Here’s a look at the most popular stories on IWCE ’s Urgent Communications from last week.

  1.  “Wireless backhaul can help support the next generation of public-safety technology ” – Christina Richards, vice president of AOptix, shares some insight on the next-generation 911 system expansion and how its rapid growth requires adequate bandwidth support for data collection and analysis. Many public-safety emergency-response systems lack the capacity and functionality to support all the various data – texts, photos and videos – that will come through once NG911 is implemented across the country, Richards states. “While the integration of NG911 systems remains in its early stages, the technology requires the high-speed transmission of large quantities of data. One high-bandwidth option is to install new fiber-optic cable connecting the emergency dispatchers to each other and to public-safety cell sites. However, because of physical, budgetary or logistical limitations, fiber may not be a viable solution. This is driving greater consideration for high-bandwidth, wireless solutions that can be deployed quickly and at a lower cost to taxpayers,” she writes.
  2. Harris showcases CorvusEye system that provides wide-area imagery from manned aircraft” – ​ During the recent International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) show, Harris showcased its CovusEye technology, which displays full-resolution video or infrared imagery covering wide area from a manned aircraft. The technology offers a big-picture view of an event or a critical-infrastructure site, according to Mike Hayes, director of product development at Harris. “In one single system, we can see over a 3-kilometer diameter area—kind of a city-sized area or a football stadium—to monitor a large event. In the past, you’d need multiple camera systems to see different areas that you’re interested in.”
  3. “Swenson named CEO of Novatel Wireless, will continue as FirstNet chairwoman” – Novatel Wireless – an Internet of Things (IoT) solutions provider known for inventing MiFi mobile-hotspot technology – recently named Sue Swenson as its new CEO. Swenson will continue to chair Novatel’s board of directors. Despite the new commitment to the company, Swenson will still serve as chairwoman for FirstNet, according to a FirstNet spokesman. “I am very excited for the opportunity to guide Novatel Wireless as we emerge from a period of transition and focus our sights on global IoT opportunities and driving shareholder value,” Swenson said in a prepared statement.
  4.   Motorola Solutions unveils end-to-end body-worn camera solution for public safety” – Motorola announced its solution for body-worn cameras that features a combined camera/radio speaker microphone in a single device and a video management, data storage system on Microsoft’s Azure Government cloud platform. The system is part of the Smart Interface (Si) series of devices, said Ron Toth, Motorola Solutions’ global product manager for the Si series device and a member of the shared-technology planning and operations team. “Agencies told us over and over again that they really like the idea of having all of these different functionalities in a single device,” Toth said. “So, it makes the device easier for the officer to use and manage—it’s less for them to worry about. Consolidating audio and video into a single device really makes it a lot more simple solution for the officer.” 
  5. “FirstNet’s latest legal interpretations make opt-out alternative less appealing to states, territories” IWCE’s Urgent Communications Editor Donny Jackson discusses how a recent release of FirstNet’s legal interpretations has created a cloud of doubt over the practicality of the “opt-out” option for states. The political risks and financial burden of the opt-out alternative could be undesirable to the governors who have to make the final decisions for states and territories, Jackson writes. “Many state officials initially found the opt-out alternative appealing, because they perceived that it would give the state and territory greater control over the public-safety broadband network in the jurisdiction. However, if an opt-out state has to adhere to FirstNet’s network policies, that level of control has been called into question.”