NYC Gets Safety Net

WiMax is coming to the emergency services of NYC and other cities in the U.S.

The Geospatially-Aware Urban Approaches for Responding to Disasters (GUARD) program will see a pre-WiMax test network rolled out in Manhattan over the next few months. The aim is to replace the two-way radios that first responders are currently using with a secure network that can carry voice, video, and data.

Cities like St. Louis, Mo. and Washington, D.C. will also implement similar test networks.

The Manhattan network is licensed by the FCC to operate for 35 miles in all directions from the Empire State Building, where the test base station will be installed. All testing and demonstrations will occur within the Southwest corner of Manhattan.

Rosettex Technology & Ventures Group will install the network. Cranite Systems Inc. has developed the Layer 2 security system for the network that allows responders to hold multiple conversations over the same wireless connection. The project is being overseen by National Technology Alliance (NTA).

The network will operate over licensed spectrum from Channel 13. WISP TowerStream Corp. actually already has a pre-WiMax basestation on the building but the operator broadcasts over unlicensed spectrum.

We'll add more details to this story as they become available.

— Dan Jones, Site Editor, Unstrung

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