YOU ARE AT:WirelessWireless caters to APCO crowd

Wireless caters to APCO crowd

The Association of Public Safety Communications Professionals is meeting in Minneapolis this week, taking stock of a series of offerings and announcements from vendors – many of which make use of LTE technology.

Alcatel Lucent (ALU) introduced its First Responder Video solution, which uses LTE networks to allow public safety personnel to view and share multiple videos and data feeds simultaneously on mobile devices.

The company said that its product optimizes bandwidth use and integrates multiple video feeds and other operational data into a single stream to be transmitted to situation commanders in order to make efficient use of available LTE networks. Efficiency is particularly important in urban settings where public safety is sharing LTE networks with many other high-bandwidth devices and applications.

AT&T (T) announced that its Smart911 product will be available to 911 dispatch centers across the country, beginning next month. The service allows residents to create secure online profiles at www.smart911.com that are then provided to 911 dispatchers when an emergency call is placed. Users can include information such as a resident’s special needs, medical conditions such as severe allergies or dementia, disabilities and details about their homes or apartments that will help emergency responders. Parents can also upload pictures of their children, which dispatchers can promptly send to police if a child ever goes missing.

The information appears on a 911 operator’s screen during a call and is immediately given to responding law enforcement, firefighters or medical personnel. AT&T says that several dispatch centers have already indicated interest in the product.

Raytheon (RTN) announced that it has developed an application that turns tablets and smartphones into “virtual radios,” allowing public safety personnel to interact without the use of traditional land mobile radios.

The application also allows a commander at a computer to monitor and communicate with a responding unit through the computer or a smartphone, even when he is out of LMR range. It also allows officers within LMR range to use wireless data networks for non-essential conversations, reserving LMR for critical communications.

“Responding officers can now establish direct voice communications with officials and experts who aren’t on the public safety radio system, thereby providing valuable, real-time collaboration,” said TJ Kennedy, director of public safety and security for Raytheon’s Network Centric Systems business.

Meanwhile, NetMotion Wireless announced that a new customer, the Washington State Patrol, would replace a decades-old in-house mobile communications network with a mobile office platform using the company’s Mobility XE mobile virtual private network. The company claims has more than 300,000 state and local government users in all 50 states, and says that nearly 70% of all U.S. state troopers use its Mobility XE mobile virtual private network to maintain and secure data connections while moving in and out of coverage areas and roaming between networks.

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