Getting with the Times

Modernizing public safety communications

     Funding an interoperable public safety network is not easy, but it's also not insurmountable. And there's no reason any one entity need to should bear the cost alone. Given the wide geographic swath that network build-outs cut, it makes sense to also call upon the agencies who share the network to help fund it.

     Bob Galvin is a Portland, Oregon, freelance writer who writes about topics on interoperability as well as on law enforcement technology and software advancements. He can be reached at

Interoperability solutions

     Achieving interoperable communications for a specific locale or region can take one of many forms. The following lists a few suggested vendors to consider for your department's network needs.

     Bada Networks. This company offers a scalable real-time IP video processing and collaboration platform that enables customers and partners to seamlessly integrate desktop and videoconferencing, large-scale collaborative video surveillance, and various applications that use multiple streams of real-time video.

     Motorola Inc. This company can build a scalable, IP-based voice communications network with one of four configurations: G1- for daily operations with neighbors/partnerships, small-scale emergency response; G4 - for a robust network at in incident; GX - for emergencies impacting responders from a large geographic area.

     Alcatel-Lucent. This company takes advantage of the CDMA (Code Division Multiple Access), UMTS (Universal Mobile Telecommunications Service) and WiMAX modes with its Mobile Microwave Backhaul Network. Based on an IP platform, this solution aggregates any kind of incoming traffic, including 2G, 3G and WiMAX over a single Ethernet layer to bolster bandwidth during wireless transport.

     Clearwire. This company builds WiMAX wireless broadband networks for public safety applications. These applications include voice, data and video streaming capabilities that can accommodate high traffic volumes across broad geographic ranges, and using low bandwidth.

     Cisco Systems Inc. and IBM. Provides a modular offering for safety and security planning, operations and incident management. Through its "command, control and collaboration" solution, IBM and Cisco have created three core modules: (1) Unified communications - integrating voice, video, and data for applications such as Web conferencing; (2) Network digital video surveillance to give virtual real-time video and video analysis that can increase public safety; and (3) Virtual Agility's VOC - a portal that links all public safety agencies and teams required for managing an emergency over a network.

     RoamAD. The company presents a wireless networking platform for the creation of multi-use converged wireless networks operating in the 900-MHz, 2.4-GHz, 4.9-GHz and 5-GHs bands. The RoamAD networks support fixed and mobile broadband applications such as: VOiP; surveillance cameras/CCTV; remote, real-time access to police/corporate networks; e-mail and Internet access.

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