Parallel Wireless and its’ ecosystem partners installed a FirstNet compatible Band 14 public safety LTE demonstration network covering Central Park for the 2016 TCS New York Marathon was took place on 6 November.
It is not the first occasion the company has provided a B14 public safety LTE network, as it has already done so at the Super Bowl 50, the Lollapalooza concert, RNC and at other events. FirstNet is the First Responder Network Authority responsible for implementing a public safety broadband LTE network across the USA.
New capabilities demonstrated at the NYC Marathon included the use of Parallel Wireless converged wireless system (CWS) nodes, configured and optimised by a Parallel Wireless HetNet Gateway, which made the network easy to install and easy to optimise.
In addition, the end users (safety officials at the race officials) were able to communicate by voice, send data and monitor video on ruggedised Sonim devices. These new capabilities enabled officials to monitor real-time video surveillance cameras from handheld devices Band 14 Sonim smartphones.
They were also able to see security cameras when moving around the finish line, whereas normally monitoring is only possible at the ‘tent locations’ on monitors, but not for security teams on the streets.
Most importantly, at the Marathon, Parallel Wireless wanted to conduct a test of video upload and download so the effect on the network of live video can be measured. The result will be detailed data on network performance that can be shared with FirstNet's research arm, the PSCR.
Parallel Wireless’ aim was to determine the maximum video stream load through tuning the cameras' codec parameters and camera count to understand throughput with Band 14's 10 MHz upload channel to use this findings in building the national public safety network.
The company reported that the network was able to support 1Mb per each video upstream available to maintain QoS.
One of the other exercise's objectives during the marathon was to test the Band 14 network amid an urban scene clogged with RF signals that might cause interference. This is where Parallel Wireless HetNet Gateway played an important role in mitigating interface and prioritising video traffic.
This was also the first example of enabling Internet of Things IoT for public safety with connecting not only end user devices, but also a network of surveillance cameras in an interoperable Band 14 network.
The Marathon is an annual event that courses though the five boroughs of New York City. The finish line is near Columbus Circle in the southwest corner of Central Park. Wireless network coverage focuses on the twenty block area north of Columbus Circle and then east a few blocks into the Park along the runners' route, which is where the surveillance cameras are concentrated.
The company noted that it was able to implement the network thanks to a license grant from the FCC, on-going support from FirstNet, and help from its ecosystem partners, all of whom made the exercise possible. The line-up of partners included:
• DC Rentals provides Marathon operations with hundreds of LMR radios and manages the camera network.
• Sonim, provider of tough Android based dual mode handsets.
• Sierra Wireless, provider of flexible routers to deliver critical connectivity and enablement of remote control to field cameras.
• The New York Ethical Society and its Fieldstone School on Central Park which accommodated Parallel’s mount of antennas and network gear on their roof.
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