The 4.9 GHz Public Safety Radio band offers public safety agencies an opportunity to deploy advanced services unavailable in other bands, such as permanent “hot spot” devices in high-use areas or temporary incident command centers erected at an incident scene.
Research and Markets says there is sufficient mobile communication capacity for agencies charged with protecting the public welfare and wireless communications provides a vital component in the nation’s public safety and emergency medical infrastructure.
Their report goal was to assess 4.9 GHz technologies and markets developments in the U.S. This market exclusively serves one client – public safety communities, and it was created by the government to enhance broadband communications between various levels of first responders.
Today, 4.9 GHz public-safety wireless broadband networks finally moved away from experimental deployments and trials. Wireless video surveillance over the licensed 4.9 GHz public safety band is growing exponentially in the U.S., with significant deployments in Chicago, Dallas, Boston, Phoenix, and West Palm Beach, FL., among others.
The 4.9 GHz band offers public safety agencies an opportunity to deploy licensed wireless personal area networks, hot spot networks, mesh topologies and wireless vehicular area networks. Recent applications include:
- Alvarion BreezeACCESS 4900 uses the 50MHz of licensed spectrum in the 4.940 GHz-4.990 GHz, supporting both 5 and 10MHz channel options and complies with the FCC high power mask requirements of 4.9 GHz.
- Strix Systems used 4.9 GHz during the Boston Marathon in April to deliver video-surveillance. The platform features self-configuring radios that operate on 802.11a/g and 4.9 GHz frequencies.
- BelAir Networks recently announced mobile mesh nodes that can operate in the 4.9 GHz and the 5.9 GHz band for Intelligent Transportation Services (ITS)
- Wireless-backhaul solutions provider Exalt Communications recently announced its high-capacity 4.9 GHz solution
- The city of Chicago has a massive video surveillance project with hundreds of cameras using 4.9 GHz.
- The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA), the fifth-busiest transit system in the U.S., tapped mobile video solutions provider Safety Vision and Firetide to install onboard surveillance with 4.9 GHz links.
- The Orlando Police Department deployed a real-time video-surveillance solution from Firetide and Avrio Group
- Cisco’s 3200 series of wireless and mobile routers include features such as a 4.9 GHz card for radio interoperability, high-speed roaming capability and video security.
- Strix Systems’ Access/One Outdoor Wireless Systems and Personal Mobile Command systems are being deployed at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing.
The spectrum was allocated by the FCC in 2002. In the rules it issued for the 4.9-GHz band in April 2003, the FCC said it would require the use of an “emission mask” on devices in order to control interference and improve reliability and performance.
The mask, which determines the waveform of 4.9-GHz devices, is now directly incorporated into chip set designs at Atheros. Broadcom also announced a low-cost chip that operate in the 4.9 GHz band.
Uncertainty in technological directions slowed down commercialization of this spectrum, and only in the 2006 time frame a sizable amount of radios was shipped. Currently many major wireless radio vendors are involved in the design and production of 4.9 GHz equipment says Research and Markets.