Mobile Broadband, 4G, and Tablet Tech for Police Communications

Mobile-Broadband,-4G,-and-Tablet-Tech-for-Police-CommunicationsPolice are some of the first people to arrive on the scene of an emergency, which requires a high degree of communication, connectivity, and reliability. A 4G connection can offer all of that and more, enabling officers to make the most of their handheld devices, dashcams, and mobile tablet computers.

4G offers a faster, more secure connection when it comes to mobile data, so officers can always stay connected and updated while in the field. This makes it easier to travel, access information, and communicate in real-time with other officers and superiors.

While 4G connectivity cannot speed up communication itself, it can speed up the rate at which people receive information, load pages, and download applications. This can make it easier to stream, video call, and use other wireless functions. This can be vital when relaying information to a group, or receiving updated info on the go.

Another aspect that can be included with 4G is the opportunity for mobile hotspots. Hot-spots can now support more people with better connectivity. Where 3G had a latency of 100ms, 4G offers a significant upgrade, dropping latency to 30ms. This can boost communication and even save lives in the event of a disaster.

Obsolescence isn’t an issue when it comes to ruggedized tablet computers. They are built to last, and can be integrated with existing systems or upgraded to keep up with new equipment. They can handle drops, vibration, and even withstand water damage. Their mobility is equal to a smartphone, and their sleek slate-design makes them both easy to use and easy to carry and pass around.

Battery life has been upgraded to handle hours of hard use, and hot-swappable batteries with multiple charging options can allow them to last even longer in the field. Mobile tablets are the future of mobile tech design, put directly into the hands of first responders and law enforcement as well as supporting medical and fire units in the field during time-sensitive events.

Due to frequent purpose-built requirements and niche use in military, first responder, and law-enforcement contexts, rugged tablets are manufactured according to strict standards. Unlike consumer-grade tablets and computers, ruggedized technology is designed for hard use in professional situations.

If consumer-grade products don’t hold up against the stresses of hard use, it is up to niche suppliers to provide the serious, purpose-built technology needed to keep the military and police updated and connected, no matter where they are.

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.