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Brian Cain

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Brian Cain is a sergeant with the Holly Springs (Ga.) Police Department, and is known as the "Millennial cop" on Twitter. He has been in law enforcement since 2000. He hosts and produces a podcast for Millennials in law enforcement.

Michael Bostic

Michael Bostic

Mike Bostic, of Raytheon Corp.'s Civil Communication Solutions group, specializes in open architecture, systems integration of communications and data programs. Mike spent 34 years with the LAPD. He managed IT and facility development, as well as the SWAT Board of Inquiry, which developed new command-and-control systems.

LTE Expands Communications For LE

The "next-gen" cellular technology brings with it the promise of true interoperability for public safety.

July 14, 2010  |  by Michael Bostic - Also by this author

For field officers, your future communications, data and video possibilities are truly endless. It could be said that the pace and growth of technology and its capabilities are only limited by the imaginations of engineers.

Lets review the merging and emerging capabilities of Third Generation (3G), Fourth Generation (4G), and Long Term Evolution (LTE). The future is now.

As LTE begins to be deployed in 2011, according to industry leaders, patrol officers will have access to data and video in vehicles and on hand-held devices. As I have mentioned in previous blogs, the convergence of cellular applications and devices with current antiquated police radio systems has begun. In the military, cellular devices are being deployed to replace traditional handheld radio devices as we know them.

Many tech-savvy younger officers already know the innovations will arrive for the network and as applications on an open network. As the cellular industry has begun to offer much faster 4G pipes for broadband applications, running multiple applications is now routine. With the advent of LTE, that speed and an even larger pipe will make current technology look like the leap from dial-up internet to fiber. The revolution could be remarkable for policing.

LTE will be like a super highway of what is called "data packets." This phrase can refer to voice, data or video. With these much larger pipes, the data packets can be controlled on the super highway in ways that give much faster speeds and significantly larger amounts of data packets. This is a simplified explanation of a significant leap of technical capability.

As police become less focused on simple voice, radio-based operations and see the capabilities of this information super highway, LTE provides the first true capability for interoperable communications nationwide for all emergency services at any level of government. It will be just like the cellular systems of today. As you roam from city to city, your device will have an IP address that is unique, and the system will simply identify it and allow you onto the network with authorization.

We have waited for a decade for the FCC to give public safety a designated space in the 700 MHz band, which is likely to happen very soon. LTE will be the best use of that space to fulfill the dream of devices that stream video, post data and carry highly reliable radio voice transmissions on the same device.

I am excited to be in this space and part of its development. I will blog more as this evolution begins to take place.

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