Motorola Solutions launches broadband PTT service in Australia targeting government users
Motorola Solutions this week announced WAVE PTX Government, an over-the-top (OTT) broadband push-to-talk (PTT) offering in Australia for non-public-safety government personnel that is designed to enable interoperability with first-responder LMR systems in the country, according to company officials.
Greg Bouwmeester, general manager of solutions for Motorola Solutions Australia, said the WAVE PTX Government service is expected to augment communications provided by public-safety P25 LMR systems in the country—most of which have been built by Motorola Solutions.
“We’re seeing two things: the opportunity to access volunteers that normally wouldn’t carry radios that get involved in things like bush fires and all of the rest of it, and also the ability to add the multimedia capabilities that come with the 3GPP standards for mission-critical data and—going forward—push-to-video and all of those other sorts of things that you can’t do on a narrowband radio system,” Bouwmeester said during an interview with IWCE’s Urgent Communications.
“The principle focus is to augment the radio networks with data, not to replace the radio networks.”
WAVE PTX Government is built on the Motorola Solutions Kodiak PTT platform and includes features from its WAVE PTT technology, Bouwmeester said. Although Kodiak PTT offerings in the U.S. are carrier-integrated services, WAVE PTX Government is an OTT solution that is hosted with Microsoft’s Azure Australia Central cloud, he said.
“Because of security concerns, concerns around data sovereignty and those sort of things, what we’ve done is that we’ve spun it [WAVE PTX Government] up in Microsoft Azure Central, which is operated in a data center in Canberra, which is our capital,” Bouwmeester said.
“It has been built and aligned to target government users. The facility that it’s housed in has high levels of security clearance, it’s Australian-owned. All of that is purely to address the concerns of our potential public-safety and government customers around data remaining secure and remaining in country.”
WAVE PTX Government users can have interoperable communications with users on P25 networks via an ISSI gateway or Critical Connect, Motorola Solutions’ virtual interoperable gateway solution that is being launched in Australia with the WAVE PTX Government offering, Bouwmeester said.
“We haven’t made much noise about it, because this is a bit of an evolutionary path, but the intention was, ‘Let’s launch the over-the-top push-to-talk services. Let’s host that in the Azure cloud in Canberra. Let’s add the Critical Connect capability, and then let’s start talking to customers as to whether they connect via ISSI or Critical Connect,’ he said.
“Our vision and goal is to be able to provide that Critical Connect flexibility to the customers.”
No matter which method is used achieved it, such interoperability can open many communications options to those entities that subscribe to WAVE PTX Government, according to Bouwmeester.
“In essence, a potential customer could subscribe to the service with us, bring their own device and choose their own carrier—because it’s over the top, they’re not locked into one carrier or another carrier,” he said. “Having said all of that, they don’t get a priority service, because it is over the top, but it lets them integrate and extend their radio network to users that normally wouldn’t be carrying radio devices.”
And that capability enables some potentially valuable use cases to be realized, Bouwmeester said.
“There are a number of administrative staff that wouldn’t carry a radio within a public-safety agency,” Bouwmeester said. “You could extend the communications capability [to them], without the full need for it to be mission-critical.
“You … can also facilitate interoperability with other agencies—like Surf Life Saving or something—that may want to interoperate occasionally with emergency services but don’t want to go to a full mission-critical solution.”