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Public Safety smartphones

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When do we get LTE smartphones for public safety? Well, one could say that we already have LTE smartphones for public safety. Both ruggedized devices designed for public safety users as well as commercial off-the-shelf running group communication applications. However currently available devices do not yet support new 3GPP Release 12 and 13 features specified for public safety.

Requirements for public safety handsets vary depending on use cases. Certain first responders like firefighters need tough devices resistant to shocks, heat, water, smoke, dust and so on. Electric devices have to support use even in explosive environment [ATEX]. Furthermore it must be possible to operate devices in noisy environment wearing protective uniform and gloves. The user interface should support group communication with push-to-talk button. Additional safety features are important like emergency button as well as support for man-down detection and alarm.

On the other hand many users can also work with…

Public Safety prioritization

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LTE QoS and prioritization for mission critical communication Public safety (PS) users have the most stringent requirements for network & service accessibility and service quality. Various mechanisms can be used to fulfill these requirements in different network conditions. Those mechanisms must be able to differentiate both users and applications based on certain priorities. 
PS users can have different priority levels, which can also change dynamically. For example paramedic engaged in emergency mission has a higher priority than policemen on a lunch break. LTE networks can be shared serving both PS users and commercial subscriber with same resources (e.g. same carriers), in which case there is also a need to prioritize PS users over regular subscribers.
Key reason for adopting LTE for mission critical communication is of course broadband capability for data applications. At the same time LTE certainly supports also voice calls (both group calls & one-to-one calls). In case…

Spectrum

Spectrum for Public Safety LTE
Legacy PPDR (Public Protection and Disaster Relief) systems have limited mobile data support and therefore authorities globally plan evolution towards next generation public safety (PS) communications with mobile broadband capability. LTE is the choice for the first globally common technology for public safety i.e. current TETRA, Tetrapol and P25 systems will be gradually migrated to LTE [TCCAAPCO]. Although few countries have already started projects to deploy LTE based mission critical communication systems, it will take quite some time before significant number of governments will invest in new LTE based systems. For example Germany has just been finalizing its nationwide TETRA network in end of 2015 [BOSnet], so it is hard to expect any German federal government budget for a new network deployment in near or mid term.

Legacy PPDR systems have been deployed on dedicated spectrum. For example TETRA is often running on 400 MHz frequency range. Public…