We look at the evolution of critical communications in recent years.
When private or professional-mobile-radio (PMR) first started, radio users could contact the base from within a 50-mile radius. The acceleration of technological development has enhanced the way businesses communicate. Though still in use by many firms, open standards-based narrowband digital radio such as Digital Mobile Radio (DMR), TETRA and P25 have replaced analogue PMR. Development from analogue to digital systems has had clear benefits for end-users. It has allowed greater interoperability and integration as well as security, messaging, and data services. The growth of these digital radio solutions has been complemented by more feature-rich and integrated command and control systems that provide greater situational and operational awareness to all users across their enterprises.
For first responders such as the police, firefighters, and ambulance and rescue services, along with utilities, and critical infrastructure industries, having a reliable communication network has become an essential part of their lives. Critical communications include mobile, radio telecommunication systems and devices that must always provide reliable and secure communication.
Voice communications and low-speed data transmission no longer meet all the users’ requirements who now need to share large amounts of data, images, and video materials. With this being said, we have seen that many companies have started shifting towards digital and/or broadband technologies to improve their communication capabilities and user experience. However, organizations need to make informed decisions before they contemplate upgrades or embark on a migration strategy. Organizations indicate that the most important aspects of their user’s needs include:
- Efficient individual and group communications
- Fast, reliable, and available connection for both voice and a broader range of data services (including location-based services)
Open standards that allow industry-specific requirements from control centres, back-office systems and mobility applications to be more easily integrated
For uninterrupted communication between parties, there is a need for improved connectivity options. SNS Telecom & IT’s latest research report package indicates that LTE and 5G NR networks are increasingly gaining recognition as an all-inclusive critical communications platform for the delivery of mobile broadband and industrial IoT capabilities, as well as MCPTT voice functionality.
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The world’s digital connections are about to become wider and faster, delivering a platform for every industry to boost efficiency and innovation. By leveraging off the new LTE and 5G NR networks, public safety and critical infrastructure industries will be able to enjoy the benefits of new and improved applications and innovative technologies such as AI.
Companies such as Motorola Solutions, NEC, CAPITA, Hexagon have been building a complete software suite for command-and-control centres and investing in technologies including AI to streamline critical decision-making within control rooms and information dissemination to their workforce. Software that leverages AI becomes a powerful tool in control room environments and for workers out in the field. It can make people’s lives easier – especially by alleviating the burden placed on them in busy and stressful times.