3LTE for Public Safety Networks

3.1 Why LTE for Public Safety Networks?

When the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) of the United States of America (USA) decided to use Long-Term Evolution (LTE) as the new radio technology for public safety communication, it was building on the assumption of a global widespread adoption of the LTE technology. At the time of writing this book, the Global Mobile Suppliers Association (GSA) had listed 300 deployed LTE networks in 107 countries and forecasts 350 networks by the end of 2014. Nearly 1900 LTE-capable devices are available on the market by now. For more information on market figures, see Ref.[1].

One important driver behind the desire to use LTE for Public Safety Communication was the economies of scale achievable with LTE compared to existing Public Safety Communication technologies. This is on cutting down not only infrastructure costs (CAPEX, Capital Expenditure) but also operational costs (OPEX, Operational Expenditure). Technology for legacy Public Safety networks such as the Project 25 (P.25) or Association of Public Safety Communications Officials (APCO-25), standardized under the Telecommunications Industry Association Engineering Committee TR-8[2], and the Terrestrial Trunked Radio (TETRA), standardized under ETSI Technical Committee TETRA (TCCE) (TETRA and Critical Communications Evolution)[3], are addressing relatively small markets with few suppliers only and thus do not have the potential to cut down costs to build-out ...

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