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 chief of the FCC’s Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau today stressed the importance of the 4.9 gigahertz band being widely utilized, which she stressed that it hasn’t so far. Last month, Republican FCC Commissioners emphasized the potential benefit of repurposing the band for commercial purposes, or at least opening it up to additional usage, citing the fact that the spectrum has not been heavily used since the Commission made it available for public safety agencies in 2002 (TR Daily, March 22).
Their comments came as Commissioners unanimously adopted a sixth further notice of proposed rulemaking in WP docket 07-100 seeking views on ways to promote more intensive use of the 4940-4990 megahertz band.
During luncheon remarks this afternoon at the annual meeting of the Land Mobile Communications Council, Lisa Fowlkes said that “public safety’s use of the 4.9 GHz band has fallen short of its potential. The further notice seeks ways to reverse this trend.”
Among the options the FCC is seeking comments on are extending use of the band to utilities are repurposing it for commercial use, she noted. “But let me be clear: all options for this band are on the table, except … for the option of allowing underutilization of the band to continue,” she said. “It is important that we hear from the LMCC and its members on the proposals and options.” 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, email@example.com
Batteries in the Field: When we add smartphones and tablets to the mix of public safety communications devices we are adding yet another set of devices that run on batteries that need to be recharged. While there are a number of companies working on charging these devices from the radio energy that is transmitted from a cell site, which could make recharging a non-issue, that appears, once again, to be well into the future. In the meantime, how are these devices to be charged along with the Land Mobile Radio (LMR) handheld radios?
Comparing LMR to LTE Devices: LMR devices are generally designed for battery life of over a shift, which is ten hours or so. But this is with a duty cycle that is generally light. The norm is 80-percent standby (lowest power requirement) to 10-percent receive (mid-power requirement) and 10-percent transmit (highest power usage). The batteries for LMR radios are removable and replaceable and can be run through a “fast charge” system to replenish them in short order. There are also what are known as “clam-shell” battery cases that are designed to be used with disposable batteries, usually a number of AA cells. During major wildland fires when the forest services issue their cache of radios, they are mostly powered by throw-away cells. The batteries used in LMR radios are usually on the bottom of the radio, are easy to take off, and have a lot more battery capacity than batteries that are not removable.
There are a number of different scenarios for LMR radio distribution. In police departments, most LMR handhelds are staged in gang chargers and as patrol officers exit the station for a shift they will grab a radio and sometimes a spare battery for use on their shift and then replace the units in the charger at the end of their shift. In the fire service, since there are normally four assigned to an engine, radios are sometimes in chargers near one of the engine’s rear doors and are picked up as needed when arriving on a scene. Most EMS personnel have radios issued to them at the start of each shift. Of course, there are many variations of this including some departments where the LMR handheld is the only radio each person carries. Read the Entire Post Here Continue reading
For the past two weeks I have been sidelined with a nasty infection I appear to have brought home as a souvenir from IWCE in Orlando. Many important things happened during this time so this week I will recap some of them and attempt to catch up. Some of the news has to do with the fact that FirstNet completed its Evolved Packet Core (EPC) for use by only the first responder community, Verizon says its core is up and running and the FirstNet core is “vaporware,” the FirstNet Authority tasked FirstNet to build out public safety band 14, AT&T has stated that the FirstNet network build-out will happen a lot quicker than five years, and much more.
FirstNet Core: Let’s start with the FirstNet core. The core of an LTE network is the brains of the network. AT&T has been offering up all of its LTE spectrum with full priority and pre-emption for public safety and now the redundant brain of the network is also up and running. This means several important things. First, the public safety network is really end-to-end and available for public safety only, and the core is hardened and separate from AT&T’s customer core, ensuring Public safety traffic will remain separate and apart on the overall AT&T LTE network and band 14 (the FirstNet spectrum). The core is the final step in the end-to-end encrypted LTE network. Because public safety devices have their own SIM identification number, they are instantly identified as members of a network riding on a network. Public safety users, while on the same LTE spectrum AT&T is using for its commercial users, are segmented so public safety users have priority, better data encryption, and access to the public safety core. Even when AT&T’s secondary (commercial) users are sharing bandwidth they have no access to the FirstNet core or any way to intermingle with FirstNet users.
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Released: 03/30/2018. PUBLIC SAFETY AND HOMELAND SECURITY BUREAU PROVIDES GUIDANCE TO CMRS PROVIDERS REGARDING UPCOMING CERTIFICATION OF COMPLIANCE WITH THREE-YEAR E911 LOCATION ACCURACY BENCHMARK AND REMINDS CMRS PROVIDERS OF ADDITIONAL LOCATION ACCURACY DEADLINES IN 2018. (DA No. 18-323). (Dkt No 07-114 17-78 ). PSHSB . Contact: Brenda Boykin at (202) 418-2062, email: Brenda.Boykin@fcc.gov https://apps.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DA-18-323A1.docx
FULL SPECTRUM, INC. Proposed $22k fine against Full Spectrum for apparently willfully and repeatedly causing harmful interference to 200 Verizon Wireless sites in CA.; operating equipment without a license; operating equipment without FCC equipment authorization. Action by: Regional Director, Region Three, Enforcement Bureau. Adopted: 03/30/2018 by NAL. (DA No. 18-322). EB https://apps.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DA-18-322A1.doc
ANTHEM DISPLAYS, LLC. Resolves an investigation into whether Anthem marketed LED signs used in digital billboards and other commercial and industrial applications, in violation of the Commission’s equipment marketing rules. Action by: Acting Deputy Chief, Enforcement Bureau. Adopted: 03/30/2018 by Order/Consent Decree. (DA No. 18-310). EB https://apps.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DA-18-310A1.doc
The Congressional Fire Services Institute is urging Congress to pass legislation to repeal a provision included in the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012 that would require the T-band to be reauctioned by the FCC for commercial use.
The Don’t Break Up the T-Band Act (HR 5085), introduced by Rep. Elliot Engel (D., N.Y.) last month, would repeal the provision (TR Daily, Feb. 27).
Congress required the FCC to reallocate and auction public safety spectrum in the T-band by 2021 and relocate incumbents by 2023. Proceeds from the auction can be used to cover the relocation costs of public safety licensees, but not business/industrial entities in the spectrum. The T-band encompasses TV channels 14–20 (470–512 megahertz).
Public safety agencies use the spectrum in these 11 major markets: Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, San Francisco, and Washington. Ninety million people live in counties that use T-band spectrum for public safety use.
In 2013, a report by the National Public Safety Telecommunications Council (NPSTC) estimated the cost of relocating public safety T-band operations to other spectrum would be more than $5.9 billion and cited the lack of alternative spectrum (TR Daily, March 15, 2013).
“Public safety organizations use the T-Band spectrum to support both day-to-day operations and regional interoperability. Because of the mission-critical nature of the communications required, local public safety organizations have spent many years and millions of dollars in federal, state, and local taxpayer funds to plan and build out T-Band networks that are tested and designed for the operational needs in each of these metropolitan areas,” the Congressional Fire Services Institute said in its legislative outlook for the second session of the 115th Congress. “It is essential for Congress to pass H.R. 5085 and preserve the T-band for public safety operations.” —Paul Kirby, firstname.lastname@example.org