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Old 05-05-2017, 8:31 AM
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Default FBI Moving to Mostly VoIP Wireless

On Wednesday I attended a conference in Arlington, VA put on by Motorola for federal agencies (I was there to represent NASA) regarding their WAVE gateway for interfacing cellular to LMR. The FBI gave a very interested presentation about how they have moved a good percentage of the agency over to this system and plan to move the entire agency over within the next couple of years. Bad news for us, since a majority of this will not be simulcasted over LMR and instead kept to the cellular side.

The two main arguments for it was covertness (Essentially looking like just any other guy with a smart phone and ear buds) and they complained that many areas their two-way will not work (such as dense buildings and underground subways) and the cellular keeps going.

Very interesting.
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Old 05-05-2017, 8:52 AM
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I'm actually surprised that they haven't been already using such a system all along.I imagine other 3 letter federal agencies will be migrating to something similar within the next 10 years.
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Old 05-05-2017, 5:46 PM
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What if the infrastructure goes down?
How secure is this system?
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Old 05-05-2017, 8:20 PM
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Agent in basement of Kroger I work at would have to find way upstairs to talk... Cellular ain't happenin there....
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Old 05-05-2017, 9:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KC3ECJ View Post
What if the infrastructure goes down?
How secure is this system?
This "Wave" software creates a big problem in that users are reliant on a VoIP infrastructure that is "best effort" rather than dedicated capacity like the VHF and UHF LMR networks that agents traditionally use.

Nobody wants to carry that bulky Motorola radio around when there is an "APP for That". Sadly with FirstNet looming as Pie in the Sky, nobody is investing in high performance LMR. I predict there will be some really bad press as the agencies adopt these smartphone apps and get themselves into trouble.
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Old 05-05-2017, 9:18 PM
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Quote:
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Agent in basement of Kroger I work at would have to find way upstairs to talk... Cellular ain't happenin there....
Does he enter the basement by way of a phone booth/elevator?
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Old 05-05-2017, 9:25 PM
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Unfortunately as IT managers like to outsource radio as they do telecom and network providers, more capacity will be needed for the cellular systems to react in an emergency..

Quake Exposes Post-9/11 Cracks in Cellphone Coverage, Emergency Response | Fox News
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Old 05-05-2017, 9:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KC3ECJ View Post
What if the infrastructure goes down?
What if the infrastructure the current VHF P25 system uses goes down?
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Old 05-05-2017, 10:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nd5y View Post
What if the infrastructure the current VHF P25 system uses goes down?
I would surmise that the APPs will still work. But a single point failure on the P25 system should be designed out before construction.
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Old 05-06-2017, 7:11 AM
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Originally Posted by nd5y View Post
What if the infrastructure the current VHF P25 system uses goes down?
PSTN infrastructure fails more often than dedicated public safety radio systems do.
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Old 05-06-2017, 9:56 AM
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++1
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PSTN infrastructure fails more often than dedicated public safety radio systems do.
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Old 05-06-2017, 4:00 PM
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well in Reno NV they are on there VHF and the State-wide EDACS full time ENC. i know we have a new P25 P2 system in the works that will have the Be/on APP too
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Old 05-06-2017, 5:09 PM
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The Wave and Be/On apps should be restricted to those who drive a desk full time. Problem is that if they are expected to work in a tactical situation, and no broadband (wifi, LTE, 4g) connectivity exists they will fall down. Plus, in a shoot, don't shoot scenario, the bullets will be flying before the message is heard. The vendors are simply reacting to the competition by offering these apps. The customer for the most part is unaware of the potential operational problems that may result.

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Old 05-07-2017, 7:48 AM
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It's the worst decision they could ever make. SIMPLEX WORKS when networked infrastructure fails, or is out of range. There is no simplex on a stupid smartphone! The logical design choice is what they have already incorporated outside of the failed IWIN trunked network. That was never going to work "everywhere". Didn't they learn anything from that? Conventional repeaters with direct simplex capability works. You can occasionally lose a single repeater, or backhaul connectivity to a single transmitter, but overlap in coverage design along with simplex comms will still provide communications capability. Putting all you eggs in one (network) basket (where it all depends on a single control channel being accessible at all times) is a really bad idea. Agents would be put at great risk!

You would hope there were real RADIO people making intelligent decisions about radio systems, and not just some snot-nosed IT weenies with their dumb "apps" who know nothing about how radio really works! I can see that played-out looooser "Paul", who Sprint recycled after Verizon dumped him many years ago, talking into his FBI dumbphone app asking "Can you hear me now?". What a pathetic statement about how far the communications industry has fallen. It's all about the sell, and qualified people need not apply.

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Old 05-07-2017, 9:52 AM
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In addition to all of the good points that have been made on this thread, let's not forget that the law enforcement agency using these apps has zero control over the wireless company's infrastructure if it were to go down. They would be at the beck and call of the techs/repair folks. Whereas they have full control of their LMR system and can actually go to the damaged site and get it running again in a relatively short time. Heck even if the site were to have sustained catastrophic damage, temporary alternate sites can go up in no time.

With all this being said, are we assuming that they are doing away with their LMR system? Just because they're making the app available to the entire agency may not necessarily mean they are shutting off LMR. There are agencies out there right now with said app (or similar) that use it as a secondary means of communication, mostly being used by admin/office staff and possibly even augmenting covert ops.
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Old 05-07-2017, 12:54 PM
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Agents don't carry there radios with all the time. The only times agents I worked with had them was during active surveillance operations, all other times they had no radio but did have there smart phones. During the peak of the Nextel Network in my area more task force and surveillance traffic took place on the Nextels vs LMRs. As long as the apps are used to augment LMRs I see it as a gain, but as a replacement it seems like a major officer safety issue.
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Old 05-07-2017, 1:14 PM
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And I would bet, VOIP/ROIP is not covered under a GETS Card

Quote:
Originally Posted by sflmonitor View Post
In addition to all of the good points that have been made on this thread, let's not forget that the law enforcement agency using these apps has zero control over the wireless company's infrastructure if it were to go down. They would be at the beck and call of the techs/repair folks. Whereas they have full control of their LMR system and can actually go to the damaged site and get it running again in a relatively short time. Heck even if the site were to have sustained catastrophic damage, temporary alternate sites can go up in no time.

With all this being said, are we assuming that they are doing away with their LMR system? Just because they're making the app available to the entire agency may not necessarily mean they are shutting off LMR. There are agencies out there right now with said app (or similar) that use it as a secondary means of communication, mostly being used by admin/office staff and possibly even augmenting covert ops.
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Old 05-07-2017, 6:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveNF2G View Post
PSTN infrastructure fails more often than dedicated public safety radio systems do.


Good thing it's not PTSN they are moving to then!


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Old 05-07-2017, 7:40 PM
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I am on cable here in Florida. The cable company likes to do changes at 2AM and doesn't bother to give any kind of notice at all. They just pull the plug. My website ISP on the other hand, schedules all interruptions a week out. A private LMR system with its own microwave back haul is not subject to the whims of these IT folks that have no idea the importance of the data being interrupted. Imagine if you were using Wave to coordinate a stake out and happened to be using wifi, or even AT&T and the management says, take the network down at 2AM, nobody will be browsing the internet!

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Old 05-08-2017, 12:58 PM
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Similar arguments were made about P25.It's now the standard.I still don't know how P25 ever managed to be considered acceptable for federal or public safety applications.It's usually a squawky unintelligible mess compared to analog.

In the modern world progression is deemed the most important aspect.Lives and safety will always take a backseat to what is 'considered' progression.
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