Andy Seybold’s Public Safety Advocate, July 20, 2017

MCPTT over LTE and Direct Mode
[Not quite] Mission Critical PTT over LTE is being tested and put into service for live network beta testing. Two things are missing from these trials and tests: a mission-critical or public safety-grade network for the Mission Critical Push-To-Talk application to run over and perhaps more importantly, the way forward to provide direct-mode communications. The UK’s LTE system for public safety to go live in 2020 and replace its existing Tetra system is probably, at the moment, the most robust of the existing LTE networks available.

Recently in France, the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) held MCPTT testing sessions and a number of vendors participated to see how well they performed and if they met the 3GPP Release of LTE version 13, which includes specifications for on-network push-to-talk services but does not yet address the issue of direct-mode on and off-network communications. In many instances, direct-mode PTT is as important and in some instances, more important than network-based PTT services. While I recently wrote an Advocate about PTT over LTE and over Land Mobile Radio (LMR) that detailed some of this information, there are a number of things happening in Europe and especially the United Kingdom that could have far reaching effects on how and when PTT services are actually deployed over LTE on and off-network systems.  Read the full blog here Continue reading

NARUC Telecom Committee Approves High-Cost Funding, BDAC Resolutions

SAN DIEGO – The National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners’ Committee on Telecommunications today passed a draft resolution calling for sufficient funding of the high-cost universal service program, and another draft resolution urging the FCC to increase the number of state and local entities represented on its Broadband Deployment Advisory Committee (BDAC). The first proposed resolution, sponsored by a group of commissioners including South Dakota Public Utilities Commissioner Chris Nelson, Nebraska Public Service Commissioner Crystal Rhoades, and Missouri Commissioner Maida Coleman, calls on the FCC to take the necessary steps to address the “lack of sufficient USF resources on availability and affordability of voice and broadband services in rural America.”

“We’re all trying to get broadband in places that don’t have it,” Commissioner Nelson said during today’s meeting. “The FCC has been working on this, but they haven’t completed the puzzle. This resolution is one more piece in that particular puzzle.” He added, “This resolution is asking the FCC, ‘Hey, finish the job that you started.’ It’s really that simple.” Continue reading

Rep. Brooks, Others Stress Need for NG-911 Funding

A House member and others who spoke at a luncheon today emphasized the importance of ensuring adequate funding for next-generation 911 (NG-911) deployment, including by preventing the diversion of 911 fees by states for other purposes. During the event, which was organized by the NG911 Institute, Rep. Susan Brooks (R., Ind.), whom House communications and technology subcommittee chairman Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R., Tenn.) has asked to take the lead on NG-911 and First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet) issues, said that adequate funding is a key issue that the panel will focus on.

Rep. Blackburn “wants to be very focused on next-generation 911 and issues like FirstNet,” Rep. Brooks said. “Next-gen 911 needs to be ready.” Rep. Brooks also stressed that any legislation or policies must not thwart innovation. Policy-makers should ensure that any regulations “are more like guard rails, not speed bumps,” she said.

The lawmaker also emphasized the importance of continuing to focus on expanding broadband deployment, saying that one in six Indiana residents lives in an area with no broadband access. Continue reading

Andy Seybold’s Public Safety Advocate, July 13, 2017

Location Services, When? The FCC has new rules for locating calls that come into the Public Safety Answering Points (PSAPs), and eventually they will include a third dimension, that being height of the phone above ground. Sadly, the requirements imposed on the carriers for next-generation 9-1-1 are watered down from what is truly needed. I have been told the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) relaxed its requirements at the request of carriers and the national carrier association. In any event, the new rules for incoming location are totally inadequate for locating citizen 9-1-1 callers and first responders who may be in trouble inside a building or other structure.

Further, while I have no visibility into the FirstNet state plans, I am told the requirement for better inbuilding location seems to indicate these services may not be implemented until 2022. This is too long to wait when there are technologies available today that can meet the most stringent of the public safety requirements and could be put into play much earlier. The FCC has been running test beds for several types of location-based services including GPS and cellular network-based, building a database of Wi-Fi hotspots, using beacons, and other types or combinations of technologies. It appears as though the systems approved by the FCC will be a blend of several different technologies for rural, suburban, and metro-area location services. As stated above, none of the FCC rules currently require anything close to what is needed by the public safety community. Read the entire article here Below is the weekly news courtesy of Discovery Patterns: Continue reading

Andy Seybold’s Public Safety Advocate, July 6, 2017

Getting Rural Broadband Right

The issues surrounding rural broadband coverage are many and I have been involved in studying them even prior to the formation of FirstNet. In fact, the Public Safety Alliance (PSA) used the lack of broadband coverage in congressional districts to convince some senators and representatives that by voting for what became FirstNet they would become heroes in their districts because their rural populations could then be served with broadband. In a Senate hearing on FirstNet in June of 2016, the Chairman of the Commerce, Science, and Transportation Subcommittee, Senator Wicker (R-MS), made it clear that rural coverage was a concern to him and other members of Congress.

In the FirstNet request for proposal Section J-1 Coverage and Capacity Definitions, FirstNet defined the coverage areas and types of coverage. In another section of the RFP, FirstNet required those responding to partner with and use rural carriers to help achieve the coverage goals. Now that AT&T has been awarded the contract and the state plans are being evaluated before becoming finalized, there are many questions regarding Public Safety coverage in rural areas of the United States. However, FirstNet and AT&T, like the rest of the organizations and groups pushing for broadband coverage in rural areas, seem to be going it alone. My view of the rural coverage issues is that until and unless there is synergy between all of the disparate programs and funding sources, Rural America will remain mostly underserved. Read the rest of the story here

Below is the week’s news recap from Discovery Patterns:

new LTE handheld device certified by AT&T, is FirstNet-ready4-Traders via Google Alerts
Jul  5 19:06 Motorola Solutions recently announced the availability of the LEX F10, a durable public-safety LTE handheld device that has been certified by AT&T …

FCC Requests Comment on FirstNet Interoperability MatrixMissionCritical
Jul  3 11:38 The FCC is seeking comment on the First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet) proposal for interoperability compliance for states that opt out to build their own radio access networks (RANs). read more

FirstNet Meets With States on Individual Network PlansMeriTalk via Google Alerts
Jun 29 08:45 … with 24 states to discuss the nationwide high-speed data network for first responders that the agency plans deploy over a 25-year contract with AT&T …

June 2017 FCC Meeting Recap: FCC Adopts Rules to Govern State Opt-out of FirstNet PlanLexology via Google Alerts
Jun 29 05:50 AT&T will spend about $40 billion over the course of the contract. First responders will have priority and preemption rights of use on the Network.

CenturyLink wants to shed 7 legacy analog, low-speed data services in 24 statesFierceTelecom via Google Alerts
Jul  6 11:40 … and low-speed data services: Metallic, Telegraph, Narrowband, Wideband analog, Wideband Digital, Program Audio and Analog Video services.

Inside Vodacom’s new IoT lab – PhotosMyBroadband
Jul  6 09:40 Vodacom recently opened its Narrowband IoT Laboratory, aimed at commercialising IoT systems using the provider’s NB-IoT network.

Sky and Space Global: Constellations need relief on regulatory filing, insurance costSpace Intel Report via Google Alerts
Jul  6 08:25 PARIS Startup narrowband satellite constellation operator Sky and Space Global Ltd. was publicly traded before its first launch, and concluded its …

Webinar: LMR NarrowbandingUtilities Telecom Council via Google Alerts
Jul  6 08:00 Member Center. Member Center · Job Posting · Contact Us. Webinar: LMR Narrowbanding. July 6, 10:00 am. Webinar: LMR Narrowbanding. Archives.

Ubiquitous Low-Power Networks Up the IoT AnteIT Business Edge via Google Alerts
Jul  5 17:25 The carriers’ plan encompasses LoRa, LTE Cat M1 and narrowband IoT (NB-IoT) technologies. These approaches will create a nearly ubiquitous …

The Public Safety LTE & Mobile Broadband Market by Opportunities, Challenges, Strategies …Kenya’s Content Aggregator.The Breaking news Headliner via Google Alerts
Jul  5 06:55 China, Laos, Turkey and Kenya. Several early adopter Wireless Communications, Athonet, ATIS (Alliance for Telecommunications Industry…

IoT In Africa: SqwidNet Keen to Build Africa’s IoT Network via Google Alerts
Jul  5 05:11 The company is a subsidiary of Dark Fibre Africa and deploying an open access ultra-narrowband IoT (Internet of Things) radio network in South Africa …

Vodafone And Spark NZ Announce IoT Network PlansChannelNews via Google Alerts
Jul  4 23:20 Vodafone said it would add narrowband IoT (NB-IoT) support to its mobile network early in 2018. Spark unveiled plans for both NB-IoT and Cat-M1 on …

AT&T: it’s not “forced arbitration” because no one forced you to have broadbandBoing Boing via Google Alerts
Jul  4 15:25 AT&T, which has successfully lobbied state governments and the FCC to ban any broadband competition in the markets where it operates, says that its …

India added 60 million new internet users in 2016: TRAIMoneycontrol.com via Google Alerts
Jul  4 11:20 While the users of broadband services surged in 2015-16, users of narrowband decreased by 40 million and migrated to broadband connection.

Huawei gets Internet recognition from GSMAPunch Newspapers via Google Alerts
Jul  4 09:15 Huawei’s Narrow-Band IoT (NB-IoT) solution has received the ‘Best Internet of Things Innovation for Mobile Networks’ award, issued by the GSM …

Globe Telecom strengthens broadband, mobile connectivity in CebuInquirer.net via Google Alerts
Jul  4 04:35 To improve its mobile services in Cebu, Globe continues to ramp up deployment of LTE sites using the 700 MHz, 1800 MHz and 2600 MHz bands.

Everything US Citizens Need to Know about the Broadband Privacy RulesTripWire
Jul  3 13:01 An ongoing source of havoc among American internet users, the new FCC broadband rules are still encountering extreme criticism. The majority of support for the rules comes from congressional officials, who overturned the previously existing broadband rules and thereby gave unjustified favor to internet service providers. The new FCC rules are killing net neutrality, and […]…  Read More The post Everything US Citizens Need to Know about the Broadband Privacy Rules appeared first

TIM Brasil activates 4G on 700 MHz in 7 citiesTelecompaper via Google Alerts
Jul  3 10:11 TIM Brasil activated the 4G network in the 700 MHz band in Recife, Fortaleza, Maceio, Natal, Macapa, Boa Vista and Rio Branco, reports Diario de …

 

 

Andy Seybold’s Public Safety Advocate, June 22, 2017

State Plans Being Delivered On June 19, 2017, as promised, FirstNet and AT&T delivered the state plans three months ahead of what was required in the FirstNet RFP. The delivery of these plans was via a secure web portal that will be home to the plans and only accessible by authorized personnel in each state. The rest of us can view some of what is occurring and suggested coverage maps by going to the public site FirstNet.com (.com, not .gov), a new site dedicated to FirstNet state plans.

FirstNet has already provided each of the State (single) Points of Contact (SPOCs) with the information they need for themselves and others they want to also have direct access to the state plan. The FirstNet.com site is designed to provide information for those with an interest in FirstNet, the state plans, coverage, products, and services. FirstNet.com also enables stakeholders not directly involved with the state plan to be able to learn more about what FirstNet and AT&T are offering the public safety community. Read the full version here . Today’s News from Discovery Patterns includes a number of different stories about the state plans as well as opt-out initiatives. I have included multiple stories to illustrate the differences between them and so our readers can get the best view of what is being reported. Continue reading

Andy Seybold’s Public Safety Advocate, June 19, 2017

Spectrum Wars Intensify As engineers have discovered how to make spectrum in the higher reaches of our radio spectrum useful for purposes no one had thought possible, public safety, along with others who needed it, were assigned some of the spectrum, but by no means enough to satisfy the needs of everyone. Now it seems decisions to re-allocate spectrum are being made more and more by attorneys and other officials with no understanding or regard for the implications of their actions. When FirstNet was established by Congress in early 2012, the public safety community was forced to accept a give-back of the television spectrum then being used by both public safety and business radio users in eleven major cities and their suburbs.

Congress explained that in order to have spectrum for broadband, the public safety community would be required to give back some of its spectrum. However, as I a wrote in an earlier Advocate, this requirement will place a burden on the public safety and business communities now using that TV spectrum. It appeared as though Congress honestly believed what one vendor reportedly was telling it, and that is that push-to-talk over LTE is only a few years away, therefore it won’t be a problem to relocate these agencies to FirstNet by 2022. Read the entire article here Continue reading