During 2017, the public safety industry will continue to work towards making LTE the long-term answer for emergency services communication. The U.S. has already begun planning for the introduction of LTE to deliver public safety applications, recognizing the success the technology has had for business and consumer communication.
FirstNet has been tasked with delivering a nationwide LTE public safety service across the country, with reports that AT&T will likely be selected to build the network.
We can expect a lot of interesting announcements relating to the nationwide network to be made in the next year, including a formal decision about who will be building the network in March. Although there will not be an operational LTE public safety network in place in 2017, it is likely that a lot of the standards and regulations will be implemented in advance of a possible 2018 deployment.
Other countries will follow in the footsteps of the U.S., leveraging LTE to deliver critical communications applications such as facial recognition capabilities to aid police officers in finding out if someone has a criminal record. One major consideration is that operators will not want to give up their valuable LTE spectrum, which is needed for data hungry business and consumer customers.
- In the U.S. and United Arab Emirates, the 700 MHz and 800 MHz spectrum bands are being earmarked for public safety communications.
- Until vital decisions are made, terrestrial trunked radio will continue to be used as a short-term solution, due to its proven ability to deliver reliable communication services.
- Venues have to install mobile coverage themselves in order to provide the connectivity that is demanded of them.
“The neutral host model has already proven popular in the U.S. and the trend is likely to take off in other parts of the world next year as venues look to benefit from high-quality indoor coverage.”