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.

Are Rugged Tablets Suitable for Public Safety Implementation?


The potential for rugged tablet implementation and success is nowhere more apparent than in the sector of Public Safety. The sheer range of possibilities when it comes to engaging the power of mobile tech for public safety stretches across agencies and provides an untapped wealth of marketability for devices that match durability with computing power.

Professionals working in both the military and the public sector often require real time data, remote access to intelligence reports, the ability to accurately and quickly capture critical data in the field, and the connectivity to communicate between central headquarters and on the move mobile units. Here are just a few of the ways rugged tablets can improve public safety:

Law Enforcement

Tablets can deliver data fast, helping to diffuse tense situations and clarify issues. They can be used to record if needed, to take field interviews, to access records, and even to verify insurance or issue tickets or warnings. The connectivity and authentication measures available means that data can be transmitted securely.

Fire and Rescue

Rugged tablets can be invaluable for in the field investigations, necessary photos, and personnel deployment and tracking. Durability, dust and water resistance make the tablet a perfect device for use in harsh conditions. Evidence and cataloguing in emergent situations provides a records trail for later scrutiny.

EMS

Fast, reliable records access and medical information via approved and authorized journals and apps make EMT workers feel more confident. They can benefit from real time data transmission, cross referencing drug interactions and accessing past medical records, and can even video call their counterparts at the hospital for quick telemedical intervention. Lifesaving procedures can even be refreshed on the spot for accurate application.

Public Works

GPS and GIS capability ensures that markers can be verified for correct positioning and that location stamping is recorded. Photo capability adds visuals to records and inspection reports. Form access saves time and extra trips and date lookup apps and code scanners allow for swift checks for safety and viability, while eliminating errors and duplications.

Rugged tablets are safe, secure and reliable, allowing users to take advantage of easy input and one-hand operation, versatility and durability, data transfer and access, security protocol adherence, and more. Find out what rugged tablets can bring to public safety in your associated field and start implementing these must have tools today.