When anything significant takes place in the wireless industry that will affect the Public Safety community, Andrew Seybold can be counted on to take a hard look at it and then provide readers with straight answers about the promise, the reality, and the hype. He is Public Safety's Advocate before the FCC and the commercial wireless industry.
Deeply involved in the Public Safety community, he brings to his advocacy experiences gained over 40 years as a first responder, commercial vendor, consultant, writer, and educator as well as a grounding in the emerging world of wireless broadband communications.
When the noise level reaches a fever pitch, look to Andrew Seybold to provide a voice of reason that clarifies complex issues and provides invaluable insight that can be acted upon.
As I see it, no meaningful private discussions means no partners. No partners means no more money for the network. No more money for the network means at some point FirstNet will not be able to continue to function, which means Public Safety will have lost the most important opportunity it will ever have to fix its interoperability problems. more
The majority of the Public Safety community still believes today that this new network is about data and video and not about voice, at least for the foreseeable future. more
Now it seems Voice over LTE hype is back in full swing. At the recent APCO event, apparently the word was that the 3GPP will add mission-critical voice to the standards by 2018, so 2018 is when it will be available for FirstNet. more
The Public Safety community wants to be more than simply customers on the FirstNet system. They want to be good partners as well. But in order to prepare for FirstNet they need some guidance and they need it soon. Many opportunities to ensure that new Public Safety LMR systems are “FirstNet-ready” will be lost unless this type of information is created and then disseminated in a timely fashion. more
The power co-ops would like wireless network access for their smart grid work, for smart meters, and of course, to sell fixed and/or mobile services to their rural customers. These power companies have feet on the street, trucks that service their rural customers, high-tension and other poles that could be used for cell sites, and right of ways that could be used for fiber backhaul or for microwave links. Rural operators want to provide LTE to their customers to be able to offer more of the latest and greatest wireless devices and nationwide roaming. more
I would like to see everyone back off and wait until several things happen. First, let’s get the network in place for data and video services. Let’s see how much capacity is really needed by Public Safety, especially during incidents. more
FirstNet will be the best thing that has happened to Public Safety in years, but it will require some changes in how law enforcement, fire, EMS, and other agencies work together and coordinate at incidents. Don’t wait for FirstNet to come to your area, get a jump on it now and be ready when it is. more
The NPSBN is the most ambitious nationwide network ever undertaken in the United States and it is different from the public commercial networks in many aspects. First and foremost, it must provide the capabilities needed by the Public Safety community, and it must be more reliable. more
This morning, the National Public Safety Telecommunications Council (NPSTC) published a document intended for distribution to any and all elected federal, state, and local elected officials. This document states clearly and in plain language why Public Safety Land Mobile Radio (LMR) voice systems MUST be maintained even though FirstNet is building out a new Nationwide Public Safety Broadband Network (NPSBN). more
My advice for the technologists is to continue the good work they are doing but to tone down their technology assessments and predictions with the reality of the time involved and all of the processes and issues that must be addressed and solved, assuming they can be solved. Until then, the Nationwide Public Safety Broadband Network will remain about data and video, while today’s Land Mobile Radio networks are about mission-critical voice. Both networks will be needed for a very long time to come. more