Push Forward Blog

The Changing Face of Mission Support Communications

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Mission-Support-Communications-UseCaseIn years gone by, workers in Animal Control, Sanitation, Public Works and other general government departments (aka Mission Support workers) only needed a land mobile radio for push-to-talk (PTT) communications to be connected and productive. Then along came new productivity tools such as work order and asset management applications. Now, mission support workers need to carry smartphones or tablets in addition to their radios to access these productivity applications in the field. The net result is you’re not happy because communications costs go up, and mission support workers aren’t happy because they’re carrying around and managing multiple devices, but what can be done about it?

What you can do is join the growing number of communities changing the face of mission support communications by moving workers to broadband PTT with LMR interoperability. Combining broadband PTT and LMR interoperability provides mission support workers with the anywhere, anytime broadband connectivity needed to access productivity applications in the field, as well as seamless push-to-talk communications with each other and users on LMR networks.

Without naming names, below are the stories of two communities at the forefront of changing mission support communications, using carrier-integrated broadband PTT and LMR interoperability to extend coverage, increase capacity, and reduce costs.

Extending Coverage

A diverse and thriving urban community needed to replace the aging LMR network used to provide voice communications for its mission support workers. When it compared the costs, ~$16M for a new LMR network versus ~$500K for broadband PTT and LMR interoperability, the financial benefits of a new approach to mission support communications were quickly apparent. In addition to saving 97% in capital costs, the community also reduced what it was spending for device management because mission support workers went from carrying two devices to one – a smartphone.

Available wherever users can connect to the carrier’s 3G/4G LTE/Wi-Fi networks, broadband PTT and LMR interoperability extends the coverage for push-to-talk communications. For example, school bus drivers remain in continuous contact with dispatchers even on routes that take them well outside the previous LMR coverage area. Fleet management is also enhanced with continuous GPS information that provides the location of each of the school system’s buses, wherever they are traveling.

Ambulance crews also benefit from extended coverage, using broadband PTT and LMR interoperability to remain in contact with dispatchers on the LMR network when transporting patients beyond its coverage area. There’s no disruption in communications or in operating procedures for the ambulance crews because their standard talk groups are available on both the LMR network and the broadband PTT solution.

Increasing Capacity

A young, rapidly growing suburb faced a different challenge, how to get more capacity out of its existing P25 network without the budget to pay for an expansion. With growth driving the need to add more law enforcement and fire personnel to the P25 network, the community opted to move the mission support workers who used the same network to carrier-integrated broadband PTT and LMR interoperability.

Moving mission support communications to broadband PTT opened capacity on the P25 network for more first responders without the CAPEX cost of a network expansion. Shifting mission support workers to broadband PTT also allowed the P25 radios previously assigned to them to be used for first responders, saving the community ~$3M in cost.

With LMR interoperability and broadband PTT, mission support workers now use a smartphone, for push-to-talk communications with each other as well as the dispatchers and first responders on the P25 network.

In Summary

The above examples represent just two of the communities across the U.S. which are using the combination of carrier-integrated broadband PTT and LMR interoperability to change the face of mission support communications. By moving mission support users to broadband PTT and LMR interoperability, communities are lowering overall communications costs and increasing LMR capacity without sacrificing inter-departmental communication and collaboration. As a result, communities get maximum benefit from their communications budget and mission support workers get the right tools for the job they do, and the connectivity they need to be efficient and productive wherever the job may take them.

About the Author

Michael Doerk is senior manager of product marketing at Kodiak. He has extensive experience with telecommunications solutions, having previously held marketing and management positions with Nortel Networks, Ericsson, Intervoice and DSC Communications. Mr. Doerk holds a Masters of Business Administration from The University of Dallas and a Bachelors in Engineering from the University of Central Florida.

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