New Jersey - Proof-of-concept FirstNet project gets underway in New Jersey

Status
Not open for further replies.

902

Member
Joined
Nov 7, 2003
Messages
2,463
Location
Downsouthsomewhere
Setting out to meet an ambitious timeline, first responders in three regions of New Jersey are expected later this year to use a new dedicated public-safety LTE network composed entirely of deployable infrastructure operating on 700 MHz Band 14 spectrum licensed to the First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet), IWCE's Urgent Communications reports. (snip)

Proof-of-concept FirstNet project gets underway in New Jersey - FierceWirelessTech
 

iamhere300

Member
Joined
Jun 27, 2004
Messages
1,304
Location
Chappell Hill TX
It should be interesting, the lead company does not appear to have any experience with a system like this, although lots of two way experience
 

milf

Careful, I CAN hear you!
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Dec 18, 2002
Messages
13,983
Location
Indianapolis, IN
IPSC in IN is also about to deploy an State of the Art LTE network that is supposed to be part of an Nationwide initiative for Public Safety. It will be put in place after the P25 upgrades to the existing SAFE-T TRS. It will begin with only ISP having full control, with access to all Public Safety agencies Statewide. After initial testing etc,... It will be put into action at all the dispatch centers Statewide. From my understanding this is also being deployed for MSWIN, LWIN, and others. I believe the IPSC initiative is calling theirs NextGen? Eventually this is supposed to be available for every Public Safety Agency Nationwide. Will bear watching.
 
Last edited:

K2YYN

NJ Data Base Admin
Database Admin
Joined
Mar 4, 2013
Messages
608
Location
NE New Jersey (Clifton)
Our town is quite involved with this project especially since it sits on a major north south highway connecting three urban areas here in NE NJ.

One aspect is the funding to construct a 150 FT + communications tower in town to support antennas for this system as well as for the town's own communications, voter receivers, back up public safety PD, FD-EMS, DPW & OEM repeaters / transmitters and even OEM amateur communications:)!

More later as it is rolled out!

Max:cool:
 

jvdet

Member
Joined
Feb 24, 2007
Messages
329
Location
north jersey
Can someone put it all in simple English and not manufactures tech speak?

There are many towns in Bergen who don't even want to monitor/tie in to the county trunk system and with this LTE why would they; how would it benefit them to communicate to say Cape May or LA,
The towns are not taking a stand about the dismantling of the County Police into the Sheriff Dept - they want to stand alone not to regionalized or share freq"s or swat teams or k-9 's, scuba...etc your thoughts
 

milf

Careful, I CAN hear you!
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Dec 18, 2002
Messages
13,983
Location
Indianapolis, IN
To put it simply...

The new LTE networks are going to be primarily for data use for Public Safety. It is to be blunt, taking the old NCIC type systems and putting them on steroids. When it is completed nationwide, And Public Safety personnel be it an First Responder, Local Policeman, Emergency Manager... Can use the system on his cell phone, MDT, etc to access information at 4G and better speeds on an dedicated system.
 

jparks29

John McClane
Joined
Nov 20, 2003
Messages
845
Location
Nakatomi Plaza
and with it comes VoLTE, or Voice Over LTE, meaning scanning is REALLY dead. It'll all be encrypted data packets..
 

902

Member
Joined
Nov 7, 2003
Messages
2,463
Location
Downsouthsomewhere
Couple of observations -

Yes, PMC is big into LMR and has been for decades. I think they're a good choice to be the prime, especially in a network which may be beta'ed for LMR emulation.

Bergen County is in that bad spot between the rock and hard place. It just spent big money on regionalizing its communications, something that defied home rule in the 70 towns through the growth years. Since the economy changed, many towns have had to consider things like giving up dispatching. The civilian positions created by the establishment of E9-1-1 in the mid-90s was never firmly entrenched in the individual towns and (to me, at least) seemed like an easy first-line concession, along with (and I am surprised at this one, because when I moved they were politically strong) the volunteer ambulance corps. No town would give up their DPW or police department unless it faced dire fiscal straits. Okay, that said, the network Bergen put in is good (comparing it against the "County Alert" system Henry Bros. put in back in the 70s, and the spotty wide area coverage of little municipal systems that are intended to cover a square mile). Except the frequencies used have been called home by Congress. There aren't enough 700 MHz channels to do a one-for-one swap, considering the municipalities who maintain their own systems on T-Band, and the big neighbors who traditionally glom up resources. This might be a voice option.

So, the gobbledygook about LTE - in LTE, voice *IS* data. Even in P25, Mototrbo, NXDN, D-STAR, Fusion, or some other digital protocol, voice IS data. When you build an LTE network and say it's for data transport, nothing says that data has to be mobile data terminals or sending JPEGs of offenders. Sure, it CAN be, but that's a very limiting factor. IF voice is vocoded to the P25 AMBE protocol, it can directly plug into a trunked system as a transition and have no distortion in converting voice. The audio from the LTE device and the audio from the hand-held radio are virtually the same. The big question is network latency, and how LTE devices work within the system in one-to-many. The other big question is one-to-many-off-network. Maybe here is where retaining some "narrowband" channels for last-line backup and simplex ops might be a thought. But the manufacturers are tooling up for this, and it's already beyond proof of concept.

Start thinking 5G at this point. 5G involves a lot of "M2M" or machine-to-machine communication. The background chatter will consume bandwidth, but an incident commander might be able to see a firefighter's remaining air, heart rate, EKG, and relative position within a structure. Some people think that this also means streaming helmet cam video (like the Colonial Marines had in the Aliens movie). That eats bandwidth. All these things place demands on processors, and they can mostly handle it, assuming the apps run are not bloatware. So, when the IC calls for a building evacuation, or someone inside calls a MAYDAY, will the device be immediately available and immediately responsive?

Another user concern about VoLTE, the C-level suit folks wave a smartphone around and say it's public safety's upcoming communications solution. That's nice, but they've never been in a fire or a smoke condition. That dainty, elegant sliverphone with the fancy retina-optimized display is meaningless when you can't see your hand in front of your SCBA lens-piece, wearing PPE that can't effectively grip it, or it's well over 500 degrees. In fact, I wouldn't want to have a Lithium-based battery in that environment.

The "network" thing - I've been not invited back to conversations because I've challenged the value of someone who is out of position making decisions in a local operation. The "network" is a big selling point, but if the last mile is down, and that's where you are - and that's where the system is needed, it's tough to be you. We can't lose sight of a simple, immediate network-agnostic recovery (it doesn't care if a network is there or not), and we can't lose sight of the situational awareness that only "being there" brings. Just my opinion.

The "death of scanning..." Not necessarily. If this comes to fruition as a voice transmission mode, scanning can evolve into listening to traffic that is deliberately streamed. Why couldn't an agency who values public interaction do so on a controlled basis? There are side benefits to them, as well.

At the end of the day, we're seeing evolution and what's sure to be growing pains. Cutting edge, for sure.
 

MTS2000des

Member
Joined
Jul 12, 2008
Messages
3,630
Location
Cobb County, GA Stadium Crime Zone
The "death of scanning..." Not necessarily. If this comes to fruition as a voice transmission mode, scanning can evolve into listening to traffic that is deliberately streamed. Why couldn't an agency who values public interaction do so on a controlled basis? There are side benefits to them, as well.
.
You really think agencies want to be streamed? Ha ha. That's a good one. LTE on some race to waste bloated network run by the telecom cartels benefits...wait for it..the telecom cartels and the vendors.

Even if agencies begin streaming, you can rest assured the content will be filtered and "fit for public consumption" which means watered down and white washed. So yeah, scanning is over as we all once knew it.

But then it isn't 1979. Betty Bearcat called and wants her BC-250 back.

At the end of the day, we're seeing evolution and what's sure to be growing pains. Cutting edge, for sure.
An evolution of the telecom cartels taking over the last bastion of truly independent communications network and radio spectrum. That is their plan all along: own every MHz of RF from DC to daylight and charge every man, woman and child per second to use it.

BOHICA taxpayers.
 

PJH

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Aug 23, 2002
Messages
3,610
In reading some of the trade mags, speaking with people "in the know" and some of the FirstNet writings, I would have to agree to a point with MTS.

FirstNet is/was another knee jerk reaction vs congress and some manufactures to take hold of funds and a perceived notion that no one can ever talk to anyone. They (FirstNet) are running off of commercial wireless providers for solutions, contracts, and planning than hearing what public safety has to say.

The sheriff (name escapes me) called foul on this and was lambasted publically and by the board in general - but some of the claims in a roundabout way were substantiated, but spun that it wasn't "exactly the case".

FirstNet is also trying to push technology that isn't mature, as the technology itself is being developed in the way they want it to be - essentially vaporware.

IIRC, there was another conflict of interest that was brought to light with a vendor or two about a couple of months ago.

Could just be smoke and mirrors, could just be perception. However out in the field, there are way more questions than there are answers.

Sure, try out the stuff, but the cost vs benefits right now just don't seem to add up.
 

902

Member
Joined
Nov 7, 2003
Messages
2,463
Location
Downsouthsomewhere
Well... some Sheriffs know that their electability hinges on how well they relate with their public There is also a gaining movement for transparency (that's usually balanced with security when necessary). Many communities will continue to rely on volunteers and it would be more economical to stream than get each of them a pay-to-play subscriber device. The option's there. There's no "shall, will, must" in there. Some might, most probably won't.

I don't disagree with anything you've said, BTW. I've long contended that this is "Public Safety Tel." But "the powers that be" are heavily invested (maybe literally) and there's no stopping it right now. And, you're very correct about the drive for DC to daylight to become direct revenue producers - especially from Congress, who see spectrum as their piggy bank. Too bad auctions only provide immediate gratification and the money is usually spent the day it comes in. Some spectrum probably should be considered a virtual "National Park" and be taken from the FCC and given to the Department of the Interior to manage, so it's a little more insulated from the influence and voraciousness of commercial endeavors.

I just have to wonder if some people will have to start resorting to carrying around FRS radios for reliable off-network communication if the system is ever impaired or the COW/COLT/whatever-acronym vehicle won't start or they can't afford the overtime for the driver/technician (or if the outage is in a widerspread area than one or two trucks can cover).

Ya know, I had a Bearcat 250. It never matched the magic of my trusty BC-210 and SP-L/H or the nifty factor of the Bearcat 350 (their first alphanumeric scanner... which never worked right and I took back after only a few days in exchange for a huge Bearcat 300).

You really think agencies want to be streamed? Ha ha. That's a good one. LTE on some race to waste bloated network run by the telecom cartels benefits...wait for it..the telecom cartels and the vendors.

Even if agencies begin streaming, you can rest assured the content will be filtered and "fit for public consumption" which means watered down and white washed. So yeah, scanning is over as we all once knew it.

But then it isn't 1979. Betty Bearcat called and wants her BC-250 back.



An evolution of the telecom cartels taking over the last bastion of truly independent communications network and radio spectrum. That is their plan all along: own every MHz of RF from DC to daylight and charge every man, woman and child per second to use it.

BOHICA taxpayers.
 

902

Member
Joined
Nov 7, 2003
Messages
2,463
Location
Downsouthsomewhere
How does this differ from having a laptop in the patrol car with an air card?
Technically, it doesn't. It may actually be faster, as an air card may not necessarily be LTE. However, the laptop and air card are not usually voice devices (that hardware is out there). The proponents of LTE want it to be the transport medium of voice, data, and video - and sell excess capacity commercially. That excess can be preempted as needed.

When you have digital voice, what you really have is data, so it doesn't matter if you're transmitting it over a discrete radio frequency or over some wireless network. It's not reconstructed from data to voice until it gets to the end users' radios.

The bugs - how do you get from one side of a wall to another without going through "the cloud?" What happens if your part of this "robust network" is isolated or fails? Will someone from Mega Communications Carrier Co. call tell Gopher Twp. dispatch that they lost the eNode-B (IT-speak for base station), then call neighboring Hoover and Bugle City? How does one effectively process all this new situational awareness the flood of metadata will bring with it (especially without increasing FTE count)? Can devices park themselves to let priority voice traffic through? How do municipalities adjust from a 15 year procurement cycle (lots of MT2000 radios from the 90s still out there) to an 18 mo. one to replace subscriber devices? Who decides what level of coverage goes where (yes, I know about FirstNet)?

...and so on...
 

MTS2000des

Member
Joined
Jul 12, 2008
Messages
3,630
Location
Cobb County, GA Stadium Crime Zone
Some spectrum probably should be considered a virtual "National Park" and be taken from the FCC and given to the Department of the Interior to manage, so it's a little more insulated from the influence and voraciousness of commercial endeavors.
This is so true. Radio spectrum is being fracked. Even broadcasters are under threat. The real question is how is the public served? We've already seen time and time again how worthless the cartel's networks get during disasters. My sister lives in Lower Manhattan. During Sandy, she had to WALK to Brooklyn before her phone got a signal. The local broadcasters who were on the air did a varying job of relaying critical information, though she was thankful for the $10 Sony ICF-S10MK2 AM/FM radio I gave her.

Since the cartels are gunning for OTA DTV spectrum too, many more people are going to lose the only FREE TV they have. Being forced to hand over MORE money to these same slimy companies if they even want to get any information at all.

To quote a line from the 1991 film Sneakers: "Don't you get it Alex? It is about who controls the information"

Which is another concern I have as a taxpayer. Turning over all public safety communications is a huge security risk. We've already seen (thanks to Snowden) how the cartels are in the back pocket of the intelligence community.

We desperately do need a watchdog to guard against the continued corporate takeover of our radio spectrum. Amateur radio isn't the only one on the radar screen: broadcast, part 90, EVERYONE that isn't a paying subscriber of one of the cartels is on their list of takeover.

I just have to wonder if some people will have to start resorting to carrying around FRS radios for reliable off-network communication if the system is ever impaired or the COW/COLT/whatever-acronym vehicle won't start or they can't afford the overtime for the driver/technician (or if the outage is in a widerspread area than one or two trucks can cover).
I am hoping many local governments will opt out and see that turning over their mission critical communications entirely to an industry that is devoid of regulation and accountability, both at the consumer and professional level, is a recipe for disaster.

Many cities like one near me (who's moniker is The Gem City) have robust, independent communications for their local government and are pro-active in maintaining their own cache of radios and components (network bridges, crossband repeaters, etc) as well as trained staff to deploy them.

We don't need your 5G BUTTSCREW overpriced whizbang. We got this. Now if we can just get congress to see that. Yeah right, with the corporate ownership of capitol hill, not in this lifetime.
 

iamhere300

Member
Joined
Jun 27, 2004
Messages
1,304
Location
Chappell Hill TX
As 902 says, the hardware to run voice over the network is out there. Crossroads Wireless (although they went bankrupt due to management, among other things) was building out a system that was nothing more than a data system that could include voice. They then were marketing it as a cell provider, and a Sprint Partner.

Other companies have followed suit (not the bankrupt part so far)

And with the spectrum auction reaching such high levels, the funding is there.
 

milf

Careful, I CAN hear you!
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Dec 18, 2002
Messages
13,983
Location
Indianapolis, IN
In fact.. MSWIN is about to add capability using VOIP to be able to communicate on the TRS via cellular devices. So yes, the technology is there. Going to be watching these developments closely. (Also wishing I had chosen Telecomm IT over Psychology and Broadcast Radio as my majors in college lol.)
 

902

Member
Joined
Nov 7, 2003
Messages
2,463
Location
Downsouthsomewhere
In fact.. MSWIN is about to add capability using VOIP to be able to communicate on the TRS via cellular devices. So yes, the technology is there. Going to be watching these developments closely. (Also wishing I had chosen Telecomm IT over Psychology and Broadcast Radio as my majors in college lol.)
Don't feel too bad. I have a master's and am a.b.d. in "other stuff" (don't laugh, it kinda made sense in the pre-2008 economy and was a promotion path at the time, but has absolutely nothing to do with what I do now and earned me a third mortgage-sized student loan) and have found myself back in college working on an IT degree in case I get "right-sized" again. Happened a lot to me in the 80s, but the consequences aren't pretty now with mortgages and kids. Welcome to the 21st century, where we're forced to reinvent ourselves every 7 or 8 years, if not sooner. Sometimes that also includes uprooting everyone and moving if you're unable to acclimate to the wages of locally available jobs.

I'll say this - if you did have a telecom IT degree, everything you learned wouldn't necessarily be relevant anymore. You'd be chasing industry certification alphabits a couple of times a year.
 

902

Member
Joined
Nov 7, 2003
Messages
2,463
Location
Downsouthsomewhere
Sorry it's long. I've gone point-for-point, but some very salient points...

The real question is how is the public served?
That question is as deep as the philosophy of "trickle-down" economics. You'll find Representatives on both sides of the aisle who have vastly different views of that, but it all comes down to who's in power during the lawmaking. They can argue that auctioning spectrum creates an industry with its own ecosystem (which would probably be pretty minimal, anyway) and then that would filter money to individuals within the chain who then have available cash. You and I never seem to be in that loop.

We've already seen time and time again how worthless the cartel's networks get during disasters. My sister lives in Lower Manhattan. During Sandy, she had to WALK to Brooklyn before her phone got a signal. The local broadcasters who were on the air did a varying job of relaying critical information, though she was thankful for the $10 Sony ICF-S10MK2 AM/FM radio I gave her.
As emergency managers, this is exactly what we recommended. The old motto is that "if your emergency plan includes cellular, you have no emergency plan." In a former job, I used to vet wireless companies and competitive local exchange carriers for E9-1-1 compliance. I used to require their disaster recovery/network surveillance plan and a 24/7 escalation list down to the nighttime phone number of key decision-makers. The big question was that if there were 5 generators available in a market and there's a power event, does my county get them, or do they go to 'big city" where all the revenue is produced? Rhetorical question, it doesn't really need to be answered.

Since the cartels are gunning for OTA DTV spectrum too, many more people are going to lose the only FREE TV they have. Being forced to hand over MORE money to these same slimy companies if they even want to get any information at all.

To quote a line from the 1991 film Sneakers: "Don't you get it Alex? It is about who controls the information"
One might argue that the information we get is impossible to discern between fact, opinion, and embellishment - if not outright fabrication. I have to triangulate information, filtering out the ad hominem and polarized aspects and retaining what seems to be reasonable. And much of the time, I hear the scuttlebutt from the inside and it's way more outrageous than I could have ever guessed.

Which is another concern I have as a taxpayer. Turning over all public safety communications is a huge security risk. We've already seen (thanks to Snowden) how the cartels are in the back pocket of the intelligence community.
Huawei who?

We desperately do need a watchdog to guard against the continued corporate takeover of our radio spectrum. Amateur radio isn't the only one on the radar screen: broadcast, part 90, EVERYONE that isn't a paying subscriber of one of the cartels is on their list of takeover.
And, for everyone who is aware, there are several dozen who are not, and would embrace the opportunity to divest themselves of the "dirty" elements of operating their own infrastructure when they could pay a fee and it's all done for them. Abdication of technology. We'll do nothing but consume. (Wasn't that Omni Consumer Products' business model?)

I am hoping many local governments will opt out and see that turning over their mission critical communications entirely to an industry that is devoid of regulation and accountability, both at the consumer and professional level, is a recipe for disaster.
There really is room for it, but then, that could also be fulfilled by existing carriers if they took the ACCOLC concept from AMPS and carried it over to subsequent generations of wireless. But I would not migrate voice of any sort onto it. I'm not a Luddite, just someone who appreciates the value of autonomous systems and modal diversity during surge and impairment events.

Many cities like one near me (who's moniker is The Gem City) have robust, independent communications for their local government and are pro-active in maintaining their own cache of radios and components (network bridges, crossband repeaters, etc) as well as trained staff to deploy them.
But that strength is a weakness elsewhere. Take fictitious Gopher Twp, NJ, in Cranberry Bog County. Gopher has a great police department with a 25-and-out pension and a volunteer fire company staffed mostly by DPW day workers. They had a volley ambulance squad, but now Monolithic Hospital Conglomerated now runs BLS and ALS because they couldn't get the locals to turn out for calls and the squad politics were so... "needy." I've just described 90% of NJ. The municipality doesn't have the money or expertise to self-maintain. They abdicate radio to a vendor who is either on the level or takes them to the cleaners. Ya pays yer money and ya takes yez chances. Same principle with a carrier-based program. Can you know it's up and fully operational? What if it's not - how can you work around it without it impacting operations? If only ancillary functions rode on it, core operations would still go on, except without the techno-stuff.
 
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top