Modernizing Public Safety Communications
Author: Dan O’Malley, Senior Product Manager, Cisco Internet of Things Group
Your existing radios and voice system do more, with Cisco.
If your agency uses Cisco Unified Communications as well as PTT radio communications, you can make both more valuable by adding Cisco Instant Connect.
Hundreds of public safety agencies around the world already use Cisco Instant Connect to make radio dispatch operations simpler. Instant Connect improves incident response because personnel can join PTT talk groups using just about any device. That includes land-mobile radios, smartphones, IP phones, PCs and laptops, and even traditional phones.
Control Smartphones as if they were radios
With Cisco Instant Connect, personnel can join PTT sessions using an Android device, iPhone, or a Cisco Unified Wireless IP Phone. Smartphones can connect over Wi-Fi, 3G, 4G/LTE, or satellite networks. In addition, Cisco sells a Sonim phone which can connect over a carrier networks today and includes Band 14 support for future use with FirstNet. What’s nice about the Sonim phone is that it is very rugged and can be used in the operational environments like manufacturing, oil and gas, hospitals, manufacturing, utilities, and even public safety.
Public safety agencies are reminded that use of Band 14 spectrum is limited to FirstNet, and any current use of Band 14 must be pre-approved by FirstNet and the US Federal Communications Commission. Future use of Sonim phones as FirstNet endpoints is subject to FirstNet authorization and interoperability requirements.
Wearable convenience for push to talk
Cisco works with wearable device manufacturers to integrated a better push to talk experience into the day-to-day operational environments. Rollts, a Cisco Instant Connect ecosystem partner, makes a product called the Domino a wearable Bluetooth speaker and microphone with a push to talk button. What’s nice about the Domino is that it can transmit on 900 MHz channels for a peer-to-peer communications. Rollts Video
School Bus Connect
Cisco is working with a partner called Technuf. They have a really great application that uses the Cisco technology for schools. They track which students get on or off the bus and provide the school with real time awareness of where busses and students are on a web interface over their cloud.. School bus Connect Video.
Cisco partners with Parallel Wireless for tactical LTE coverage
Some agencies and customers are buying tactical LTE or Wi-Fi coverage for their operations. This allows them to operate in a tactical communications bubble with multiple back haul connections using a small portable router. The router can use a carrier connection for backhaul or they can use satellite radios to connect vehicles or teams to the Internet. Customers can turn their vehicle into a Wi-Fi hotspot or (if appropriate approvals from FirstNet are first obtained) into a LTE Band 14 bubble. Please note – Use of Band 14 requires FirstNet pre-approval and a “special temporary license” from the US Federal Communications Commission. Once the FirstNet RFP is awarded, the use of Band 14 by state and local agencies, and the process for temporarily requesting permission to use Band 14, is expected to be interrupted and to undergo significant change, due to interference and interoperability issues. Cisco was showing a Band Class 14 system in the box in our booth. Parallel Wireless Video.