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Posts Tagged ‘ FirstNet ’

The Public Safety Imperative

By Mike Collado
August 10th, 2015

IMG_1214We live in a world where we take our personal safety somewhat for granted.

For the most part, the processes, procedures and functionality of our public safety systems keep pace with requirements. Commonplace “tools” such as fire call boxes, e911 systems and the radios used by emergency first responders have evolved out of necessity and have been fueled by innovation.

In many ways, wireless is paramount to public safety. (See our most-read public safety posts here, here and here)

Police, fire and (EMS emergency medical services) personnel must communicate and coordinate efforts when they arrive on the scene of an emergency. The general public also must be able to communicate. After all, if you or I can’t be notified about an incident or call for help, first responders won’t know to help us.

The importance of in-building wireless communications for public safety cannot be overstated. An estimated 80 percent of all wireless calls originate or terminate inside buildings. Similarly, a majority of emergency incidents occur indoors.

Creating safer in-building environments for occupants and first responders is paramount. Call it the Public Safety Imperative.

To be sure, The Imperative is shared by the public safety, commercial wireless and venue owner ecosystems.

To meet the challenges of The Imperative, the stakeholders must implement fire and building codes and standards for indoor public safety communications; develop and innovate a toolkit of robust wireless communication technology and networks; and identify business models to overcome the burdens of complying with an “unfunded mandate.”

FirstNet is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to create a new public safety broadband network (PSBN). But it’s scope is primarily focused on achieving outdoor communications, not indoor. It is vital that indoors does not get left behind.

We took the first step to achieving this vision several years ago to as a founding member of the Safer Buildings Coalition, an independent, non-profit organization focused on advancing policies and ideas that lead to more large and medium sized buildings being served with commercial and public safety wireless coverage. (Make a difference by becoming a member: info(at)saferbuildings.org or 888.600.1011)

Screen Shot 2015-08-10 at 3.24.02 PMNext week at APCO 2015 in Washington, D.C., we’re launching – in collaboration with Hutton Communications (read our partnership announcement from APCO 2014 here) – the inaugural publication of THE IMPERATIVE, an eBook in which we consulted with many of the industry’s leading experts and proponents in public safety communications to tap into their deep knowledge and experience on the topics of public safety codes, first responder operations, wireless technology, and telecommunications networks.

To receive a free copy, please stop by Booth #1709 (Hutton Communications) during APCO. Or follow SOLiD on LinkedIn and/or on Twitter for instructions on who to download THE IMPERATIVE.

Together, SOLiD and Hutton personnel will showcase in-building solutions including the SOLiD quad-band public safety distributed antenna system (DAS) with support for first responder and essential two-way radio frequencies including 700/800,150/450 MHz.

And if you’re an early riser, plan to attend the “Making Buildings Safer Through Wireless Technology” session on Sunday, August 16 at 9:30 AM hosted by Safer Buildings Coalition executive director Chief Alan Perdue (ret.) and moderated by my friend Donny Jackson, editor of Urgent Communications.

Thanks for reading.

As always please share your thoughts in the comments.

2014 Most Read Posts

By Mike Collado
December 29th, 2014

P1010744As we close out 2014 (and to quote Frank Sinatra, “It was a very good year…”), here’s a look at the top 10 Inside Story posts you read this year.

In many ways, our industry advanced.

But we also continued to wrestle with past questions.

We enjoy bringing you our insights and look forward to sharing our thoughts and observations with you in 2015.

Would you do us a favor? Use the comments below to tell us what you like and don’t like about our posts as well as what you’d like to read about more next year.

Here’s to a happy, healthy and prosperous new year!

Thanks for reading!

 

Number 1: The DAS Equipment Vendors
An oldie (from 2011) but goodie… In just three short years the OEM landscape continues to change!

Number 2: Teenagers, Standards & Education: Themes at BICSI Fall Conference In-Building Panel
Questions abound from design and deployment stakeholders on ownership, choosing among DAS or Small Cells or WiFi, and public-safety.

Number 3: WiFi on a DAS? First ask yourself why
Convergence and all-fiber infrastructure inform that the industry will keep wrestling with this question.

Number 4: Where are the Small Cells?
Process and technology continue to be obstacles for widescale deployment of small cells.

Number 5: What are the Business Models for In-Building Coverage for Healthcare & Why Look at Them Now?
A look at who should own, pay and manage the network for DAS deployments in hospitals.

Number 6: Advice Before You Jump Into A DAS Project
Practical advice whether this is your first DAS rodeo or not.

Number 7: Not Quite Super, But a SOLiD Week in Vegas
Observations from the latest incarnation of CTIA’s annual conference: it’s ain’t over yet…

Number 8: Playing it Safe in the Big Easy
In spite of a slow start, FirstNet is narrowing the gap between the commercial cellular and public-safety industries.

Number 9: Densification is a Toolbox Approach. So, Now What?
Now that the industry has advanced from “DAS versus Small Cells” to a “toolbox approach”, it begs the question of how do we decide?

Number 10: oDAS + Collocation = FTW
We predict an oDAS renaissance where OEMs innovate small cell-like solutions to lower the coverage canopy beyond macro and high-power 40W DAS.

Playing it Safe in the Big Easy

By Mike Collado
August 6th, 2014

We’re fresh back from the heat and humidity of New Orleans which played host to the 80th APCO Annual Conference & Expo. Here are some of the highlights:

 

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SOLiD and Hutton Communications presidents Seth Buechley and John Walker celebrate new partnership

APCO 2014 was a fitting place to announce our new partnership with Hutton Communications. The SOLiD portfolio – including the Quad-Band Public Safety Distributed Antenna System (DAS) with support for 700/800 and 150/450 MHz – will be available to Hutton customers that deploy in-building wireless solutions to enable cellular and public-safety communications.

 

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AGL Media’s Sharpe Smith explores the need for broadband public safety coverage indoors with panelists from PCIA, Safer Buildings Coalition, FirstNet and BICSI

With the bulk of emergency incidents occurring indoors and over 50% of emergency calls being made with a wireless device, the public safety industry is asking three fundamental questions: Can people communicate? Can people be notified? And can first responders communicate where the people are?

Chief Jeff Johnson (FirstNet board member), Jonathan Adelstein (PCIA CEO) and Phil Klingensmith (BICSI Master Instructor) joined Chief Alan Perdue of the Safer Buildings Coalition (SOLiD is a member) to explore how to overcome the challenges of ensuring public-safety communication which the panel agreed is a shared responsibility.

 

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FirstNet board member Chief Jeff Johnson discusses the need for in-building public safety communications

According to FirstNet’s Chief Johnson, wireless is essential – not optional. In an interview with Urgent Communications after the panel, Chief Johnson looks to the market to design around an ecosystem which in turn will create an economic model for stakeholder participation.

(We missed seeing Donny Jackson this year and we wish you a speed recovery from survey! Learn more here)

 

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SOLiD Public-Safety DAS

According to Safer Buildings Coalition executive director Chief Perdue, there is no “one size fits all” solution to ensure indoor public safety communication. Similarly, the industry is not in agreement on whether networks should be “blended” to support public safety and commercial cellular services on a single infrastructure or whether separate “parallel” networks should be deployed that are supported by solutions such as SOLiD’s quad-band700/800/150/450 MHz) solution which covers broadband and narrowband public safety services.

 

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Lots of interest among attendees on addressing broadband coverage indoors

 

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Packed room of AHJ’s at the SOLiD / Hutton cocktail reception. Honored to have hosted Pat Daniel, wife of the late Jack Daniel who pioneered the model NFPA and International Fire Code (IFC) codes requiring in-building radio coverage.

 

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The calm before the storm…

 

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Dixieland band at the APCO Block Party

 

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When in New Orleans, it’s cafe au lait and beignets!

 

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Saint Louis Cathedral at Jackson Square

 

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The Steamboat Natchez

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The iconic Crescent City Connection Bridge

 

2014 Predictions for the Wireless Industry

By Mike Collado
January 2nd, 2014

We trust our friends in the wireless industry enjoyed the holiday season.

Before we hunker down and get back to business, here are our industry predictions for 2014.

(Note: This article was originally published in the December 2013 edition of AGL Magazine)

A Look Back

Over the last 12 months, we at SOLiD have observed two fundamental trends in the wireless communications industry.

First, out of the buzz surrounding Small Cells has emerged a more rational and pragmatic conversation for solving densification issues that applies a tool box approach that consists of Distributed Antenna Systems (DAS), Small Cells and Wi-Fi.

Second, FirstNet – by virtue of a Board that consists of both cellular and public-safety stakeholders – has nudged the two industries closer together to explore converged solutions to disparate problems.

It is these key trends that drive our predictions for 2014.

Network Densification

Alright, I’ll just go and say it: Small Cell deployments won’t roll out as quickly as the industry suggests. I realize this may sound self-serving coming from a company that is best-known for its DAS solutions. However, it’s not about technology; instead, it’s about the delays due to the inherent complexity of obtaining approvals and permits from municipalities to place radios on street furniture.

Necessity spawns innovation so, to address street furniture and street pillar concerns, Outdoor DAS and Small Cells are going to get smaller, lighter, greener, more powerful and provide more bands.

Single infrastructure will rule the day. Outdoors, we’ll start to see street furniture that is capable of supporting DAS, Small Cells and Wi-Fi technology. Indoors, we’ll begin to see next generation in-building solutions that take the form of a single, all-fiber, carrier-grade and enterprise-ready platform with fiber-fed antennas and power at the edge.

Finally, fiber owners become to the Het-Net what tower owners are to the macro network. There’s no solution that offers virtually the limitless capacity of Single Mode Fiber, and carriers will rely heavily upon fiber owners to empower them to deploy network densification solutions.

Public-Safety

Anyone familiar with Washington, DC knows that bipartisanship is a fact of life. In 2014, the inevitable will happen whereby FirstNet will grant the carriers access to D-Block spectrum. It fosters a win-win that satisfies the carriers’ need for spectrum and delivers the interoperable ecosystem needed to make the vision of a nationwide LTE Public Safety Broadband Network reality.

Meanwhile, FirstNet answers the question of whether it will drive the creation of fire codes that inform in-building public-safety communications requirements. With a focus on the PSBN, the task of creating fire codes definitively – and appropriately – remains with Authorities Having Jurisdiction (AHJ).

Lastly, location becomes the “Holy Grail” problem to solve for in-building wireless public-safety communications. Because Bluetooth and Wi-Fi can be turned off, those location solutions won’t qualify as public-safety grade. Location won’t get solved in 2014, but it’s going to be a hot topic.

Long-Term Implications

Whatever does happen in 2014, our industry is poised to incubate step-changes that impact the wireless market for the next 10 years.

We at SOLiD wish our customers, partners and peers a fantastic New Year in the most exciting industry there is!

Your Turn

What do you predict as the key trends for 2014?