FBI Moving to Mostly VoIP Wireless

Status
Not open for further replies.

KE4NYV

Member
Feed Provider
Joined
Apr 18, 2003
Messages
1,019
Location
Chesapeake, VA.
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.
 
Last edited:

TDR-94

Member
Joined
Mar 30, 2014
Messages
592
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.
 

milf

Careful, I CAN hear you!
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Dec 18, 2002
Messages
13,988
Location
Indianapolis, IN
Agent in basement of Kroger I work at would have to find way upstairs to talk... Cellular ain't happenin there....
 

RFI-EMI-GUY

Member
Joined
Dec 22, 2013
Messages
4,518
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.
 
Last edited:

RFI-EMI-GUY

Member
Joined
Dec 22, 2013
Messages
4,518
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.
 

KG7PBS

Member
Joined
Mar 19, 2015
Messages
383
Location
Sacramento CA
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
 

RFI-EMI-GUY

Member
Joined
Dec 22, 2013
Messages
4,518
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.

Sent from my SM-T350 using Tapatalk
 

SOFA_KING

Member
Joined
Apr 25, 2004
Messages
1,581
Location
SE Florida
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.

Phil
 

sflmonitor

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Jan 10, 2003
Messages
679
Location
Sunny South Florida
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.
 

stmills

Member
Joined
Dec 19, 2002
Messages
1,040
Location
Twin Cites Area MN
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.
 

ecps92

Member
Joined
Jul 8, 2002
Messages
11,863
Location
Taxachusetts
And I would bet, VOIP/ROIP is not covered under a GETS Card :roll:

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.
 

RFI-EMI-GUY

Member
Joined
Dec 22, 2013
Messages
4,518
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!

Sent from my SM-T350 using Tapatalk
 

TDR-94

Member
Joined
Mar 30, 2014
Messages
592
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.
 
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top