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Report Finds Public-Safety LTE Devices Have Speech Intelligibility Concerns

12dbsinad

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Here we go again. Plus they are trying to cram all the acoustics in a tiny form factor "phone" with no regard to ergonomics. Look at your old landline phone. A lot of R&D went into just the mechanical spacing of the handset mike and earpiece.
Yes. Feels like deja vu doesn't it
 

RFI-EMI-GUY

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Project 16 defined acquisition times and latency times...PTToLTE doesn't currently meet these.
Yup, we worked pretty hard to make Smartnet I meet Apco 16 access times. P25 adds a lot of latency to the audio.

P25 phase 1 at 800 MHz is actually negative spectrally efficient when you look at the Erlangs of P25 digital versus analog traffic. All the dead air resulting from latency in two way messages adds up.

I cannot imagine that PTToLTE will ever be able to provide acceptable latency .
 

MTS2000des

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I cannot imagine that PTToLTE will ever be able to provide acceptable latency .
and we also used to believe there is no way we'd ever have mobile data with broadband speeds, nor would people be tethered to their lives streaming from a single device with a 5" screen, but here we are.
Attended a recent presentation on small cell deployment by the CTIA. The metric quoted was there are 10 million people but over 30 million wireless devices active in my state.

If you think MCPTT won't mature, and quickly, than you're still thinking Smartphones are toys and will be a passing fad. Survey says: XXXX. LTE/5G is the future and it's changing so many facets of our lives and so fast, it's hard to keep up with.

Never say never.
 

RFI-EMI-GUY

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and we also used to believe there is no way we'd ever have mobile data with broadband speeds, nor would people be tethered to their lives streaming from a single device with a 5" screen, but here we are.
Attended a recent presentation on small cell deployment by the CTIA. The metric quoted was there are 10 million people but over 30 million wireless devices active in my state.

If you think MCPTT won't mature, and quickly, than you're still thinking Smartphones are toys and will be a passing fad. Survey says: XXXX. LTE/5G is the future and it's changing so many facets of our lives and so fast, it's hard to keep up with.

Never say never.

Are Smartphones Toys? Maybe, sort of expensive toys. Passing Fad? I dont know about "passing". But my money is still on LMR.

The fact is a smartphone is a Swiss Army Knife of the times. It does a lot of things, but like a SAK, none of them very well. A short list of weaknesses:

Battery life. They suck power. If you are too far from a charging point of some sort, you are potentially SOL.

RF Propagation. Show me the antenna? The packaging indicates "faddish toy". Antennas are not "hip".

Audio quality. Both on the TX and RX side, poor due to vocoder limitations , ergonomic and acoustical limitations. The folks in my circle, most with iPhones, resort to sending texts, using speaker phone mode (often at inappropriate times), or otherwise they just sound lousy.

Latency. Limited by the hardware, software and bandwith available for data transmission. If you are close in and 5G, then great, if you are at the fringe with crummy antenna, the adaptive modulation will throttle you. Neither Shannon nor mother nature can help you.

Then there is "small cell deployment by the CTIA". Where are you going to put all the many cells that might be needed to replicate say, existing Verizon 3G performance in Arizona or North Carolina?

Looks like my 2006 vintage Razr V3M is good through 2020 as Verizon has yet again been unable to phase out the network.


My prediction, FirstNet will be a very costly failure if they try to leverage Smartphone form factor..
 
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RFI-EMI-GUY

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Motorola has this option called Smart Connect, which will leverage P25 radios onto LTE systems as back up. Primary coverage provided via P25. This is probably where FirstNet will end up on the voice side.
 

12dbsinad

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Motorola has this option called Smart Connect, which will leverage P25 radios onto LTE systems as back up. Primary coverage provided via P25. This is probably where FirstNet will end up on the voice side.
Eventually all public safety radios will have built in LTE capability. Harris already has this with the XL-200P (both Verizon and At&t) and I believe BK when their multi band is released. Motorola makes it seem like they have produced some breaking edge technology with their future APX Next radios.

With that said, nobody in their right mind is going to run into a burning building or walk the beat with a freakin glorified cell phone handset, ruggedized or not. I also put my money on LMR. These tech geeks who think LTE is going to trample over LMR for mission critical voice within 5-10 years probably also smoke their breakfast.
 

RFI-EMI-GUY

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Eventually all public safety radios will have built in LTE capability. Harris already has this with the XL-200P (both Verizon and At&t) and I believe BK when their multi band is released. Motorola makes it seem like they have produced some breaking edge technology with their future APX Next radios.

With that said, nobody in their right mind is going to run into a burning building or walk the beat with a freakin glorified cell phone handset, ruggedized or not. I also put my money on LMR. These tech geeks who think LTE is going to trample over LMR for mission critical voice within 5-10 years probably also smoke their breakfast.
Got to think of a way to monetize this situation.
 

MTS2000des

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Eventually all public safety radios will have built in LTE capability. Harris already has this with the XL-200P (both Verizon and At&t) and I believe BK when their multi band is released. Motorola makes it seem like they have produced some breaking edge technology with their future APX Next radios.
I've had a BeON core at my dispatch center, with working (through donor radios) LTE equipped XL-200p's back in 2017. Went to Vegas for IWCE and had flawless coverage. Got back to ATL, and my radios registered with our 7.14 (at the time) system without user intervention. This was over two years ago.
Harris has this down pat.
With that said, nobody in their right mind is going to run into a burning building or walk the beat with a freakin glorified cell phone handset, ruggedized or not. I also put my money on LMR. These tech geeks who think LTE is going to trample over LMR for mission critical voice within 5-10 years probably also smoke their breakfast.
Likewise, the cost of putting multi-million dollar LMR with body worn coverage in urban areas with dense buildings and issuing $8000 subscribers is hard to sell when commercial carriers/WiFi is now ubiquitous and robust thanks to small cell deployments growing faster than trees. It's a tough sell to before a board of commissioners and beg for millions for high dollar capex expenditures to keep complex LMR systems viable in the next 10-20 years when commercial core can supplement for pennies on the dollar and do more like offer true in-building location, carry data, and has a low capex cost upfront with a "hands off" management approach that means less staff to pay benefits and retirements for.

As far as going into a burning building, any system and subscriber has to be built to perform and more importantly, users trained. It can cost into the hundreds of thousands to put a purpose built public safety grade BDA into a multi-story building, and yet the first fire that breaks out, that system can become compromised or offline completely, than what? With no coverage, an APX8000 is just as useless as a Sonim XP8 if the user doesn't have coverage or is not trained and proficient in how to use their equipment.

Those who say "simplex" is the answer never worked in an urban jungle. A modern concrete jungle of a building, a 4 watt UHF portable is only good for 3-4 floors at best. There is no "one size fits all" solution but those agencies who deploy tactical communications teams to incidents as part of their dispatch protocol are the ones who can use the resources at hand to make something work for the situation at hand. People with viable skill sets are more valuable than any high dollar equipment, network or toys.
 
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Eventually all public safety radios will have built in LTE capability. Harris already has this with the XL-200P (both Verizon and At&t) and I believe BK when their multi band is released. Motorola makes it seem like they have produced some breaking edge technology with their future APX Next radios.

With that said, nobody in their right mind is going to run into a burning building or walk the beat with a freakin glorified cell phone handset, ruggedized or not. I also put my money on LMR. These tech geeks who think LTE is going to trample over LMR for mission critical voice within 5-10 years probably also smoke their breakfast.
I mean, Motorola had a LTE integrated APX radio several years ago and then pulled it from production. Something about WAVE integration to Astro 25 not being quite what they wanted yet nor were they happy about the latency issues they saw going across the system (which was 2100 ms when I tested it two years ago in Schaumburg with a LEX F10 to APX6000).
 

12dbsinad

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I've had a BeON core at my dispatch center, with working (through donor radios) LTE equipped XL-200p's back in 2017. Went to Vegas for IWCE and had flawless coverage. Got back to ATL, and my radios registered with our 7.14 (at the time) system without user intervention. This was over two years ago.
Harris has this down pat.
Yes, I am familiar. We have been a Harris dealer for several years now and as far as I am concerned they are head over heels have a more advanced product line than Motorola. We sell more XP-185 and XP-200P radios than you can shake a stick at. Some of them are die hard Mother M users, all with zero compalints.

Likewise, the cost of putting multi-million dollar LMR with body worn coverage in urban areas with dense buildings and issuing $8000 subscribers is hard to sell when commercial carriers/WiFi is now ubiquitous and robust thanks to small cell deployments growing faster than trees. It's a tough sell to before a board of commissioners and beg for millions for high dollar capex expenditures to keep complex LMR systems viable in the next 10-20 years when commercial core can supplement for pennies on the dollar and do more like offer true in-building location, carry data, and has a low capex cost upfront with a "hands off" management approach that means less staff to pay benefits and retirements for.
Not everybody needs 8000 dollar radios. The majority of guys out in the field do not need a mutli band enabled APX8000. Number 1, you're buying the Motorola name along with the radio. The equivalent Harris radio can be bought for about 25% less all day long, and that isn't even with special pricing. But to put things in perspective, nothing on a firefighter is cheap. How many thousands is the airpack? Gear? TIC? Gas meter? Etc, etc.

As far as LTE, sure, it has it's place. It's a added tool for the toolbox. But you're going to have a hard time replacing LMR and the advantages with it, at least anytime soon. You still need in-building coverage. If there is a mini cell outside it doesn't mean you'll get interior coverage. So you're still relying on in-building networks. The agency also has ZERO control, and at the pace cellular technology moves equipment becomes obsolete fast, then who pays to upgrade all this equipment? And you bet your bottom dollar they are not going to keep legacy equipment going like we do in LMR.

As far as going into a burning building, any system and subscriber has to be built to perform and more importantly, users trained. It can cost into the hundreds of thousands to put a purpose built public safety grade BDA into a multi-story building, and yet the first fire that breaks out, that system can become compromised or offline completely, than what? With no coverage, an APX8000 is just as useless as a Sonim XP8 if the user doesn't have coverage or is not trained and proficient in how to use their equipment.
Well, not really. If a BDA fails you at least can try simplex, or go to the nearest window to try to access the closest site. If you loose the fiber backhaul to or At&t didn't maintain the cell batteries (or they just go dead) or whatever the case may be, your Somin XP8 is a useless as tits on a bull. I suppose you could try to go to the nearest window as well and hope for the best. Also, if I ever told my customers that this Somin was their firefighting radio, they would literally laugh in my face and say "good one".

Those who say "simplex" is the answer never worked in an urban jungle. A modern concrete jungle of a building, a 4 watt UHF portable is only good for 3-4 floors at best. There is no "one size fits all" solution but those agencies who deploy tactical communications teams to incidents as part of their dispatch protocol are the ones who can use the resources at hand to make something work for the situation at hand. People with viable skill sets are more valuable than any high dollar equipment, network or toys.
You're right, nothing is perfect. There are always going to be "what if's".
 
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MTS2000des

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The problem isn't the only the cost of radios, it's infrastructure. The same venerability exists in LMR infrastructure in LTE/commercial carrier. You probably know of many public safety systems from analog conventional to LSM trunked networks that were all built to a price point: and that is my point- the cost of LMR is way over valued. The proof is in the fact that vendors sell similar hardware to businesses for a few hundred bucks a pop versus thousands. Same with repeater/base radios. A couple grand versus 30 grand for a GTR. There is NO WAY there is 10 times the amount of hardware under the hood (and you and I know both of them well).

A core is comprised of what: enterprise grade server/network hardware from the same place your back office gets their hardware: the vendor just marks it up a few hundred percent and puts their custom O/S on it.

It's going to become more difficult to justify the cost versus the return when commercial carriers are stepping up their game. They see the money on the table. Once the product is ready for prime time, it will be a difficult sell to pitch multi-million dollar hardware and software based on yesterday's technology to folks who deal only in numbers.
The ideology of going to a subscription based service for LMR is taking shape, at least at the biggest player's ball park. The writing is on the wall. Whether or not we all want to read it and take note is another story...
 

12dbsinad

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The same venerability exists in LMR infrastructure in LTE/commercial carrier.
The same vulnerability? No, not even close. Of course, this all depends on how the system is constructed. We recently completed a new LSM system for a small city. Literally 1/4 of the cost for the project went into backup systems. They could essentially loose the entire primary core, the 8 sites, and STILL have decent city wide communications (no in building coverage guaranteed) for police, fire and EMS. This of course comes with a cost. I would say this scenario is rare but it is what the officials wanted after dealing with a terrible radio system for many years. Try having that much redundancy with a commercial carrier. Try getting the emergency support from a commercial carrier. You won't.


You probably know of many public safety systems from analog conventional to LSM trunked networks that were all built to a price point: and that is my point- the cost of LMR is way over valued. The proof is in the fact that vendors sell similar hardware to businesses for a few hundred bucks a pop versus thousands. Same with repeater/base radios. A couple grand versus 30 grand for a GTR. There is NO WAY there is 10 times the amount of hardware under the hood (and you and I know both of them well).
I've said it many many times here that some things are for sure a rip off. The first is P25. Complete rip off. I agree, some things are WAY overpriced. But, those overpriced things are at the complete control of the governing body. They can get quotes, prices, and competition. You can choose whatever type of system you want, the equipment you want, and the sites you want. You will NOT be having this advantage with FirstNet. You will also will not have the service that should be expected, you're at the mercy of a nation wide for profit (a majority of their money comes from civilian phones) and you're just a "customer".


A core is comprised of what: enterprise grade server/network hardware from the same place your back office gets their hardware: the vendor just marks it up a few hundred percent and puts their custom O/S on it.
Maybe that's what happens in your neck of the woods, but not around here.


It's going to become more difficult to justify the cost versus the return when commercial carriers are stepping up their game. They see the money on the table. Once the product is ready for prime time, it will be a difficult sell to pitch multi-million dollar hardware and software based on yesterday's technology to folks who deal only in numbers.
The ideology of going to a subscription based service for LMR is taking shape, at least at the biggest player's ball park. The writing is on the wall. Whether or not we all want to read it and take note is another story...
So far there is no writing on the wall IMHO. You've got a commercial carrier that sees green pushed by government intervention. They need to do much better if they are aiming for prime time. There are many articles out there pointing out LTE and LMR and the future. NON of them mention a storming take over, as a matter of fact, they predict LMR isn't going anywhere anytime soon. There is a REASON for this prediction.
 

RFI-EMI-GUY

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AT&T/Firstnet! $$$$$$

I just got back from the local AT&T store. (I use Verizon), but went there with my 95yo Mom's POA in hand because a couple years ago her caregiver brought her in to buy a new iPhone. Somehow her iPad also got added to the data deal ($13.99 /mo) and for the past years she was being robbed $125 a month. She lives in a retirement home and uses WIFI exclusively. The phone was paid off a few months ago and she was still left with a $92 bill.

They were not happy to see me whittle her down from this exorbitant ripoff to $32.90 a month with tax. It is amazing how they will rip off customers with fees for "services". She used zero GB for all but a couple months once where she used a whopping 0.06MB. Yet they bumped her up from 2 GB to 4GB without permission. A $2.99 protection fee the agent could not explain what service was provided "we help you fix your devices at home". Oh yes, $8.99 for broken lost or stolen coverage; yet what happened to that deal when her previous AT&T phone was stolen? I figure over the past 2.5 years, she was billed $1800 for uneeded services not including the lost phone she paid for.

Do you think your average purchasing agent is going to get a better deal from AT&T than my 95yo mom when contracting with FirstNet? I doubt it, they will be wined and dined and convinced they must buy all the gold plated cloud services and network monitoring.

While I was there I noted that a bunch of girly phones (iPhones) had the FirstNet certification. A Sonim XP8 was on display but apparently would not fully turn on. It looked a bit like any smartphone with all that exposed glass, but it had some "radio" like buttons and connectors.
 
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