safety-focused features and functions of wireless devices currently published on the NIST list. This includes Band 14 functionality when applicable, FirstNet UICC [universal integrated circuit card] or SIM functionality, as well as functionality with the …
Kdminer Apr 12 09:45
The Association of Public Safety Communications Officials is honoring thousands of women and men who work the phones for public safety agencies this week. They’re our lifeline, for sure, Undersheriff Ed Trafecanty said. Even when I was on boat patrol, I had the utmost respect for them. They have …
Markets Insider Apr 19 11:45
… he acted as president and Chairman of the Board for the International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC), which represents 11,000 fire chiefs internationally and was the primary fire service representative to lobby for the historic legislation that created the first national broadband network for public safety …
ITbriefing.net Apr 19 10:50
Raipur, India, April 19, 2018 — Narrowband IoT Chipset Market to Reach US$ 287 Million by 2023. Report Sellers has added a new market research report Narrowband IoT Chipset – Global Market Outlook (2017-23) to its offerings. According to the report, Global Narrowband IoT Chipset Market is …
AirMed and Rescue Magazine Apr 19 09:15
The companies will combine FLIR’s advanced thermal imagining payloads for UASs with DroneSense’s comprehensive solution for UAS first responders to enhance situational awareness, act as a force multiplier and help organisations to save more lives. This alliance with DroneSense will help bring to …
The Internet of Business Apr 19 04:20
The Cumulocity IoT platform is an IoT-as-a-Service offering, which comes with multi-cluster deployment options. Features include code-free integration of devices supporting Low Power WAN (LPWAN) technologies used for long-term, low-bandwidth remote monitoring Narrowband IoT (NB-IoT), …
Computerworld Australia Apr 19 00:35
Earlier this year Fleet Space announced a partnership with Reekoh, and Australian developer and operator of a cloud-based IoT platform. Fleet Space said the partnership would see the integration of data from Fleet’s narrowband satellite communications with Reekoh’s enterprise IoT platform..
The Hustle Apr 18 18:45
The bad service is a big problem, and — as the FCC points out in its order — one that not only cuts families off from their city-slicker relatives, but also negatively impacts rural businesses, and can delay public safety communications. Yet, despite the FCC’s case resting on T-Mobile harming consumers, …
The Hustle Apr 18 12:35
The bad service is a big problem, and as the FCC points out in its order one that not only cuts families off from their city-slicker relatives, but also negatively impacts rural businesses, and can delay public safety communications. Yet, despite the FCC’s case resting on T-Mobile harming consumers, …
Boy Genius Report Apr 18 09:39
Brace yourself, because this might come as a shock: A former telecoms executive who was tapped to run the FCC’s rural broadband panel has been charged with a $250 million fraud scheme relating to her time running an Alaskan telecoms company. According to theÂ Wall Street Journal ,Â Elizabeth Ann Pierce was the CEO ofÂ Quintillion Networks LLC, a company that claimed it would run high-speed fiber-optic cables to Alaska, and use that capacity to offer high-speed service to businesses and resident
Telecompaper Apr 18 08:25
Around 54 percent of telecommunications customers paying between MXN 501 and MXN 700 a month subscribed to triple-play plans with pay-TV, fixed broadband and mobile services at the end of 2017, up from 23.5 percent a year earlier, according to a report from regulator IFT. However, less than 6 …
The Daily Caller Apr 17 23:35
Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai has repeatedly called on the wireless industry to activate the FM chips that are already installed in almost all smartphones sold in the United States, specifically citing the public safety benefits of doing so. Last year, Craig Fugate, former head of the …
Light Reading Apr 17 23:20
Google is asking the FCC for permission to hold more tests on 3.5GHz-based CBRS LTE-based services in Texas, which — beyond 2018 — could enable the shared mid-band spectrum to be used for localized multi-megabit public and private 4G broadband services, as well as expanding coverage for …
Light Reading Apr 17 17:45
And calls may be delayed, inaudible, or labeled with an inaccurate caller ID. These call completion problems have serious economic and personal costs, and potentially threaten public safety in local communities. Today, the FCC adopted new measures and proposed others to better tackle the problem …
RadioResource Media Group Apr 17 14:45
Earlier this month, the Association of Public-Safety Communications Officials (APCO) International questioned the validity of an analysis of unlicensed services in the 6 GHz band in discussions with FCC officials. Last October, several mission-critical communications groups submitted comments to the …
Radio World Apr 17 12:15
The Federal Communication Commission wants fresh comments about how and whether to support multimedia content in Wireless Emergency Alert messages. Its Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau noted recent steps taken to strengthen WEA including better geographical targeting; …
FierceTelecom Apr 12 14:25
This streamlined process should not apply, however, to equipment that is not incidental to overlashed telecommunications lines, such as strand-mounted antennas and other RF-emitting devices, batteries, and power supplies, because such equipment is much more likely to present safety and load …
In Compliance Apr 12 11:45
Other areas of potential focus include communications technologies critical to public safety, homeland security, healthcare, energy, education and transportation. The FCC says that those selected to participate in the Honors Engineering Program will be eligible for continued employment at the agency.
Bloomberg Big Law Business Apr 12 10:45
Federal law prohibits operating broadcast radio or TV stations without an FCC license. Such operations can interfere with licensed broadcasters’ programming and public safety messages, the FCC says. Fighting unlawful broadcasts is a top enforcement priority for the FCC, FCC Chairman Ajit Pai said …
The Wellsboro Gazette Apr 12 09:40
In 2017, Pennsylvania opted into the deployment of the interoperable Nationwide Public Safety Broadband Network, Smith said. The network will be available through a public-private partnership with FirstNet and AT&T to provide the first reliable broadband network for first responders acrross the state, …
wtip.org Apr 12 09:16
… the broadband network, which many say has been set aside for public safety. It’s worth pointing out, specifically for the Gunflint Trail area, that when not in use for emergencies, AT&T can use it for commercial business. This, simply put, means people can use the network for their personal cell phones.
Techdirt Corporate Intelligence Apr 12 08:13
Last year, FCC boss Ajit Pai repeatedly hyped the creation of a new “Broadband Deployment Advisory Council” (BDAC) purportedly tasked with coming up with solutions to the nation’s broadband problem. Unfortunately, reports just as quickly began to circulate that this panel was little more than a who’s who of entrenched telecom operators with a vested interest in protecting the status quo. What’s more, the panel featured few representatives from the countless towns and cities…
TechNode Apr 12 01:50
China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology last year began allowing operators to deploy narrowband internet of things (NB-IoT) technology, which enables devices that use small amounts of data to communicate almost anywhere, over the GSM band. There were over 888 million people ..
The AP (4/16) reports that “a former Tennessee police chief has been named to a new post in the U.S. Justice Department.” The department “said in a news release that Phil Keith will be director of Community Oriented Policing Services, or COPS.” Keith “spent 17 years as chief of police in Knoxville and has more than 47 years of experience in criminal justice, public safety and business administration,” and “he was also commissioner of the Tennessee Peace Officer Standards and Training Commission.”
Researchers at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) are working on new antenna measurement methods for 5G systems. “NIST’s new Large Antenna Positioning System (LAPS) has two robotic arms designed to position ‘smart’ or adaptable antennas, which can be mounted on base stations that handle signals to and from huge numbers of devices,” NIST said in a news release. “Measurements of antenna signals are a great use for robotics,” NIST electronics engineer Jeff Guerrieri said.
“The robotic arms provide antenna positioning that would be constrained by conventional measurement systems.” The release said that “NIST researchers are still validating the performance of the LAPS and are just now beginning to introduce it to industry.”
The FCC’s Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau released a public notice today to detail “lessons learned from major network outages” and remind providers “to review industry best practices to ensure network reliability.”
“Based on its recent analysis of several major network outages that affected subscribers, including those calling 911 for emergency assistance, Bureau staff determined that the outages could likely have been prevented or mitigated if the provider had followed certain network reliability best practices,” the public notice said. “Therefore, the Bureau encourages communications service providers to implement the following industry best practices, as previously recommended by the Commission’s Communications Security, Reliability and Interoperability Council: 1. Minimize Impact of Maintenance Windows. Network operators and service providers should be aware of the dynamic nature of peak traffic periods and should consider scheduling potentially service-affecting procedures (e.g., maintenance, high-risk procedures, growth activities) to minimize the impact on end-user services. 2. Monitor 911 Network Components. Network operators, service providers, and public safety entities should actively monitor and manage the 911 network components using network management controls, where available, to quickly restore 911 service and provide priority repair during network failure events. When multiple interconnecting providers and vendors are involved, they will need to cooperate to provide end-to-end analysis of complex call-handling problems. 3. Ensure Real-World Testing Conditions. Service providers and network operators should consider validating upgrades, new procedures and commands in a lab or other test environment that simulates the target network and load prior to the first application in the field.” Continue reading
Ligado Networks LLC has asked the FCC and the Defense and Transportation departments to reject a recent report by the Space-Based Positioning Navigation & Timing National Systems Engineering Forum (NPEF) assessing whether there are gaps in testing of adjacent-band interference to the Global Positioning System L1 band (TR Daily, March 20).
The NPEF was tasked with doing the assessment by the National Executive Committee for Space-Based PNT, an intergovernmental agency body. The analysis evaluated tests done by an FCC-mandated technical working group, the NPEF, the Department of Transportation, Roberson and Associates LLC for Ligado, and the National Advanced Spectrum and Communications Test Network (NASCTN).
The NPEF report faulted the Roberson and NASCTN tests for not using a 1 dB increase in the noise floor as the threshold for assessing harmful interference to GPS receivers, as the other tests did. It said that the other tests “included sufficient scope and methodology in compliance with the PNTAB’s [Space-Based PNT Advisory Board] set of recommendations, namely the DOT ABC, NPEF, and FCC TWG tests.”
But in a letter Monday to Patrick M. Shanahan and Jeffrey A. Rosen, the deputy secretaries of the Defense and Transportation departments who chair the National PNT Committee, Ligado President and Chief Executive Officer Doug Smith said there were “fundamental flaws” in the NPEF report.
He said that the report failed to mention that major GPS equipment manufacturers have signed agreements with Ligado stating they will not oppose the company’s planned LTE network deployment as long as certain technical parameters are met.
Mr. Smith also said that the NPEF’s report “is flawed because it is based on criteria that simply have no basis in spectrum regulation.” In particular, he complained that it “concludes that the only testing that matters is the testing for a change of 1 dB in the noise floor caused by operations in adjacent bands, and it gives no value to almost 1,500 hours of testing done by” the NASCTN.
Mr. Smith added, “The metric of a 1 dB change in the noise floor is appropriately used by regulators to govern users who share a band, sometimes referred to as a ‘co-channel interference.’ While Ligado’s operations and GPS are near each other (but not exactly ‘adjacent’ given the 23-megahertz guard band), the truth is that under all spectrum regulations GPS and Ligado do not share a band. That is a fact that some GPS advocates seem unwilling to accept.”
GPS equipment makers Garmin International, Inc., Deere & Co., Trimble Navigation Ltd., TopCon Positioning Systems, Inc., and NovAtel, Inc., have reached agreements with Ligado under which they will not oppose Ligado’s network, but those agreements don’t cover use of the 1 dB threshold, which most of the companies support.
Mr. Smith’s letter was attached to an ex parte Ligado filing with the FCC yesterday in IB docket 11-109 that also criticized the NPEF report.
“We encourage the Commission, as the expert spectrum agency in consultation with NTIA, to consider the full record before it, which shows that Ligado can both protect GPS devices and enable the use of prime mid-band spectrum to enhance American competitiveness and security, invest in American infrastructure, and create thousands of new jobs,” Ligado said.- Paul Kirby, firstname.lastname@example.org
The third nationwide test of the Emergency Alert System (EAS) last September “largely was a success,” but some stakeholders reported experiencing problems, according to a report released by the FCC’s Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau today. The report cited a number of metrics from the Sept. 27 test to highlight what the bureau said was its overall success. Continue reading
Public safety and emergency response officials suggested today that the information on communications facilities status provided by the FCC during disasters such as last year’s hurricanes could be more timely and presented in a way to emphasize “actionable” information.
In remarks at the beginning of the workshop, FCC Chairman Ajit Pai said, “The ability to communicate information is critical during emergencies—it’s what helps us warn communities, dispatch assistance, and more.” He added that the agency has already received input in response to a public notice released in December on its performance during the 2017 hurricane season and said the agency the workshop would provide “a candid discussion about what information the Commission could or should provide to help improve disaster response and recovery efforts.”
During the first panel, officials from federal agencies with missions related to emergency and disaster response noted that information in the FCC’s Disaster Information Reporting System (DIRS) is 24 hours old by the time they get it and may not include information from all providers, since compliance is voluntary.
“We can’t just change” DIRS reporting to “mandatory, FCC Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau Associate Chief Jeff Goldthorp noted. Continue reading