Now is an exciting time to unify legacy and new technologies for Mission Critical Communications (MCC) to ensure that users retain existing functionality whilst adding new advanced LTE services, says Paul Ward, International Sales Director for ETELM, a leading manufacturer of advanced Mission Critical communications infrastructures.
Speaking today at 5G World in London, Ward commented: “LTE high speed mobile broadband will have a major impact on the mission critical communications market, bringing new advanced functionality and applications to users. However, LTE standards for Mission Critical users are still relatively new, and so LTE services should complement, not replace, PMR services.”
Ward explained that as LTE evolves it will add new standardised MC functionalities for Video & Data (MCVIDEO and MCDATA) and users will be able to choose when and where to deploy these services. With the ability to integrate other standard technologies, the user will get far greater flexibility as they can retain existing subscriber equipment whilst introducing new smart technologies and data applications. It also allows for lower cost, wider coverage, narrowband services to be deployed where cost-efficiencies are required.
Ward continued: “Every country has different frequency regulations, and in some areas private LTE systems may not be possible, so the user has the choice of obtaining 4G services from operators or retaining their own private narrowband solution. It is likely that these users will need to have a combination of services – PMR for highly secure, mission critical services and LTE for business-critical applications. With ETELM’s 4GLinked fully integrated solution, operators can also offer MVNO Services with seamless broadband and narrowband services on their existing core networks.”
ETELM’s 4GLinked solution provides the ideal platform for users to benefit from the best features of different technologies. 4GLinked is the only system in the world that allows TETRA (and other PMR technologies) to connect directly to the LTE Core, without any gateway interface – allowing direct connectivity between subscribers of different technologies over a single network, ensuring fast call-setup and seamless roaming between technologies.
“ETELM has invested significantly in its own LTE & TETRA base station technology as we believe a unified technology solution is the future and offers users the best option in respect of functionality, security, coverage and cost,” added Ward. Continuing, he explained how Smart Cities will benefit from technology integration offered by 4GLinked, allowing the administrators to select the most appropriate technology for the specific needs of each type of user group.
Ward finished his presentation with one clear message: “5G is the future for mission critical communications and the benefits are enormous for emergency services, professional users, operators and Smart Cities. However, there are still many areas to consider in terms of how the market implements these advanced services. Although 5G will provide dramatic new functionality for mission critical users, the implementation must be carefully planned and the transition risks carefully managed.”
ETELM is well known for its more than 35 years’ experience developing advanced radio communications infrastructure. With continuous innovations, ETELM has overcome legacy issues by integrating its TETRA solution to the LTE Core, which enables its TETRA base stations to connect directly to the same LTE Core network as any 4G LTE base station.