Motorola Solutions showcased how the mass of voice, data and video information can be integrated into a single unified stream for real-time use by business and mission critical end users at CCW.
Motorola Solutions’ aim is to enable communications centres to better anticipate, forecast and predict, and for actions in the field to become more informed and collaborative. Motorola themed its demonstrations around three key areas: public safety, transportation and the minerals and energy sector.
The demonstrations sought to show how public safety critical responders can collaborate securely and in real-time using mission-critical intelligence to shift from reacting to what has just happened to being ready for what’s next.
The movement of people and cargo is a dynamic, real-time environment demanding quick decision-making from transportation teams in rail operations, airports and sea ports. Motorola’s solution ensures the right person or package arrives at the right location at the right time.
In the minerals and energy showcase, Motorola showed how organisations can protect their assets and reach team members at all times, become better equipped to reach production quotas and maximise extractions, and maintain worker safety.
Paul Steinberg, senior vice president and CTO of Motorola Solutions, outlined some of the thinking behind the integrated solutions on display. He noted that what becomes important is the ability to secure a single operational view, which can then be successfully communicated in real time for a unified response.
He said that Motorola is working with Ericsson to take the most useful features from both TETRA and LTE applications in order to generate the next advances in public safety.
Future mission critical networks
Steinberg said future public safety networks need to be designed for worst case scenarios, the need to provide 100% geographic coverage, and they need a heavy uplink traffic model to enable data and video to be sent to command centres from the field.
He added that mission critical networks need dynamic role/incident prioritisation to enable vital voice or data to be reprioritised to get that information through in real time. The question of subscriber data ownership also needs to be addressed, as the emergency services need to control the information.
Other issues that have to be addressed include: group calling/one-to-many communications – the current LTE standard does have a way of doing this through eMBMS (enhanced multimedia broadcast multicast services); and network resiliency.
Manufacturers looking to introduce mission critical LTE products are having to work ahead of the LTE standard, which does not include key mission critical features available in TETRA.
Steinberg said that Motorola and Ericsson favour an over the top (OTT) approach to enabling mission critical functions on LTE, as opposed to Huawei’s eLTE approach, which ‘embeds’ solutions deeper in the network. Steinberg believes the OTT approach keeps things open and more flexible.
Ericsson is looking after three layers: the LTE RAN (eNodeB base stations etc); the lower LTE core (MME – mobility management entity; and serving gateway); and the upper LTE core (HSS – home subscriber server, PGW – packet data gateway, PS PCRF/QoS broker – public safety specialised policy rules function/quality of service). All of this needs to be able to communicate with the range of mobile devices employed by end users.
Motorola is concentrating its expertise on the two layers above: the first covers interoperability services, including mobile VPN, priority manager/unified services, land mobile radio interworking and potentially IMS (IP multimedia services).
The second comprises the application layer covering regional and national public safety apps including legacy apps, broadband apps, NextGen 911/999 calling, multimedia computer aided dispatch, messaging, video, maps/LBS, RMS and PSTN.
Both Ericsson and Motorola have said that most of the key issues such as push-to-talk over LTE, group calling/one-to-many broadcasting and direct mode have been solved. It remains to be seen how close their solutions will match the 4G standard as it evolves over the next few years.
Steinberg also introduced Motorola’s latest 4G ruggedised handheld device – the LEX 755. The touchscreen device features Motorola workflow applications on top of the main Android operating system.
He described the LEX 755 as a step towards the real-time crime centre of the future where police officers wearing bio-harnesses with sensors, body-worn cameras and augmented reality head displays could be relaying a wide variety of real-time information back to command and control centres.