Test Results of Using Mobile Hybrid Broadband Networks in Public Safety


The current discussion concerning broadband access to public safety mobile units has been active and ongoing for years. The primary reason for discussion regarding this issue is the fact that current dedicated digital authority networks cannot provide the data capacity required for modern applications. However, capacity limitation seems to be the last point that discussion participants can agree on. The question of how to bring the broadband to these vehicles has multiple opposing viewpoints and conflicts of opinion.

Anecdotal evidence and personal opinions are especially misleading in this area without accurate data regarding mobile broadband data coverage. Typically individual opinions have been influenced by personal experiences and are further confused by operators marketing messages. The discussion around the need for dedicated broadband networks is manufactured to some degree by the equipment providers themselves. Opinions that are not backed up by real data and test based findings should not form the basis of decisions made in this area.

Tests conducted in various locations across the US and Europe prove two crucial points. The first is that no city can provide sufficient broadband availability for public safety vehicles over a single network. The second is that even the most remote areas can provide availability that is acceptable for public safety mobile broadband. It is worth noting that similar tests are always needed in a new region in order to form valid conclusions. Of the tens of tests conducted by Goodmill Systems so far, all have yielded very similar results regardless of location.

A full report of the pilots can be downloaded here.

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