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.

Denver-area public safety realizes benefits of Adams County Band 14 LTE during local concert
Denver-area public-safety agencies utilized Adams County’s leased Band 14 spectrum from FirstNet and deployable LTE communications to gain unprecedented access to network databases during a recent concert by the band Phish, even when commercial-carrier systems in the area were saturated by social-media traffic from attendees.
Swissphone partners with RACOM, seeks dealers to spread its digital-paging solution in the U.S. 1
Swissphone announces a partnership with Iowa-based RACOM, which will be the first certified U.S. dealer to offer Swissphone’s DiCal Digital Paging Solution that features voice and text paging, as well as a system architecture that is unique to paging in the United States.
Morgan O’Brien looks to partner with dealers in his return to enterprise dispatch with Pacific DataVision
Nextel Communications co-founder Morgan O'Brien is returning to the push-to-talk dispatch arena with Pacific DataVision. O'Brien says Pacific DataVision will utilize a very different sales strategy than Nextel did, relying largely on radio dealers throughout the country instead of a company sales force.
Airbus DS Communications—formerly Cassidian Communications—put on selling block
North American public-safety-communications vendor Airbus DS Communications gets a "for sale" sign placed on it less than two months after changing its name from Cassidian Communications, because international parent company Airbus Group has decided to divest business units that are not focused on aircraft-related industries.
FirstNet board OKs public notice, comprehensive RFI in key steps toward procurement
FirstNet board members vote to initiate public-notice and request for information (RFI) proceedings that are designed to prepare for its much-anticipated request-for-proposal (RFP) procurement efforts next year.
Former Nextel execs embark on another PTT venture—and possibly broadband—with Pacific DataVision
Pacific DataVision, led by former Nextel Communications co-founders Morgan O'Brien and Brian McAuley, announces that the company has acquired all 900 MHz spectrum previously owned by Sprint. The company plans to offer enterprise push-to-talk dispatch services—targeting critical-infrastructure entities—in U.S. markets beginning next year and will seek FCC approval to use its 3x3 MHz of spectrum to support broadband offerings in the future.
First responders highlight technology advancements at Urban Shield exercise
Urban Shield exercises in the San Francisco Bay area not only provide first responders with unique operational training opportunities, but they also provide insights into new technological capabilities, according to two lieutenants on the department of public safety SWAT team for the city of Sunnyvale, Calif.
Intrado hopes to use 911 Enable acquisition to enter enterprise PBX space
Intrado positions itself to compete in the emergency-communications space for enterprise customers that utilize IP-based private branch exchange (PBX) systems with the recent purchase of Montreal-based 911 Enable, according to an Intrado official.
Charitable foundation launched to aid families of injured, deceased tower workers
Families of tower workers that are killed or injured while on the job will be eligible for financial assistance that is designed to help the families pay for short-term needs, thanks to the launch of the charitable Tower Industry Family Support Charitable Foundation.
Rivada Networks receives patent to enable public-safety preemption on commercial wireless networks
Rivada Networks receives a patent for its approach to enable public-safety preemption on commercial wireless networks, even when the networks are so congested that communications efforts normally would remain in queue.
Public-safety communications vendors prepare for Urban Shield exercise
As first responders from throughout the United States—and some from international jurisdictions—prepare to participate in the Urban Shield exercises in the San Francisco Bay Area this weekend, officials for three vendors anticipate learning more about their solutions’ market readiness through their performance in the annual event.
FirstNet gets five new board members: Dowd, Fitzgerald not reappointed
Public-safety board members Charles Dowd and Paul Fitzgerald are not reappointed to the FirstNet board, as U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker appoints five new members to serve on the body.
FirstNet should consider application needs while designing network, Mutualink official says
Collaboration vendor Mutualink releases a white paper that encourages FirstNet officials to consider what application functionality should be included in various parts of the network—particularly as they relate to deployable systems—to enhance efficiency of the fixed-infrastructure system.
FirstNet board member Dowd cites support in seeking reappointment
FirstNet board member Charles Dowd says he wants to be reappointed to the FirstNet board and is receiving support from at least four organizations as the time nears for appointments to be announced.
CEVO tool from EWA can help dealers find spectrum for customers
The Enterprise Wireless Alliance (EWA) has developed CEVO (short for “coordination evolution”), free mobile application that lets dealers and others in the industry have a snapshot of available frequencies in the four most important bands on their smartphones.

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