Three companies—ESChat, Tait Communications and Avtec—conduct a joint demonstration at IWCE 2016 highlighting the ability to leverage P25 gateway standards to enable full-featured communications between traditional P25 radio systems and an LTE-based push-to-talk (PTT) solution.
Functionalities associated with the new mission-critical push-to-talk (MCPTT) standard for LTE are designed to meet or exceed the capabilities and performance benchmarks for existing land-mobile-radio (LMR) systems, but real-world testing is needed to determine whether MCPTT can overcome some physics limitations that will allow it to meet the needs of first responders, officials said during an IWCE 2016 session on the subject.
Mission-critical push-to-talk (MCPTT) functionality is now part of the LTE standard in Release 13, which was “frozen” by the 3GPP standards body last week in Sweden. As a result, MCPTT-capable equipment should be available for FirstNet when Release 13 is scheduled to be implemented as early as 2018.
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.
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.
When is FirstNet going to be built and provide the kind of reliable broadband services that the public-safety community has been seeking for the past decade? Here’s one projection, based on FirstNet’s RFP, current law and target deadlines for the key LTE standards body.
FirstNet has filled key roles for leading the cybersecurity strategy and monitoring the development of standards public-safety LTE standards, and the organization continues to seek technical personnel as it prepares a final request for proposal (RFP) that is scheduled to be released by the end of this year.
FirstNet offers commercial-carrier partners a significant opportunity in rural America, but public safety’s needs in urban and suburban locations could be so great that there may not be much capacity left for commercial use on a secondary basis, according to a top official for the Competitive Carriers Association (CCA).
A standard to deliver LTE mission-critical push-to-talk (MCPTT) capability that includes greater functionality than today’s land-mobile-radio (LMR) systems should be completed by the fall of 2016 at the latest, according to a U.S. official participating in the public-safety LTE standards effort.