What 4G LTE Could Mean for the Future of Public Safety Agencies

What-4G-LTE-Could-Mean-for-the-Future-of-Public-Safety-AgenciesIt is anticipated by the GSMA that by 2020, 63% of the world’s population will be covered by 4G LTE, and more than 30% of connections will use the technology. The benefits to public safety are huge.

Public-safety agencies worldwide are in the process of migrating away from proprietary mobile technologies in a global switch to LTE. 4G LTE extends a wide range of benefits, including a massive vendor ecosystem and a cost structure designed to work on a global scale. As more and more verticals turn to LTE, the overall costs go down and adoption becomes possible for even smaller agencies. Public safety is enabled to take advantage of innovation which had formerly been unattainable.

The US FirstNet network was supported by Congress, which earmarked roughly $7 billion of spectrum auction proceeds to support it. However, that is far less than the amount required to create a network spanning every inch of US soil. Like many other verticals, public safety’s goals and its budget are a world apart.

Public safety agencies are therefore taking a big tent approach to the problem, accepting the hand extended by utility networks, who bring to the table a vast array of resources and finances, and simply want access to public-safety networks in return. By providing a vital service and helping to support those networks by funding and/or providing access to infrastructure, they pave the way for new, improved base station equipment and everything that comes with it.

Mobile operators have also been attracted by FirstNet’s 700MHz spectrum, and the race is on to see if a model can be developed that enables sharing without putting operators and customers in the position of relinquishing their right to access during a catastrophic event in favor of public safety networks commandeering the available bandwidth.

Another possibility for public safety agencies is the potential to increase their use of commercial cellular networks; in the US, commercial cellular could turn out to be an important part of the puzzle. As the 63% global coverage threshold is neared, public safety divisions may come to depend solely on 4G LTE and enabled devices, like rugged tablets, for communication in the field.

LTE driven mobile communications for public safety makes perfect sense in terms of cost structure, innovation and capabilities. While implementation across the country may still be a work in progress, and coverage can be spotty in rural areas, larger cities are getting on board with 4G LTE and mobile as the tool of the future.

Cost Savings Associated with Rugged Tablet Use in the Construction Industry

Cost-Savings-Associated-with-Rugged-Tablet-Use-in-the-Construction-IndustryAs tablets enter the workforce in ever increasing numbers, companies are finding new ways to use the technology to boost productivity, cut costs, and encourage efficiency. Rugged tablets are an investment with a significant return, and many industries are equipping their employees with handheld computers to get ahead of their competitors.

However, tablets may be going largely unnoticed by construction companies, despite their multitude of uses. Precision technology in the hands of construction workers can reduce costs across the board while delivering a variety of useful functions and exemplary results.

Here are just a few ways rugged tablets can help with cost reduction in the construction industry, both on and off the field.

  • Document distribution. From sharing plans and blueprints to inventory lists and material audits, tablets can reduce the cost of paper and printing, while putting the plans directly into everyone’s hands.
  • Faster communication. Whether there’s an emergency, a delay, or a problem, a tablet can make it easy to get a hold of employees and notify them of changes. This can reduce confusion and accidents, and even save lives.
  • Real-time weather tracking. This is useful in almost any situation, but invaluable to construction workers. Weather can make or break a work day, and knowing exactly what the skies might be bringing can help construction teams plan accordingly.
  • Management of supplies. With tablet technology, workers can keep track of inventory lists with a few taps, and know exactly when they need to restock or file an order request. Ordering and shipping can be automated as well, eliminating idle time between deliveries.
  • Virtual meetings. Applications like FaceTime and Google Hangouts have made it easy to talk face-to-face with anyone, whether they’re states away or across the street. Workers can communicate with coworkers or employers without leaving their station, saving them both travel time and travel expenses.

Construction workers and project managers alike can benefit from the boosted communication and extra functions rugged tablets offer the construction industry. From preventing accidents to encouraging productivity and saving time, tablets are an investment that cut costs in almost every department.

While consumer tablets are subject to breakage under harsh conditions, rugged technology is designed to handle hard use. With protection against impact damage, dust, moisture, and even extreme temperatures, purpose-built tablets can handle almost anything a construction site can throw at them. They are the perfect construction worker’s tool, and the ideal device for any construction company seeking to increase savings.

Why Rugged Tablets are a Perfect Fit for Tough Municipal Jobs

BLOG 8 Why-Rugged-Tablets-are-a-Perfect-Fit-for-Tough-Municipal-Jobs

A lot of day-to-day processes have been simplified by technology, and as mobile computers begin to enter the workplace, there has been an influx of interest in how, where, and when to use such devices most effectively.

From the military to cruise ships to construction sites, rugged technology continues to spread – and the arena of municipal government work is a natural next expansion. Rugged tablets can make it easy to stay organized from office to the field and back again, with durability to match functionality. Security and privacy measures are built in to these devices, and real time communication within secure networks makes them ideal for handling sensitive data on the fly.

Here are just a few ways tablet technology can boost productivity in the following municipal government related verticals:

  • Training and Education. From instructional videos to interactive lesson plans, tablets are useful in every aspect of education and training. Modules can be designed and applications created to enhance learning in the field or in the classroom, encouraging the adoption of and familiarization with new forms of technology. Documents can be readily shared, edited, and stored between teachers and students, and collaborative efforts are easy when everyone can work together even if none of them are in the same room.
  • Public Safety. Mobile, portable, purpose built computers, such as rugged tablets, can allow public safety workers communicate and develop plans on the move, access critical patient information, review protocols, and save lives.
  • Maintenance and Repair. GIS positioning, maps, blueprints, and more can be reviewed onsite, corrections made, verification requested and received, and permissions adjusted as needed with requests sent in real time and approvals received on the spot. Dirt, mud, moisture, impact and vibration are no obstacle to seamless operation of rugged built devices.
  • Public Transportation Services. More than 30 million people use public transport every week-day, and keeping track of them all is impossible. However, it is not impossible to help keep them all safe with proper precautions. Rugged tech can help with establishing routes, avoiding disasters, and providing reliable, open lines of communication among bus drivers, subway train staff, and railway conductors.

The advantages of rugged tablets for the municipal worker are almost endless. More uses appear every day, and with the growing popularity of purpose built tech, soon every city, county, and state can deploy rugged tablets designed specifically for the needs of their workforce’s at every level, no matter how tough the jobs to be done.

What is a “Purpose Built” Rugged Tablet?

BLOG 7 What-is-a-Purpose-Built-Rugged-TabletWhen selecting a new mobile device to send out to a task force or unit, just finding an aesthetic, affordable make and model is not enough. Matching the device to the needs of the application and user is important, especially when deploying devices intended for precision or sensitive use, or that will be expected to improve efficiency and productivity.

What is a Purpose-Built Device?

A “purpose-built device” is any machine that is built for a specific task. When it comes to rugged tablet tech, the potential for purpose built design is endless:

  • A military grade rugged tablet designed specifically for field mission use
  • A rugged tablet for construction workers, with GIS capability
  • Rugged tablets for first responders, with radio capability and a vault of knowledge base material for emergency situations
  • Local and municipal government use rugged tablets for extra security and portability
  • Rugged tablets for retail and hospitality, when flexibility and speed are high priority
  • Rugged tablets for medical applications, with anti-microbial coating and various data-capture modules to record patients’ information

There are many things to keep in mind when selecting a device and requesting purpose built tech, but the most important features will always be:

Durability

From cruise ship deployment to daily use on construction sites, rugged tablets are built to withstand demanding use. Their durability makes them ideal for harsh environments, whether the risk is impact, dust, moisture, or vibrations.

Usability

The ability to custom build a tablet to include familiar programs, include backward compatibility if necessary, integrate fully with existing programs, and create new unique applications based on specific needs makes the purpose-built device easy for users to understand, shift to, and train on.

Longevity

Purpose built tablets are built to run on the same platforms as most other tech, so they can smoothly integrate with existing networks and ongoing updates with familiar software. This also protects them from obsolescence; purpose built devices are well planned and designed to continue to be functional years after deployment.

Mobility

Tablets are the perfect mobile purpose built device, combining the mobility of a phone with the processing power of a computer. Single hand carrying capability and detachable keyboards allow for quick transition from office to on the go, and vehicle mounts and touch screens make working from a vehicle or in the field even easier.

Rugged tablets can be designed for any fleet of workers, in any industry or vertical, from warehouses to military bases. Designing tech for specific uses is the next technological step into the future. Within weeks, purpose built tablets can be fully deployed, increasing productivity and streamlining operations wherever they are used.

Is Your Military Unit’s Data Protected on Mobile Devices?

BLOG 8 Is-Your-Military-Unit's-Data-Protected-on-Mobile-DevicesThe primary issue most military unit commanders have with mobile devices is the issue of data security. With the advent of Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) flooding the corporate world, and the security issues that inevitably arose, the military was slow to adopt mobile as a trusted solution for on-base and in-field operations.

Trusted devices secured with a closed network provide a superior solution, when deployed throughout a unit through military provision. These purpose-built units are increasingly rugged tablets, thanks to the high level of durability, flexibility, and security that can be installed from the first developmental step to the final shipped product.

Military grade rugged tablets such as DT Research’s DT311 provide exceptional security options to safeguard military data and provide an enhanced user experience at every level. Each tablet is customized for end user satisfaction and efficiency, to increase productivity and lessen the risk of security issues.

Rugged tablets built to military standards can withstand even harsh environments and constant handling without the need for constant replacement. The DT311 Rugged Tablet meets MIL-STD-810G, and is IP65 rated, designated to evaluate vibration, impact, and water resistance, as well as being NIST compliant, and operational in extreme temperatures.

On the security side, each tablet is equipped with a full complement of security suite options and encryption capabilities, including:

  • Windows 10 IoT Enterprise Software Security
  • Device Guard permissions for only TPM 2.0 supported applications
  • Lock Down features to protect against malicious attacks
  • Proprietary Hardware Security, including instant blackout; media sanitization options; Bluetooth, RFID and Wi-Fi auto-disable function, and remote radio capability disablement

The ability to securely access data in real time is a highlight of military grade rugged tablets, and removes the worries about security risks on mobile devices. An additional feature option is CAC functionality, so cards can be read and access granted at varying levels of clearance.

This is valuable for times when different team members need to use the same device, by building in user access on an individual basis without the need for reconfiguring for specific individuals; instead, the card reader allows access based on card information about the user on a case by case basis.

Rugged tablets deployed across a military unit and used in conjunction with other secure devices on a secure, closed network can limit risk of security breaches and ensure military data can be kept protected, whether the unit is on base, in the field, or in transit.