Republican National Convention Uses Interoperable Public Safety Broadband Network
By Jyothi Shanbhag, TMCnet Contributor
Republican National Convention held in Tampa recently utilized interoperable Public Safety Long Term Evolution (LTE (News - Alert)) network that helped the attendees share real-time video, voice, and data communications via smartphones and tablets.
The service was made possible by a group comprised of companies Cisco, Raytheon, Nokia Siemens Networks (News - Alert), Reality Mobile and Amdocs supporting the Convention, a National Special Security Event (NSSE).
According to the sources, the multi-vendor LTE network was deployed under special temporary authority (STA) from the Federal Communications Commission for the convention, and provided a field trial of a multi-vendor integrated LTE system in advance of the $7 billion deployment of the National Public Safety Broadband Network (NPSBN).
"The LTE system provided a private network, eliminating the chances of commercial network congestion. The specialized applications gave law enforcement an advantage, allowing police officers to use everyday devices in a strategic and tactical way," said Sgt. Dale Moushon, St. Petersburg Police Department Intelligence Unit. "While our traditional radio network provided primary communication among deployed officers, this technology enabled us to gather critical information for use in real-time decision making."
The LTE broadband system was a great help to law enforcement officers from Pinellas and Hillsborough Counties to secure the safety of convention participants and the Tampa Bay area community. The system offered secure, encrypted voice, video and data communications, as well as an evidence-quality, permanent recording of all data collected at the event.
Bob Fennelly, head of Public Safety, Nokia Siemens Networks, said, "The successful implementation of this open standards-based, multi-vendor, interoperable network certainly supports the viability of the long-term goal to deploy a similar nationwide system."
Chris Josephs, director of National Security, Cisco (News - Alert), added that their project was a first step in an emerging era for enhanced communications and information sharing among public safety, law enforcement and other national security officials.
Joseph said that it is a proof point for using dedicated broadband wireless network services for situational awareness and other applications, demonstrating the same flexibility and cost-effective choices that commercial LTE systems provide, but to support the more demanding missions of their nation's safety and security agencies.
The interoperability was managed through open-systems collaboration among first responders, wireless broadband equipment suppliers and a system integrator to deploy much needed capabilities during the NSSE.
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Edited by Brooke Neuman