You just confirmed what I've been saying, redundancy and backup comes with a cost. A tremendous one. Especially once a system goes live. Ever priced DSR for a 15 site single zone countywide system after the ink is dry? I have. Absurd is an understatement. Try selling 7 figures to a board of commissioners just three to four years after they gave you 20 million bucks. "Why didn't we get this the first time?" Sure, point to the RFP, point to the consultants...at the end of the day, it's all about the money. Commercial carriers are gearing up to support us.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.
Our division chief went to a deployment after the state requested aid to an F3 tornado this year. Obliterated their venerable VHF analog LMR and the county had law, fire and EMS sharing a SINGLE repeater in poor shape. The macro cells that supported VZW, AT&T and T-Mobile/Sprint were laying on the ground. He was able to reach out to AT&T/FirstNet (via a cable internet connection at that!)and within 6 hours they had a SAT COLT on the ground. This was in a rural part of Georgia. Within 24 hours, they had sat colts for VZW on the ground and up. Meanwhile, because the LMR support was so poor, the state ended up deploying RAPIDCOM trailers to get some load shed off the agencies' decrepit analog VHF repeater. My point is, the commercial carriers are indeed stepping up their game. Remember their customers aren't just a few thousand public safety folks, they answer to everyone.
I heard with my own ears more interoperability from groups like the Cajun Navy using Zello on cellular phones during Harvey. Houston lost their prime site at one point but yet all these awful commercial carriers you claim were able to keep their networks alive to the point where civilians using regular old iPhones and Androids had better comms than some of us with our 8 thousand dollar walkie-talkies and 50 million dollar DTRS networks. To avoid the evolution in technology and swear that LMR will continue to be developed at this scale is as blind as the big broadcast conglomerates who think they'll still be on that air funding massive high power, high site transmitters to an audience of 5 people in 10 years. The speed at which commercial carriers are running dwarfs LMR by the hour. Like it or not. Deny it or accept it. It's not stopping. Will sites go offline? Of course they will. Does it cost a fortune to deploy LTE? Yup, but it also makes a fortune, something LMR stopped doing two decades ago. No money coming in, it's hard to justify investing billions into something that isn't growing.
But P25 is what was forced down our throats by the Feds yet the so-called "standard" is full of holes like Swiss cheese. It took years for the Feds to stop the nonsense regarding encryption standards and this was after hundreds of proprietary add-ons were sold. We all know how vendors play games. Buy a P25 sub from someone else, and they act all cold and throw up their hands. P25 is now ancient, dated technology with venerable security. You have to look no further than this very forum with posts full of hackers, whackers and stalkers intending on programming illicit subscribers on government radio networks. Most have no ill intention, but some end up causing us major headaches.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".
I've yet to hear of an rogue subscriber on someone's LTE or TETRA system for that matter? Yet, P25 still doesn't have viable, real LLE to stop dead rogue pirates with cloned RIDs that can potentially cost a user their life in certain circumstances. Instead, we have to rely on expensive proprietary software like Genesis to help us identify potential problems in real time. That is, if you have the budget for it. So many systems are set up and left alone because the agency doesn't have the budget to hire a Geek Squad of hard to find radio techs and engineers to babysit their expensive system, so they rely on radio shops which often have to juggle multiple customers' systems and things fall between cracks. Say it isn't so.
First Net is far from perfect, but it is also less than 4 years old. At least the Authority has some power to enforce things and force (if done right) contract compliance. P-25 has been on our plates for what, over two decades now and the compliance program is just getting around to being enforced? and under who's authority? The TIA? Let me know how that works out. We've dumped billions into these systems that have made a small number of vendors a ton of money, but in reality, we're no better off than we were in 1990 when everyone was on VHF/UHF interop wise. We did have more money to spend on things that really matter like more cops on the beat, more firetrucks in the firehouse because we weren't bleeding bucks on $8000 portables and $10000 mobiles, or $28,000 dispatch consoles.
Really? Last I checked, a typical MSI core runs on HP server hardware, the 2620 switches are made by who...Aruba aka HP. Sure sounds, smells and looks like repurposed off the shelf enterprise I.T. stuff to me. Other than the S6000s/S2500s what exactly is so special about an Astro 25 core hardware that doesn't have kissing cousins elsewhere in your racks? Sure, your GGM/GCM are custom hardware, purpose built. But where does a zone database server or ATIA reside? On some special, super secret sauce Colonel's recipe server? Not in my shop, or yours. Get real. This is overpriced stuff sold to us because we pay for it. We pay dearly. Sure, it's GOOD stuff, but it's not that much different from what passes the traffic I am sending this Internet posting on. It just costs 3 times more because it's marketed as "mission critical".Maybe that's what happens in your neck of the woods, but not around here.