Technologies in Mission Critical Communications (MCC) are incorporating functionality with LTE, but during this transition period, the performance must not be affected, says Pierre Minot, President of ETELM, a global manufacturer of advanced Mission Critical communications infrastructures.
Speaking as part of a session titled ‘PMR broadband communication – technical implementation’ at PMRExpo in Germany, Minot commented: “LTE offers new broadband and data-hungry possibilities; however, it brings its own challenges. At present, there is a major drive to introduce more MC standards by working with users and manufacturers to ensure services are adopted internationally. The process of standardisation is a long one – it takes time for standards to be tested and vendors to implement enhancements. While LTE is currently being utilised with consumers in mind, it is expected to take around five to seven years to reach full maturity for MC users, although certain features will be implemented sooner.”
ETELM has long championed LTE and TETRA working together, as opposed to replacing each other. This will enable legacy equipment and infrastructure to be revitalized, without the expense of upgrades each time a new technology becomes available. Minot explained the different use cases of migration from TETRA to LTE and the challenges that each of these use cases bring in terms of services, performances and devices.
Minot continued: “As smart cities develop around the world, it is important that MCC infrastructures are built during the initial planning, development, and design phase, rather than being an afterthought. This is the only way to ensure smart cities become safe cities. As blue light services continue to face increasingly challenging and complex situations, there is a need to bridge the channels between individual services, so they may come together and act as one, while utilising advanced applications.”
In response to the need for hybrid networks, ETELM’s 4GLinked solution is the first fully integrated platform connecting multiple MC technologies over a single LTE EPC core, allowing seamless communications and services across technologies – to the benefit of any use case.
“Performance is a key factor that only a fully standardized solution that doesn’t bring any third-party technology can ensure,” continued Minot. “With ETELM’s 4GLinked solution, it is one unified, standardized platform that is much easier to maintain and operate than having several infrastructures connected by gateways.”
4GLinked was successfully tested with many vendors at the ETSI MCPTT Plugtests in June 2017 and all interfaces are compliant with ETSI/3GPP LTE rel13. 4GLinked has also been successfully deployed and tested by customers.
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.