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Key Takeaways from IWCE - Part 1

MCP subject-matter experts blanketed the recently held International Wireless Communications Expositions (IWCE). The following are some of their most important observations.

The Scariest Cybersecurity Trends Impacting the Public Sector

A recent article examined two of the scariest cybersecurity trends currently impacting public-sector organizations and their networks and systems.

One concern is the fact that public-sector organizations only recently have started to understand the severity of the cybersecurity problem.

Remembering Mike Milas, the Epitome of the Consummate Professional

When someone dies suddenly, as our Mike Milas did last week, there usually is a rush to say nice things about the person, even if it’s not entirely warranted. It’s just our nature. But that wasn’t the case with Mike. Saying nice things about him is incredibly easy and entirely true.

How to Mitigate LMR Tower Site Challenges to Select the Optimal Location

A previous blog identified some of the most significant challenges that public-safety organizations face when trying to select a tower site that will deliver the largest signal coverage footprint.

LMR System Tower Site Selection is Fraught with Challenges

In theory, selecting where to place land mobile radio (LMR) system towers is a straightforward and easy endeavor — simply choose the location that will deliver the largest signal coverage footprint. But in reality, site selection is anything but easy.

A Lot Can Go Wrong With an LMR System Upgrade or Replacement — Part Two

Part one of this blog series identified a series of questions that must be contemplated by any agency that is considering a land mobile radio (LMR) system upgrade or replacement project.

A Lot Can Go Wrong With an LMR System Upgrade or Replacement — Part One

Public safety broadband networks, such as the one being implemented by the First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet), are getting a lot of attention these days.

After Radio System Implementation, There Is Still Much to Do

A radio system implementation is an enormous undertaking that requires months, sometime years, of planning followed by years of deployment. The process starts with development of technical specifications and creation of procurement documents, usually in the form of a request for proposals. Vendor responses then must be scored and evaluated. A vendor must be selected, and a contract negotiated, including performance requirements. The system then must be designed, staged, built, and tested to ensure that it is performing as designed. Finally, the system goes live.

And that’s when the real work begins.

Once the new system is operating, it must be managed and maintained, which requires a considerable time investment and an equally considerable amount of expertise and experience. Mission Critical Partners has developed a checklist of 67 tasks that must be performed to effectively manage and maintain a radio system, with most of these tasks falling to the agency to perform.

9/11 Two Decades Later — Much Done, Much Still to Do

Saturday marks the 20th anniversary of the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center in New York City and the Pentagon, as well as the hijacking of a third commercial airliner that day, United Airlines Flight 93, which crashed in a field near Shanksville, Pennsylvania, after passengers confronted the terrorists. The attacks resulted in 2,977 fatalities and more than 25,000 injuries. It is the deadliest single incident for firefighters and police officers in the U.S., who respectively lost 340 and 72 members that day. It remains the deadliest terrorist attack our history.

MCP Helps Story County Replace Obsolete Public-Safety Radio System

Steady, reliable communications are a necessity for public-safety agencies. From having reliable coverage in an area to always being able to relay important messages and information to emergency responders and/or the citizens they protect, agencies need up-to-date, functional communications systems.

MCP Makes Best-of-Breed Technology Procurements Easy and Painless

Since the firm’s launching 12 years ago, Mission Critical Partners has participated in hundreds of technology procurements. We are proud that our clients trust the support that we provide. The foundation for that trust can be found in two important factors.

Be Wary of Using Commercial Broadband Networks for Public Safety Voice

More than ever, broadband communications networks are essential to the public safety and justice communities. Such networks easily transmit highly bandwidth-intensive files, e.g., video and building floor plans, that would choke a narrowband network. Such files enhance situational awareness for incident commanders and other officials—as well as emergency responders and jail/prison officers—by orders of magnitude, which in turn helps them do their jobs better.

But there’s a flip side to broadband communications networks of which the public safety community needs to take seriously. Such networks typically are owned and operated by commercial entities, and because of this public safety agencies that contract for broadband services typically do not receive the performance guarantees and—even more importantly—the visibility into these networks that they’re used to receiving from the networks that they own and operate, for example, their land mobile radio (LMR) systems.

Consequently, public safety agencies should proceed carefully when they consider whether to contract with any commercial entity for broadband services.