Broadband will enable advanced devices and applications that will generate a blizzard of useful information for first responders. The potential flip side is that next-generation technology will create so much information that 911 telecommunicators will be buried under an avalanche.
To say that broadband, particularly 700 MHz broadband, has been a hot topic here at the Association of Public-Safety Communications Officials (APCO) conference would be an understatement. Not only have there been several sessions on the subject, but all of them have been well attended, including a couple that left more than 40 people standing because all seats in the room were taken.
Months of rumors came true last week as Sprint Nextel and Ericsson announced a groundbreaking deal to outsource Sprint’s network operations to Ericsson. The seven-year deal is valued at up to $5 billion and involves 6,000 Sprint employees moving to Ericsson in the third quarter.
There is an interesting situation that is brewing when it comes to Long Term Evolution (LTE) technology, and I’m surprised to find people already talking about it as operators aren’t scheduled to deploy the technology until next year. And that is: How will LTE support SMS and voice, which are the bread and butter of the mobile operator business today? Right now, LTE cannot support either because it is an all-IP technology that doesn’t support the circuit-switched architectures found in today’s mobile networks.