The market signals from various countries indicate a global trend to start public safety LTE (PS LTE) services together with commercial operators. The benefits are quite obvious i.e. commercial LTE coverage is already widely deployed and PS LTE total cost is reduced when radio access is shared with commercial use. Additionally mobile operators have good spectrum assets. Operators have commonly 50 - 60 MHz FDD spectrum, which makes it quite easy to guarantee adequate capacity for future mission critical broadband services.
Mobile operators dimension and design networks for typical need and not necessarily to extreme load such as mass events. So, regardless of available spectrum, commercial mobile networks can get highly loaded or even overloaded. Still in all conditions public safety users must get reliable service access and good quality services. There are various technologies for prioritization like discussed earlier here.
You may now ask, what is the news. Well, operators are getting interested in public safety services and they need to enhance their networks for priority services. This time the news comes from Finland. Elisa, one of the mobile operators in Finland, has been testing LTE prioritization technologies and demonstrated them to some public order and security authorities. Read the whole press release here.
This is a great step. Let's see, if mobile operators in all countries take similar steps and start learning how to develop LTE networks for critical communication services. There is certainly a business opportunity to serve first responders and potentially much larger opportunity with industries demanding business critical services.