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NPSTC Seeks Volunteers for Three New Broadband & Technology Working Groups

Date: 2015-12-03
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NPSTC's Governing Board recently approved the creation of three new Working Groups that will operate under the Broadband and Technology Committee. They are LMR to LTE Migration, Broadband Emerging Technologies, and Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) and Robotics. Sign up HERE for the Working Groups that interest you. Please sign up in the next 2 weeks to receive materials and meeting information. Work will begin in January.

LMR to LTE Migration. Public safety Land Mobile Radio (LMR) systems will continue to operate for many years as worldwide standards to support mission critical voice are finalized and as FirstNet builds the nationwide public safety broadband network (NPSBN). As LTE mission critical data and voice services are made available, it is likely there will be a mix of LMR and LTE technologies in use by local public safety agencies in the same geographic area. One city may elect to adopt LTE voice services while an adjoining city remains on their existing LMR public safety radio network. Chris Kindelspire will serve as Chair and will work closely with the Public Safety Communications Research (PSCR) program. The objectives and goals of this Working Group are to:

  • Examine ways LTE voice services may be used, including administrative/secondary push-to-talk and mission critical voice/push-to-talk.
  • Examine existing interoperability systems and technologies in use today to determine if these capabilities may be leveraged to support LMR to LTE interoperability.
  • Review the minimum requirements needed to support mission critical voice interoperability between LMR and LTE networks.

Broadband Emerging Technologies. Significant progress with LTE technology is occurring in many areas that may affect public safety use of broadband systems. FirstNet continues to refine their vision for a Nationwide Public Safety Broadband Network and the 3rd Generation Partnership Program (3GPP) is working to advance standards to support public safety use of broadband networks and systems. This Working Group will monitor a number of specific public safety issues relating to broadband and will also review and provide input on new issues and concerns that are identified by the first responder community. Kim Coleman-Madsenwill serve as Chair. Objectives and goals include:

  • Monitor 3GPP standards and requirements work, including public safety SA6 working group.
  • Examine role of devices such as smart phones and wearables and other technology equipment used by first responders on the FirstNet network, including form factor, capabilities, controls, and unique differences between law enforcement, fire/rescue, and EMS users.
  • Review work on the use of analytics and sensors by public safety agencies. Sensor technology includes building, vehicle, and personal devices, as well as machine-to-machine systems and is closely tied to analytics work being done by the PSCR now.
  • Examine issues regarding FirstNet implementation in rural areas.

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Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) and Robotics. Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) are being adapted for public safety use at the same time commercial and hobby use of these devices are interfering with first responder operations. The field of robotics is also expanding and public safety agencies are now performing a variety of tasks, including use of bomb and firefighting robots and virtual presence devices that allow real time remote physician interaction. Objectives and goals include the following:

  • Review the work being done by other groups to better understand the current landscape.
  • Create use cases that documents public safety use of devices by law enforcement, fire/rescue, and EMS.
  • Review the current regulatory environment, including issues that impact research, affect public safety use, and direct appropriate management of commercial and hobby devices.
  • Examine the need for best practices in the use of UAS and Robotic systems.

- People, Places & Things/ (via NPSTC, 11/30/15)


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