New Trend: Operators Deploy Public Safety Networks
As urbanization and globalization speed up, terrorist attacks, natural disasters, crimes, and diseases pose greater threat to public safety. Governments are working hard to establish advanced public safety telecom system by using cutting-edge information and communications technologies, to deal with public safety problems. Currently, dedicated public safety networks adopt the narrow-band digital trunking technology, which is outdated and of low bandwidths and poor mobility. Narrow-band digital trunking can no longer meet the increasing needs of multi-media services on public safety networks. Instead, LTE broadband trunking, featuring large bandwidths, high rates, and all IP-based operation, is becoming the mainstream in the market, ushering to an era of LTE-based public safety networks.
The popularity of LTE networks allows operators to quickly develop data services. Meanwhile, operators are developing more new services, and vertical industries are leveraging the capacity advantage of LTE networks. LTE networks can meet the needs of public safety communications. Operators are playing an increasingly important role in deploying public safety networks.
3GPP specifications pave the way for operators to deploy public safety networks
Most public safety networks are deployed according to regional public safety standards, such as TETRA and P25. In the past few years, 3GPP has been working with LMR industry organizations, such as APCO (P25), ETST (TETRA), and TCCA, to co-define public safety standards, ensuring 3GPP specifications are more applicable and making LTE networks more suitable to public safety communication. Group Communications System Enabler for LTE (GCSE_LTE) defines how to achieve trunking communication on LTE networks. Proximity Services (ProSE) defines the communication mode for terminals disconnected from the network. Mission Critical Push-To-Talk (MCPTT) defines the one-push critical task function. These standards ensure that LTE networks are technically suitable for public safety communication.
Public safety network: the next blue ocean for operators
For governments, there are many advantages of leveraging operator networks to deploy public safety networks. Operator networks are cost-effective, of good coverage, and capacity, allowing integrated and unified scheduling of professional voice, data, and HD video services on one terminal and one network. LTE technology also ensures that public safety networks can achieve long term evolution. For operators, public safety networks will develop new services and expand business boundaries. By deploying public safety networks, operators will enhance network reliability, providing more reliable and better network experience for individual consumers.
More governments are going to authorize operators to deploy national public safety networks. In U.K., ESMCP has offered 2 billion pounds to EE for the deployment of LTE-based public safety networks to support police, fire, medical, and other public safety services. The network is planned to be put into trial commercial use by the end of 2016 and commercial use by H1 2017. SKT has been funded with USD $2 billion by the Korean government to deploy national LTE public safety networks, which are expected to be commercially launched in 2017. PTS, a Sweden regulator, has announced that no dedicated spectrum will be allocated to public safety networks and suggested that public safety services be supported by public LTE networks. It has become a trend for operators to deploy public safety networks. Public safety services will earn great revenue for operators, which are transforming to B2V and B2G.
LTE-based public safety network: a mature industry chain
As LTE-based public safety communication and LTE trunking communication draw more attention around the globe, the LTE-based public safety industry gains momentum. There are more than 300 models of anti-surge, anti-moisture, and anti-theft LTE terminals in the market. The annual sales volume of these terminals reaches million-level and is growing rapidly. The diversity of LTE terminals satisfies the needs of customers in various industries.
There is a growing need for IT devices, such as LTE anti-surge, anti-moisture, and anti-theft smartphones, shoulder microphones, vehicle mounted stations, video surveillance devices, ECVs, drones, and detecting robots, which are developing vigorously. A number of trunking server providers offer professional scheduling platforms and app development services to different industries and business scenarios, meeting the need of public safety service customization.
Network encryption and information resistance technologies are also developing, among which data encryption and related protection technologies are typical. These technologies prevent user information from being stolen or tampered and protect the network environment, creating a safe network without crimes for users.
As public safety develops and improves, the industry chain will involve more industries, such as smart transportation, air and water transportation, oil and drilling industries, logistics, security, and tourism.
Huawei, a leading ICT provider in the world, launches the LTE Integrated Trunked Radio Access (LiTRA) solution to help operators deploy secure, efficient, and professional LTE-based public safety networks for public safety users. LiTRA can give full play to the large bandwidth and low latency of LTE networks to provide professional multi-media trunking services such as video calls, video surveillance, file transfer, and coordinated geographic information system, as well as excellent experience compared with traditional trunking networks. More importantly, LiTRA is fully based on operators' live LTE networks, significantly reducing network deployment and maintenance costs and providing better network coverage and roaming services. LiTRA is also compatible with smart LTE terminals, opening up the industry chain to provide more professional and efficient trunking communications services.
Huawei is willing to open up networks for interconnection with other PTT platforms and terminals and join hands with industry partners to help operators deploy LTE-based public safety networks.