Donny Jackson

Urgent Communications

Donny Jackson is editor of Urgent Communications magazine. Before joining UC in 2002, he covered telecommunications for four years as a freelance writer and as news editor for Telephony magazine. Prior to that, he worked for suburban newspapers in the Dallas area, serving as editor-in-chief for the Irving News and the Las Colinas Business News.

AT&T unveils plan to lease spectrum to utilities for private networks utilizing Nokia technology
Carrier and Nokia announce a joint plan designed to address utilities’ long-stated need to access broadband spectrum to support critical communications. The offering calls for AT&T to lease its spectrum for 15 years to utilities, which would pay for the deployment of private LTE networks using Nokia technology.
Mexico seeks bids for nationwide 700 MHz wholesale LTE network to serve competitive market, public safety
Add Mexico to the list of countries that soon could leverage LTE technology to meet the communication needs of its public-safety entities, although first responders are just one of many groups to be served under the new Red Compartida tender for a wholesale LTE network operated on 90 MHz of spectrum in the 700 MHz band.
Data911 introduces in-vehicle touchscreen display that includes safety features, works with gloved hands
Data911 Systems introduces the M7+ Multi-Touch Display, an in-vehicle display designed specifically for the needs of fire, EMS and law-enforcement personnel that has multiple safety features and is the first multi-touch display for emergency vehicles—a function that works even when users wear thick gloves, according to company officials.
Federal lawmakers highlight FirstNet’s cybersecurity needs during hearing
FirstNet should take measures to ensure that its nationwide public-safety broadband network is not victimized by the kind of data breaches and cyberattacks that have plagued other federal-government entities, several members of a House subcommittee said during a hearing.
FCC will release its review guidelines for FirstNet opt-out states by Q2 2017, official tells Congress
States and territories considering the pursuit of the FirstNet opt-out alternative will know how the FCC will review opt-out proposals to deploy the radio access network (RAN) within their jurisdictions by the time state plans are delivered during the second quarter of 2017, an FCC official told Congress.
FCC official addresses T-Band issue during hearing before Congress 1
​Public-safety agencies depending on LMR communications systems operating on T-Band spectrum should experience “no loss of service—no loss of continuity” as a result of a federal mandate that requires public-safety licensees to clear the airwaves in five years, an FCC official said in testimony before Congress.
Raytheon closes JPS Communications business unit 1
Raytheon informs dealers that its JPS Communications business unit—best known for its portfolio of land-mobile-radio (LMR) interoperability products—has been closed, citing the fact that the JPS products “no longer align” with Raytheon’s business strategy.
FCC’s Wheeler calls on Congress to address next-gen 911, says FCC has ‘done about everything we can do’
FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler vows to spend the next year calling on Congress to tackle the issue of funding and deploying next-generation 911 (NG911) in public-safety answering points (PSAPs) throughout the U.S., noting that the FCC has “done about everything we can do” within the agency’s legal authority.
Florida PSAPs turn to Airbus DS Communications for 911 upgrade, interoperability features
A Florida county has upgraded its public-safety answering point (PSAP) equipment to an Airbus DS Communications VESTA solution that will let its two 911 centers interoperate seamlessly and accept text-to-911 messages in the near term, as well as supporting next-generation 911 (NG911) communications in the long-term future.
LTE standards body set to complete mission-critical PTT standard in March
A standard for mission-critical push-to-talk (MCPTT) over LTE is on track to be completed in March, according to an official with 3GPP, which oversees the development of standards for LTE technology. If the standard is completed as scheduled, MCPTT-capable LTE devices likely would be commercially available within two years, according to most industry sources.
FreeWave Technologies launches Sensor-2-Server IoT strategy with WavePro WP201 product
FreeWave Technologies introduces the WavePro WP201 shorthaul and Wi-Fi platform, the first announced product in the company’s series of Sensor-2-Server (S2S) solutions that are designed to address needs in the industrial Internet of Things (IoT) space.
Georgia county upgrades to new P25 system, consoles from Motorola Solutions
Fulton County—the largest county in Georgia, which includes the city of Atlanta—recently began operations with its first significant public-safety-communications upgrade in 20 years with the implementation of a new P25 system and dispatch consoles from Motorola Solutions, according to county officials.
FirstNet outlines four phases of RFP evaluation process during webinar
Bidders responding to the FirstNet request for proposal (RFP) that was released that week will need to complete a four-phase process to be selected to build and operate the proposed nationwide public-safety broadband network, officials representing FirstNet said during a recent webinar on the topic.
Caribbean countries prepare to build public-safety LTE networks on spectrum aligned with FirstNet in U.S.
While FirstNet’s RFP release may be the focus of the public-safety communications arena, many countries in the Caribbean also are preparing for the development of first-responder LTE networks, according to an official for Neptune Mobile, which hopes to deploy the systems throughout the region.
FirstNet RFP outlines financial penalties for contractor, if public-safety adoption targets are missed 2
If at least 70% of the targeted public-safety users do not subscribe to the FirstNet system in a given year upon its operational completion, the FirstNet contractor could pay more than $100 million in financial penalties and risk losing control of certain business functions, according to the FirstNet request for proposal (RFP).

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