The Mission-Critical Resource Center

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What's the Future of Land Mobile Radio in a FirstNet World?

In Summary:

  • Many public safety agencies have pondered whether the Nationwide Public Safety Broadband Network (NPSBN), being implemented by the First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet) will someday replace the land mobile radio systems that have traditionally provided mission-critical voice services.

  • Agencies should continue to invest in their LMR systems, even to the point of replacing them if necessary.

  • Government agencies should continue to track the progress of FirstNet, for the day will eventually come when the NPSBN has developed to the point that it is a viable alternative for LMR.


Many public safety communications officials are wondering if they should replace their land mobile radio (LMR) system now that FirstNet has become a reality. This whitepaper makes the case for why agencies shouldn’t abandon their plans to replace their LMR system.

Now that the public safety sector is contemplating the implementation of an IP-based network known as the Nationwide Public Safety Broadband Network (NPSBN). Although this network was intended from the beginning to ramp up the public safety’s data capabilities in the field, a question was raised whether the NPSBN someday will replace the land mobile radio (LMR) systems that traditionally have provided mission-critical voice service.

The NPSBN eventually could one day satisfy all of public safety’s voice and data needs—the big question is when. Many public safety agencies have legacy LMR systems that are approaching end of life today, raising the question if they should burn up already limited financial resources on an LMR system that could obsolete in a few years. MCP recommends that public safety agencies not abandon the replacement of the LMR system for several reasons:

  • Talkaround still will be an issue.
  • System hardening still will be an issue.
  • Coverage and capacity concerns will note go away, and public safety agencies need to have complete visibility into their LMR systems regarding capacity requirements and how they are achieved.
  • User fees are expected to be much higher than today’s LMR systems.
  • Download this whitepaper on land mobile radio replacement to learn more

Download this whitepaper to read more about if, and why, agencies should not abandon an LMR replacement project in the foreseeable future.

On-Demand Webinar: Radio Interoperability and the Role of FirstNet

This on-demand webinar explores the concept of radio interoperability, which is an essential and fundamental component of effective first responder communications. Topics of discussion include interoperability tools and methods, technologies available on the market today, as well as what agencies should should consider when improving interoperability. Also discussed is how interoperability doesn't stop with technology, and the role that operations, training and planning plays in achieving true interoperability.

In this webinar we discuss:

  • Why the industry isn't there yet from an interoperability standpoint
  • What has been done to date
  • Roadblocks to interoperability
  • The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Interoperability Continuum
  • The role of FirstNet

911 Operations: How Next Generation 911 and FirstNet Will Impact PSAPs

In Summary:

  • Together, Next Generation 911 and the Nationwide Public Safety Broadband Network will enhance the role of PSAPs exponentially.

  • While exciting, this also creates uncertainty as these new networks collectively will unlease a torrent of information and data that must be processed.

  • PSAPs will need to undergo profound operational and policy changes.


The NPSBN and NG911 will generate new forms of data communications that will enable telecommunicators to make better-informed decisions when dispatching first responders. This whitepaper discusses the profound operational changes that 911 centers will need to make in order to take advantage of the new capabilities.
 
Because the Nationwide Public Safety Broadband Network (NPSBN) and Next Generation 911 (NG911) are both Internet Protocol-based, broadband-enabled platforms, they will generate new forms of data communications that will flow into PSAPs and improve situational awareness dramatically. However, telecommunicator jobs are already stressful. These stresses will rise quickly if PSAPs are not well-positioned to handle the enormous amounts of data that will be available in the future. Instead, PSAPs need to make a number of major operational changes. This whitepaper discusses those operational changes, which include:
  • Data-analytics systems
  • Data storage
  • Modern, state-of-the-art communications systems
  • Bolstered telecommunicator support programs
  • Enhanced workplace training