This post is by Bob Fennelly, Head of Public Safety for Nokia Siemens Networks
Here in the U.S. last week many eyes were on Florida – mainly to keep watch on the developing Hurricane Isaac. As it happened, the Republican National Convention (RNC) was also taking place in Tampa, Florida, and many breathed a sigh of relief when Hurricane Isaac spared both the city and event.
Behind the scenes, it was business as usual to provide a Public Safety LTE network for an event with national security implications, enabling first responders to simultaneously use LTE broadband capabilities to secure the safety of RNC participants and surrounding Florida communities. Nokia Siemens Networks played a key role in the network deployment by providing its Radio Access Network LTE technology. We were part of a consortium of partners that developed the nation’s first truly interoperable, multiple vendor 700 MHz Public Safety LTE network that addressed the need for high-speed mobile data services and improved real-time collaboration and situational awareness among first responders.
The network provided Florida state and local police, the FBI, Secret Service, Coast Guard and National Guard personnel secure (or encrypted) video and voice communications and an evidence-quality, permanent recording of all data collected at the event.
Communications kits utilizing LTE modems from multiple manufacturers were configured to provide portable links to uniformed and undercover operatives using smart phones, tablets and laptop computers. The system provided video feeds from the cities’ permanently mounted video cameras as well as live mobile video feeds from operatives and law enforcement officers in the field.
The consortium accomplished a successful field trial of a multi-vendor integrated LTE system which supports the viability of the long term goal of the deployment of a similar nationwide system. It also represents another milestone in demonstrating Nokia Siemens Networks’ leadership in LTE technology and our continued work with our Public Safety solution partners to provide Public Safety organizations with cost effective options for full-featured LTE voice and data solutions.