Tessco Wireless Journal April May 2015 Page 3 TESSCO Wireless Journal April-May 2015

See TESSCO's entire product offering and your pricing on www.tessco.com or call TESSCO at 800.472.7373. 3 April/May 2015 LMR to LTE: A Crucial Advancement in Public Safety Communications Submitted by TESSCO Technologies In the age of 4G LTE, it's easy to take for granted the ability to share whatever, whenever, with whomever. It may come as a surprise, then, that the nation's emergency first responders are still communicating almost solely via Land Mobile Radio (LMR). LMR is used for most public safety two-way voice communication in the U.S. However, LMR in public safety may soon be replaced by LTE-and the telecommunications industry stands to gain from the switch. FirstNet and the Government's Call for Broadband In 2012, Congress passed the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act. The act created the "The First Responder Network Authority" or "FirstNet," an independent authority in the U.S. Department of Commerce's National Telecommunications and Information Administration. FirstNet currently holds a single public safety wireless license, which gives them the ability to reallocate a portion of the government's available broadband spectrum for use by emergency first responders. This means that firefighters, EMTs and military personnel in the U.S. will all be given access to a nationwide LTE network explicitly for the facilitation of mission-critical communications on the job. Transitioning mission critical voice communications from LMR to a nationwide LTE network for first responders will constitute a huge leap forward in productiv- ity, effectiveness and officer safety, according to John Santo of MissionReach Consulting. The transition would include benefits both from a conversion to a newer technology, LTE, as well as from a network, which both allow for more interoperable communication between public safety entities and departments. With the new network in place, emergency personnel will be able to share not only mission-critical voice communications, but also multimedia messages, including video and text. In addition to their versatility, LTE signals are stronger and more agile than LMR. Imagine firefighters being able to instantly ping one another at the first sign of a collapsing roof, or a helicopter being able to send aerial views of an avalanche to a park ranger on the ground. "LTE may be the largest advancement in public safety history," says Jim Paterson, Vice President, Public and Federal Solutions at Oceus Networks . Industry Challenges and Opportunities Of course, FirstNet cannot carry out its duties alone. The government authority is currently partnering with several key players in education, consulting, spectrum management and product development to ensure that technological advance- ments in telecommunications fall into step with FirstNet's plans. It is truly a time for private businesses in telecom- munications to make a difference. Oceus Networks and CalAmp, two of the presenters at TESSCO One, are working alongside FirstNet to develop and launch communication devices for emergency vehicles and incident command posts, as well as network ecosystem solutions and device management platforms to streamline oversight at local, state and national levels. Manufacturing and development are not the only areas in telecommunications that stand to gain from the new public safety network. There are many intrigu- ing challenges facing the telecommunications industry in the years to come, and those challenges will need an expert strategic response. Chief among the con- cerns facing carriers and federal telecomm agencies is the fact that the LMR and LTE ecosystems will have to coexist simultaneously, as LTE is phased in over the next ten or more years. How can the agencies replace LMR with LTE without dis- rupting mission-critical voice operations in the field? How will carriers, agencies and manufacturers use the switch to generate ROI? And, on the other side of the coin, how will they avoid issues with obsolescence and compatibility? TESSCO has championed innovations in first responder communications and networking for years, and is uniquely positioned to contribute to this historical turning point in the industry. For more information, visit www.tessco.com and www.firstnet.gov. " With the new network in place, emergency personnel will be able to share not only mission-critical voice communications, but also multimedia messages, including video and text.'' A recent panel discussing changes within the LMR to LTE network featured at this year's TESSCO One Innovation Showcase, held in early February. To view the discussion in its entirety, visit www.tessco-one.com.

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