Communications is the heartbeat of public safety
NH STRONG news – State of NH Interoperability reports – Spring time in New Hampshire can often be an interchangeable
environment with a mix of weather that we have certainly experienced.
Summer is now on our doorstep with the expectation of good weather and
an influx of vacationers who will certainly impact our public safety agencies
statewide. Providing public safety the tools to better serve the public while
maintaining enhanced officer safety is the mission that drives the Statewide
Interoperability Executive Committee (SIEC). Communications is the
heartbeat of public safety and the SIEC remains committed to providing
public safety with increased opportunities to communicate. Whether it be
Land Mobile Radio (LMR), or Long Term Evolution (LTE) increasing connectivity throughout the
State of New Hampshire, the SIEC through its proactive working groups are striving to improve
Initiatives that are currently scheduled and underway for 2019 include, but are also not limited to:
COML & COMT Training, Communications TTX, COMU Functional Exercise (FE), and a Cyber
Security Vulnerability WebEx for PSAPs. In addition to these efforts is the completion of New
Hampshire’s Tactical Interoperability Communications Field Operations Guide (TIC-FOG) which
will be provided to every public safety agency in New Hampshire. The TIC-FOG will be an
operational tool for Incident Commanders and specifically COML’s to be better equipped to
understand the communications landscape requiring connectivity.
New Hampshire, through the SIEC has created a tremendous collaborative and cooperative
working environment with FirstNet/AT&T, promoting FirstNet capability throughout New
Hampshire. Much work still needs to be accomplished, but we continually identify needs and work
with AT&T to address FirstNet connectivity statewide. We are confident that 2019 will show a
marked increase in infrastructure development throughout New Hampshire. The North Country
has already experienced an exponential increase in LTE capability while the south western portion
of the state continues to have the SIEC’s attention impacting discussions with AT&T for further
development. AT&T through a commitment made by FirstNet to New Hampshire, is that within the
first five years of the 25 year contract, AT&T must provide the opportunity for LTE service to 99% of
the state’s population and cover 96% of the state’s geographical landmass. This is a tall order, but one
that through collaboration, we are confident will be accomplished.
Significant to the FirstNet endeavor, FirstNet has agreed to host a New England FirstNet Conference
in New Hampshire, September 10th & 11th, 2019. Details and logistics will soon be made available,
Spring 2019 New Hampshire Office of Interoperability Department of Safety Office of Interoperability
New Hampshire Department of Safety
A Retrospective Look at the Future of Communications
May 21 2019 at 02:46 PM | By Dave George
It’s become an annual tradition to publish my thoughts and opinions on where I foresee advancements,
trends and growth in the communications industry. Before crafting this year’s forecast, I looked back
at previous years and noticed four trends that repeatedly showed up as they continued to develop
and evolve over time.
The Push-to-Talk Kick Off
In 1996, the first commercial push-to-talk (PTT) service was introduced in the U.S. Though readily
adopted in the utilities, transportation and business sectors, it took quite a bit longer to proliferate
in the public sector. However, due to radio frequency shortcomings, agencies were forced to consider
alternatives. Eventually, first responders learned that by augmenting Land Mobile Radio (LMR) devices
with PTT applications on smartphones, which most carry on the job anyway, they could communicate
with the radio system, even when their radio couldn’t.
Since then, PTT has evolved exponentially, primarily driven by the advent of FirstNet and other LTE
networks. PTT morphed into Push-to-Talk over Cellular (PoC) and Mission Critical PTT (MCPTT),
smartphones and tablets optimized by PTT accessories were integrated by many agencies, while PTT
accessories continued to advance and will become more comprehensive with new and usual features.
The sum total opened the door a little wider for the public sector’s transition from LMR to PoC/
All in One Devices
Everyone continues to clamor for devices that serve multiple purposes. By way of a sanity check,
picture an officer wearing a hundred pounds of equipment, then add a body cam and other new tools
to his burden. All personnel carry smartphones as well, so why not create one that’s public safety
specific, add a fiber optic lens, tie it to a high-performance network, and eliminate the need to wear a
Infrared cameras, gunshot and facial recognition, hazardous chemical detection and many other
applications could be packaged together and customized by industry for one primary device rather
than multiple. Mission Critical Communications are equipped with a variety of applications, as are
other markets like aviation and field services. Regardless of the diverse end-user programs and devices,
the need to consolidate is universal.
but please mark your calendars for September 10th that will be specific for New Hampshire Public
Safety officials, while September 11th, will primarily be for the six New England States, through their
SWIC’s/SPOC’s and staffs to discuss FirstNet New England initiatives. We are honored to be selected
to co-host this event with FirstNet with both FirstNet and AT&T leadership presenting.
Next SIEC Meeting: September 20th, 2019 @ NHFA Classrooms 5 & 6. Wishing you all a safe and
enjoyable summer and look forward to seeing you on September 20th, 2019.
The communications ecosystem is comprised of smart applications, systems and purpose-built
intuitive devices supported by network services. As time goes on, better equipment and technologies
will deliver more efficient ways to receive information and, as long as there are powerful networks
able to support it, that’s the direction we’re heading.
Stream of New Networks
My philosophy is it’s all about the network. 5G mobile broadband services are the latest buzz, though
really just a super-fast version of 4G. Because there’s always another network coming around the
corner, I prefer to call it “the next evolution network.” Third Generation (3G), Project 25 (P25),
Terrestrial Trunked Radio (TETRA), Long Term Evolution (LTE) and Internet of Things (IoT) are just
a handful of next evolution networks that have arisen over the years.
We’ve seen critical communications evolve from analog to digital narrowband technologies, and
now LTE is the top candidate for a nationwide system. Though LMR isn’t going away, public safety
communications relying on PTT applications require the high-performance broadband connection
that the First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet) will provide. LMR and FirstNet will co-exist
for a very long time but, in the interim, the combination of networks will continue to promote
development of transitional hybrid devices. Perhaps some will be two-way with built-in LTE boards
or vice versa.
Among emerging networks of interest are a number of unlicensed spectrum offerings, which may
extend 5G into new markets. Another network that addresses the hot topic of in-building cellular
service is the 150 MHz Citizens Broadband Radio Service (CBRS), which brings bandwidth support
to mobile devices in buildings and public spaces. Manufacturing, utility and transportation sectors
are exploring the use of CBRS for industrial IoT.
On an even larger scale, a select group of satellite companies are planning to deploy low-orbit
constellations that could blanket most of the Earth and bring high-speed broadband service to areas
currently without access. Though a worthy endeavor, these projects may face major funding and
The bottom line is, for any emerging technology to work, it must be tied to a high-performance
network, which brings us back to why I believe it’s all about the network.
The Next Big Thing
IoT Telemetry is next in line for fifteen minutes of fame. Telemetry predates the Internet of Things
by many years. The word is derived from Greek roots: tele, meaning remote, and metron, meaning
measure. An apt name to describe this automated communications process for collecting measurements
and other data from remote places to monitor and analyze.
Sensors play a key role in telemetry as a source of data input. Pryme recently developed an IoT
device to monitor sewer flow in Taiwan to mitigate illegal dumping. Abet primitive telemetry is
already in use in law enforcement with sensors that monitor when an officer leaves the car, is
Meanwhile, I see early stage development of new sensor peripherals that will enhance the usefulness
of PoC/MCPTT devices. Most likely many of these sensor enhancements might become “untethered”
from user communications devices via new networks like 5G. For example, a sensor in a patrol car
might initially communicate through an officer’s FirstNet device, but later be able to communicate
directly with the system through its own facility (i.e. 5G.) At first, there will be transitional technology
tailored around what’s being measured, so this example might initially be accomplished with a
vehicle mounted modem/router connected to the same network as the officer’s device. However, if
a suitable wireless network was available to communicate with directly (i.e. 5G again), a separate
modem/router would no longer be necessary and the complexity and cost of sensors could be
Where does IoT fit in to telemetry? Though the current data rate may be fairly low for reading
measurements like water temperature, once there are hundreds of thousands of field devices in play,
suddenly it becomes big data, which is IoT territory. Just as other aspects of communications are
evolving, so have the opportunities for IoT and telemetry.
Designing unique and specialized sensors is a direction I see Pryme moving toward. We already
have extensive experience with the operating environments and there are more IoT / RFID chips and
modules available every day from major players like Texas Instruments, Silicon Labs, Qualcomm,
Nordic and dozens more.
Whether you label it hindsight or foresight, history has always paved the way for the future, not only
in the communications industry, but in every aspect of life.