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Report supports shared commercial, public-safety network

As the contentious issue of how to construct a nationwide public-safety network continues, a report released yesterday by Roberson & Associates L.L.C. claims that there are no technological issues that would prevent such a network to be shared with public access.
The report, which was funded by nationwide wireless operators Sprint Nextel Corp. (S) and T-Mobile USA Inc. (DTEGY), found that concerns over combining the 10 megahertz of spectrum set aside for public safety int eh 700 MHz band with the 10 megahertz of D-Block spectrum that the Federal Communications Commission has yet to find a home for and being operated as a shared network with commercial users are unfounded.
“Today we are announcing a comprehensive technical study that refutes the myth that commercial broadband wireless networks can’t provide enhanced coverage and overflow capacity to a dedicated nationwide public safety data network,” said Dennis Roberson, President and CEO of Roberson & Associates.
The firm noted that technical specifications embedded in the LTE technology standard, which was recently singled out as the technology of choice for the nationwide public-safety network, will allow for priority access when required by public-safety officials.
“LTE provides public safety users with: 1) guaranteed, automatic access to either dedicated public safety or shared commercial networks; 2) the ability to establish a connection on a busy network; 3) room for priority public safety information transfer on a busy network; and 4) control over their traffic,” Roberson noted. “In order to realize the significant cost and operational benefits that accrue to public safety with commercial network sharing, the public safety radios should be able to use the same electronics available to all other LTE devices.”
The FCC had previously attempted to auction off the D-Block spectrum hoping to get a commercial operator to then partner with the public safety community on building out a nationwide network with first-responders having priority access during emergencies. The license received just a single bid that was well below the minimum set aside by the FCC.


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