Convergence of LTE(4G) and LMR Continues!

Convergence of LTE(4G) and LMR Continues!

Convergence of mobile phone LTE (4G) and Land Mobile Radio (LMR) networks has been wanted for many years. Current generation mobile phone networks are LTE (Long Term Evolution), the latest generation known as 4G. Data use on consumer LTE mobile phone networks is now prolific. Due to bandwidth limitations of traditional voice-centric LMR networks, emergency service and utility organisations are keen to leverage LTE mobile phone network technology to support their growing data needs. Considering its thriving ecosystem, spectrum flexibility and performance metrics, LTE has emerged as the leading candidate for mobile broadband networks.

LTE (4G)

LMR

Focus:                   Consumer

Focus:                   Public Safety

Lifecycle:             1-2 years

Lifecycle:             7-10 years

Applications:      1000’s

Applications:      1-3

Battery Life:       5-8 hours

Battery Life:       12 hours +

Security:              User dependent

Security:              Hardened

Finance:               OPEX based costs

Finance:               CAPEX based costs

Standards:          3GPP drives LTE

Standards:          Public Safety driven

Positives

Positives

Huge broadband data capability

Maximum coverage / range

Large evolution investments

Mission critical availability

Dynamic app/device ecosystem

PTT voice, group/direct mode

Negatives

Negatives

Consumer / enterprise availability

Minimal data capabilities

Not initially group call/ direct mode

Lower innovation / investment

Fragile devices

Bulkier / heavier devices

Recently both Tait and Motorola announced new converged Mobile Radio / smartphone devices.  These are designed to allow users to get the best of both worlds rather than having to decide which network and device they should use. Here are a couple of extracts from the Tait and Motorola websites.

Tait 

Sonim Tait

Sonim Technologies, maker of the world’s toughest mobile phones and Tait Communications, a leading supplier of critical land mobile radio (LMR) communications systems, have partnered to deliver highly efficient solutions for customers who want to provide some employees with seamless mobile radio interoperability on rugged cellphones.

Sonim’s unique ultra-rugged Android smartphones provide a platform for UnifyVoice, Tait’s push-to-talk over cellular (PTToC) solution. Sonim’s XP6 and XP7 devices, with dedicated Push-To-Talk and emergency buttons, deliver a rugged mobile radio-centric user interface appropriate to the mission-critical sectors Tait serves.

Sonim’s ultra-rugged smartphone platform running Tait UnifyVoice software allows public safety agencies and industrial enterprises to cost-effectively extend their LMR networks to include non-radio users, freeing up critical radio capacity. Sonim’s smartphones provide users with a familiar, easy-to-use experience with its built-in dedicated push-to-talk button, emergency key, long battery life, extra-loud audio and overall ruggedness. Read in full here….

Motorola

Motorola LEX L10

The LEX L10 Mission Critical Handheld redefines the broadband experience for officers in the field. Created specifically for the demands of public safety, this device ensures optimal coverage on both the Verizon 3G/4G Commercial and Public Safety LTE networks.

The LEX L10 leverages the core mission critical features of Motorola APX radios. It combines loud and clear audio, exceptional durability and excellent security.

With an intuitive user interface and a suite of public safety applications on a sleek and rugged smartphone form factor, officers can create more opportunities to quickly collaborate and share information across agencies in daily or covert operations.

The LEX L10 is also equipped with Google Mobility Services (GMS), offering the best of Google and Android to responders, via the Google Play store. Read in full here….

 

There has also been a couple of other announcements recently both locally, here in New Zealand, and Globally that influence this continuing convergence. At the end of last year the Government included ESN (Emergency Services Network) Connectivity Uplift as part of the  all of government TaaS (Telecommunications as a service). And with the approval earlier this year of the MCPTT (Mission Critical Push to Talk) voice standard as part of 3GPP Release 13, LTE has become an attractive substitute for providing LMR-like voice services.  As this has only just been approved it will take some time to be included in cellular LTE networks, possibly in some 5G networks and when this will be in New Zealand and across what geographic areas is yet to be confirmed.

One thing for sure is that the use of LTE and LMR will continue to converge so deciding which is best for your business is an ongoing challenge. TeleConsultants has knowledge and experience of both sides of this debate and is keen to share this with our clients.

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