Motorola + Verizon for 700MHz Public Safety

Posted by Sam Churchill on

Motorola Solutions and Verizon Wireless today announced an alliance to bring LTE to public safety customers across the United States. This first-of-its-kind solution combines a private public safety-controlled broadband network with Verizon’s commercial cellular network.

Motorola is working with more than 200 public-safety entities to deploy LTE networks, notes, but funding issues have caused many agencies to delay or drastically reduce the scale of their initial broadband wireless buildouts.

To roam between private public-safety networks and Verizon’s LTE systems, Motorola devices will have the capability of operating on public safety’s Band 14 spectrum, as well as Verizon’s Band 13 frequencies in the 700 MHz band.

Public-safety entities would need subscribe to Verizon’s 4G service, but the carrier plans to offer multiple tiers of service at varying rates. Verizon’s commercial LTE service uses the “C” block of 700 MHz spectrum.

Today’s patchwork of first responder radio systems uses narrowband, two-way radio spectrum that’s currently allocated to police officers, firefighters and emergency medical workers. The Verizon LTE network, using the 700 MHz band, is a broadband network allowing maps, photos and video to be transmitted. First responders will have interoperability and secure roaming onto the Verizon Wireless cellular LTE network.

Verizon has so far deployed LTE in 39 American cities. Even during this rollout phase, however, the operator has been looking for applications beyond metropolitan wireless-broadband services for the 4G network, explains Light Reading.

Motorola, before it split into two companies this year, was awarded US$50 million by the NTIA to deploy an LTE-based public-safety network in the Bay Area. The Verizon deal gives Motorola a ready-built LTE network to use.

The San Ramon fire department has developed an app in-house (above). If everyone used it, they might need cellular service.

The Barack Obama administration recently unveiled a proposal to commit $10.7 billion for the creation of a new, dedicated nationwide broadband network for public safety officials.

The National Wireless Initiative would allocate space in the 700 MHz broadband spectrum — dubbed the “D Block” — that public safety would use both in day-to-day operations, and also during an emergency event.

The money will potentially come from auctioning airwaves surrendered by television broadcasters, estimated to bring in $27.8 billion. Five billion will help rural Americans get mobile access to high-speed Internet service, $3 billion will go to research and development and the leftover $9.6 billion will be allocated to reducing federal deficit.

Verizon Wireless operates the nation’s first LTE network, serves more than 94 million U.S. customers.

Lawmakers were misled about the cost and progress of an emergency radio network in Oregon, reported Brent Walth in the 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 Bay Area 700 MHz public safety Net was in an altercation over jusidictional disputes over funding and deployment of the 700 MHz LTE wireless broadband network for first responders in the region. The State of New York canceled their statewide 700 MHz network after costs ballooned from $1 Billion to over $2 Billion and coverage proved spotty. It was the largest technology contract in NY state history, as was Oregon’s $600 Million, 700MHz network.

The White House has endorsed a plan to give public safety users $3 billion in 700 MHz spectrum to build a dedicated 700 MHz network that could cost as much as $15 billion to build, reports the Wall Street Journal.

The FCC’s plan — supported by the co-chairs of the 9/11 Commission — “will ensure the build-out of a network that is cutting edge, reliable, and cost-effective,” FCC spokesman Rob Kenny said. It would auction off the 10 MHz “D Block”, but allow public service agencies to use the commercial frequencies.

Related Dailywireless articles include; National Wireless Initiative, White House: D-Block to Police/Fire, Verizon 911 Failure, Lightsquared: What GPS Interference?, EchoStar to Buy Hughes, Oregon’s $600M Public Safety Network Likely Killed, State of the Spectrum, Oregon’s Radio Network Under Fire, Oregon’s Public Service Network: $100M Over Budget, Bay Area 700 MHz Net in Altercation , FCC: Interoperability on 700 MHz Band, Battle for Oregon’s State-wide Radio Net, Oregon’s $500 Million Statewide Wireless Network, Riot in D Block, AT&T: 80% Upgraded to HSPA+ , SkyTerra 1 Launched , Why Cops Don’t Just Use Cell Phones, SF Announces LTE First Responder Net, LightSquared + SK Telecom

Posted by Sam Churchill on Wednesday, February 23rd, 2011 at 9:33 am .

2 thoughts on “Motorola + Verizon for 700MHz Public Safety

  1. Point #1
    All efforst to deal with the Public Safety folks YTD and their existing 700MHZ of spectrum have failed mainly because they could not control the Budgets and were using a single source (Motorola). And we want to set aside an additonal 10MHz (D Block) of spectrum for them to mess with?? Give me a break.

    Does Obama feel he can bill the public for $10-20Billion to build out a Nationwide Publc Safety network when they can’t manage what they got now.

    “The money will potentially come from auctioning airwaves surrendered by television broadcasters, estimated to bring in $27.8 billion.” What?? Are you referring to the White Space spectrum the Broadcasters will be giving up? This will be an unlicensed spectrum and will not be auctioned off if I am correct. If this is the 700MHz D Block spectrum the Administration is tryng to give this spectrum away to the Public Safety and have the US Public pay to build the network so there will not be any $Billion windfall auction.

    The FCC actually has the best approach planned. Auction the D Block (allowing Verizon Wireless to win) and have the private sector build and use the LTE 700MHz network for day to day private use and turn over all the spectrum to Public Safety when and if there is an emergency. They can also use some of the auction $$ to help all the PS groups to buy dual mode radios that would allow them the ability to interconnect in an emergency.

    What am I missing here??

    Jim A.

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