Learn, Define And Develop The Evolution Of Critical Communications

Report from 3GPP


A new white paper from Iain Sharp, of Netovate, assesses the work needed to ensure that 3GPP LTE meets the needs of Public Safety professionals and the broader Critical Communications community:


Delivering Public Safety Communications with LTE

Today there are two separate technology families for providing wide-area wireless communications: commercial cellular networks and dedicated public safety systems.

To provide the best service to both communities there is now industry support for greater use of common technology. Work underway in Release 12 of 3GPP LTE standards will enhance LTE to meet public safety application requirements.


Commercial cellular networks have been driven by the needs of consumer and business users. The exceptional success of cellular has led to excellent economies of scale and constant rapid innovation. This environment has produced advanced standards such as LTE that provide multi-megabit per second data rates and multimedia capabilities as well as traditional voice and messaging services.

Public safety networks provide communications for services like police, fire and ambulance. In this realm the requirement has been to develop systems that are highly robust and can address the specific communication needs of emergency services. This has fostered public safety standards – such as TETRA and P25 – that provide for a set of features that were not previously supported in commercial cellular systems. These standards have also been applied to commercial critical communications needs such as airport operations.

Public safety users are an important community both economically and socially but the market for systems based on public safety standards is much smaller than for commercial cellular. Specialised public safety and critical communications technology cannot attract the level of investment and global R&D that goes in to commercial cellular networks. Establishing common technical standards for commercial cellular and public safety offers advantages to both communities:

  • The public safety community gets access to the economic and technical advantages generated by the scale of commercial cellular networks, and
  • The commercial cellular community gets the opportunity to address parts of the public safety market as well as gaining enhancements to their systems that have interesting applications to consumers and businesses.

A strong standards-based approach will ensure interoperability between different vendors leading to a competitive equipment market.

Read the full report here

3GPP will be supporting the 15th Annual Critical Communications World, which takes place 21 – 24 May 2013, Paris.

Hear vital updates on all aspects of using TETRA and what lies ahead for Mission Critical Mobile Broadband. Register your place as a congress delegate or free to attend exhibition visitor.

For more details and to register your place click here


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