The FCC’s public safety and homeland security bureau recently adopted an order that establishes a technical framework designed to ensure interoperability between the myriad 700 MHz LTE networks that are expected to be established for first responders by state, local and regional entities in the future.
The FCC argues that auctioning off the D Block, in a joint public/private use agreement, would lower costs while providing better coverage for everyone.
Meanwhile, public service agencies have a dedicated (LTE) channel they can use now, in addition to their narrowband voice channels in the 700 MHz band. The FCC wants first responder radios to interoperate on that band.
The FCC has adopted an order that establishes a technical framework to ensure interoperability among the public-safety mobile broadband networks.
“Our goal is to make sure that nationwide interoperability is built into these networks from the beginning,” said James Barnett Jr., chief of the FCC’s Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau.
“There are many forces that pull against interoperability, this is why it is critical that we have an iron rule of interoperability for America’s public safety mobile broadband networks,” said Barnett. “Our goal is to make sure that nationwide interoperability is built into these networks from the beginning, and we will continue to work with public safety to make sure their immediate and long-term communications needs are met.”
Oregon selected General Dynamics to provide infrastructure support. The company also supports the U.S. Government’s Integrated Wireless Network (IWN) for interoperable federal communications. But, instead of focusing on a joint solution, the departments have now begun independently modernizing their own wireless communications systems says IT Law.
Based on recommendations made by the FCC’s Emergency Response Interoperability Center (ERIC), the order calls for recipients of 700 MHz waivers to build their networks in accordance with a baseline technical framework, including the following specific guidelines, reports UrgentComm.com:
- Construct networks that support Long Term Evolution (LTE) interfaces that support roaming and interoperability.
- Construct networks that provide outdoor coverage at minimum data rates of 256 kbps uplink and 768 kbps downlink for all types of devices throughout the cell coverage area.
- Provide 95% reliability of signal coverage for all services and applications throughout the network.
- Conduct conformance testing on devices to ensure compliance with technical requirements associated with 3GPP Release 8 (LTE) and higher release standards.
- Perare form interoperability testing of the LTE interfaces to determine their roaming capabilities and make sure that these capabilities sufficient.
- Build security and encryption features into their networks based on certain optional features of the 3GPP security features for LTE Network Access Domain.
- Allow to use permanent fixed point-to-point and point-to-multipoint stations only on an ancillary basis and on a non-interference basis to the primary mobile operations.
- Coordinate with one another when their networks overlap or operate adjacent to one another to avoid signal/spectral interference or disruption to communications.
FCC spokesman Rob Kenny said agency officials have worked with the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) to help develop the technical framework. A copy of the order is available here (pdf).
Oregon lawmakers misled about cost, progress of emergency radio network, blared the headlines on a front page story by Brent Walth in the Sunday Oregonian, with a follow on faulty maps used to sell Oregon radio network to lawmakers and a third article on possible alternatives to fix the troubled the Oregon Wireless Interoperability Network (OWIN).
The Oregonian reports that OWIN is about two years behind schedule, and the price has soared from $414 million to nearly $600 million.
Lawmakers in 2005 called for merging the states Land Mobile Radio (LMR) radio systems of four state agencies: Oregon State Police and the departments of Corrections, Transportation and Forestry. Two years later, the governor’s office floated its plan for new radio equipment and a sprawling web of about 300 microwave towers and radio relays on mountaintops across Oregon.
In Oregon, about 90% of public-safety agencies operate in the 150 MHz band, but the remaining 10% that operate in the 450/700-800 MHz spectrum cover about 80% of the population base. A multiband radio, for interagency operability, can cost from $3,000 to $6,000 each.
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