MCP Insights

Be Wary of Using Commercial Broadband Networks for Public Safety Voice

Posted on January 8, 2021 by Scott Neal

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.

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Public Safety Needs to Make Itself Heard Regarding the FCC’s 6-GHz Order

Posted on July 22, 2020 by Glenn Bischoff

In April, the Federal Communications Commission issued an order that enables unlicensed devices to share 1200 megahertz (MHz) of spectrum in the 6 gigahertz (GHz) band, to meet the growing demands for wireless broadband services.

The FCC cited in its order a Cisco report that projects mobile data traffic will more than double between 2017 and 2022. It also cited an Ericsson report that predicts the average amount of data per month used by a smartphone will increase from 7 gigabytes (GB) in 2018 to 39 GB by 2024. A large portion of this mobile data traffic is expected to be delivered on an unlicensed basis utilizing Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and similar protocols. 

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Life at MCP: Meet Mark Athearn

Posted on May 14, 2020 by Glenn Bischoff

One never knows when the proverbial light bulb is going to turn on. For Mark Athearn, who recently was promoted to consulting lead within MCP’s wireless communications services market segment team, it happened when he was in the U.S. Navy, when he was on his hands and knees scrubbing the flight deck of an aircraft carrier.

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The Case for Private Long-Term Evolution Networks for Power Utilities

Posted on April 23, 2020 by Scott Neal

Next month, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is expected to vote on reconfiguring the 900 MHz band for the deployment of broadband services and technologies. This is an important issue that Mission Critical Partners (MCP) has been tracking for some time, and we are encouraged to see a conclusion on the horizon. 

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The Role of LTE in the Utilities Sector

Posted on February 21, 2020 by Darek Wieczorek

Southern Company is one of the largest investor-owned utilities in the United States, covering a large portion of the southeast. The company is known for being an early adopter of telecommunications technologies. Its subsidiaries include Southern Telecom and Southern Linc, companies dedicated to serving the telecommunications needs of power subsidiaries and charged with reselling any surplus capacity to outside entities. The Southern-owned, multistate, Motorola Integrated Digital Enhanced Network (iDEN) primarily was used by energy companies, but also by other commercial enterprises and even by some public safety entities.

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