Every second counts for emergency teams. For public safety, law enforcement, and other emergency services personnel, the time it takes to respond to a call can mean the difference between life and death.
Communication is critical in an emergency. Public safety personnel must be able to share accurate information even when commercial communications infrastructure has been damaged and rendered unavailable.
Public safety agencies traditionally use digital Professional or Land Mobile Radio (PMR/LMR) networks based on industry standards such as TETRA (in Europe and other parts of the world) or Project25 (P25 – adopted by the majority of US agencies) and operating in specifically allocated radio frequency bands.
These systems provide specific functionality for emergency teams, such as the ability to talk securely in a one-to-one or group situation with ‘push-to-talk’ to prioritize speakers. They have limited data capabilities, however, and can’t deliver the video or Internet services that the average consumer can access daily on a mobile device using a commercial mobile broadband network.
Alcatel-Lucent has deep-rooted experience in providing 4G LTE solutions to operators across the world, as well as considerable expertise in developing innovative solutions that use the speeds and services made available by mobile broadband for mission-critical situations. We are bringing that experience to bear by working with leaders in public safety communications to provide real operational enhancements for emergency response teams.
Our public safety solutions build on Alcatel-Lucent’s LTE base stations and our Wireless Packet Core portfolio. Our market leading all-Internet Protocol/Multiprotocol Label Switching (IP/MPLS) backhaul network capabilities let us deliver the coverage, power, bandwidth and speeds required for the fast transfer of video and data services.
Alcatel-Lucent’s IP/MPLS Service Router product family provides unparalleled performance, resilience and scalability to deliver all types of traffic. This family includes Alcatel-Lucent’s 7705 Service Aggregation Router, winner of many awards including “The Best Carrier Ethernet Mobile Backhaul Product”.
At the APCO International Expo in Philadelphia in August 2011, Alcatel-Lucent demonstrated exciting innovations for public safety including the ‘Striker 1’ mobile command vehicle which provides LTE mobile broadband support in the public safety band 14 spectrum for mobile devices such as tablets, radios and video cameras to demonstrate how mobile video and data can enhance location awareness and safety for teams.
In the US, capacity in the 700 MHz frequency band is allocated for essential communications; across many parts of the world, however, 400MHz is the most likely frequency band to be assigned for this purpose. At the TETRA World Congress in Budapest in May 2011, Alcatel-Lucent announced it was joining forces with Cassidian, an EADS company, to develop a system for the many agencies operating in this frequency band.
Just a year later, Alcatel-Lucent and Cassidian launched the Evercor® solution at the 2012 TETRA World Congress in Dubai. The first of its kind to work in the 380-470 MHz band, Evercor® integrates LTE mobile data capabilities with PMR to deliver video, data and voice capabilities working with a variety of mobile devices. This solution can be integrated into existing TETRA and TETRAPOL networks to maximize customers’ existing investment.
See Philippe Keryer, President of the Networks Group at Alcatel-Lucent, and Jean-Marc Nasr, Head of Secure Communication Solutions with Cassidian, discuss their partnership and the launch of Evercor®.
Video and enhanced location information can provide public safety personnel with the most comprehensive picture about a situation, allowing teams to fully prepare for an incident and respond to it more rapidly. Real-time video also gives control centers and other teams an overall view of what is going on, without having to rely on a first responder to explain the situation.
In addition to video and improved location services, many other data applications can be shared in the field to enhance operations. In October 2011, Alcatel-Lucent announced it was working with the City of Charlotte using public safety LTE mobile broadband in the 700 MHz band. Here, first responder teams will be able to use tools such as fingerprint and face recognition and communicate with local and national law enforcement agencies and emergency response agencies. They will also be able to communicate more easily with hospitals to access vital medical records.
Real-time video surveillance enhances operations for law enforcement and security firms as well as other essential industries such as energy and transportation companies. The ability to monitor premises, equipment, and areas of high-crime 24-7 in real-time helps relieve stress from an over-burdened workforce. It can also deliver real cost efficiencies, as there is no need to rely so heavily on manual site checks.
The São Paolo military police found the use of video particularly effective in a trial of LTE in the 700 MHz band. Alcatel-Lucent provided high-speed data and video at two police operations centers in the city to provide security when officers couldn’t physically be at a location. The police force also found that, with more information about an incident, responders could prepare themselves more effectively for any situation.
Alcatel-Lucent is continuously innovating in the public safety arena to deliver the greatest efficiencies to emergency responders. During the International Wireless Communications Expo (IWCE) in Las Vegas in February 2012, Bell Labs, the innovation arm of Alcatel-Lucent, showcased its latest development, the Bell Labs’ First Responder Video.
First Responder Video allows teams to share secure multiple video streams easily using the same amount of bandwidth it would normally take to deliver one video, which means first responders can obtain more comprehensive information about an emergency situation.
As many countries prepare for the introduction of LTE, Alcatel-Lucent also provides support for security organizations using other technologies across the globe.
For example, in Germany Alcatel-Lucent is managing the nationwide public safety TETRA (Terrestrial Trunked Radio) mobile communication network for all security authorities under a 10-year contract. Nearby in Poland, Alcatel-Lucent and Spanish IT company, Indra, are enhancing safety and security in the Baltic sea around Poland for the Polish Maritime Office, Urząd Morski Gdynia with microwave, VHF and IP communications.
Alcatel-Lucent has provided the highest level of technology and service to the world’s leading public safety agencies, utilities, and rail operators for more than 40 years. With more than 500 Alcatel-Lucent networks deployed globally, including backhaul in the world’s largest TETRA network, Alcatel-Lucent understands the unique requirements of every scenario and brings to each project accumulated expertise in mission-critical communications systems.
As Alcatel-Lucent continues to innovate using mobile broadband LTE and the groundbreaking lightRadio™ portfolio of products, we are helping to shape the future of public safety networks across the globe.