Will Mission-critical Communications Fall Into Desperation?

- Dec 01, 2018-

For many people, the ability to talk to a group of people on the fly is critical. The police need to be able to tell his team about the behavior of the suspect he/she is pursuing. Firefighters need to be able to warn the entire brigade about the dangerous situation they are experiencing. The miner needs to inform the crew of the appearance of the suspect gas. Truck drivers should be able to warn all other drivers in a given area about traffic delays.

The need to talk to the group in real time has affected many occupations, including airport dispatchers and technicians, railway engineers and mechanics.No matter what the underlying technology is - UHF, VHF, DMR or even P25 or Tetra - just press the PTT button to talk to the group you belong to.

Modern digital mobile radios (DMR, P25, Tetra) can provide some extra features, but it's still about voice. In addition, for traditional radios, communication is done in silos - even if you need it, you can't cross the boundaries of the "team." Firefighters cannot talk directly to the police if joint coordination is only necessary.

At the same time, any consumer with a smartphone in the world can make a voice call. You can instantly share pictures, videos, locations and chats, as well as the vast amount of data your smartphone can collect about its users.

When 3GPP began researching the next generation of technologies for mobile networks and introduced the term "5G," the International Organization for Standardization began to address this difference. This new technology, called mission-critical communications(MCC), is the cornerstone of future mobile networks, as well as advanced network design in the context of the Internet of Things (IoT), enhanced broadband and large-scale machine-to-machine communications.

The work on MCC started with 3GPP Release 13, when mission critical Push-to-Talk  was introduced. In Release 14, Mission Critical Video and Mission Critical Data(MCD) were added. The Release 15 extended technology to the areas of interconnecting between different mission critical systems and interworking with traditional Land Mobile Radio systems.

From an architectural point of view, mission-critical communication is implemented as an application service, using the concept of an IMS application server, referred to as a mission-critical system in the case of MCC. The mission critical system consists of several separate service elements (servers) for group management, configuration management, security and encryption management, and MCPTT, MCVideo, MCData, and more. Since this MCC technology is intended to be part of the mobile network, the network itself provides the necessary services such as priority, preemption and required quality of service to ensure that the MCC service is always fully available to mission critical service users.

Think about the impact of large-scale deployment of new MCC technologies on a variety of vertical industry users. In terms of public safety, consider that the police can receive video from the scene of the accident before arrival and share the video with colleagues once the investigation begins. Think of the dispatch center being able to easily redirect video from 911 callers to responders, or people who can get video from surveillance cameras in real time. Think of a firefighter who can get a plan outline immediately before entering a burning building. All of these features are available on a reliable mobile network, giving MCC requirements the right priority.

Further, we can also consider using the Internet of Things function. The advanced MCC equipment that the police will use can automatically detect conditions such as "shooting" or "official failure" and disseminate the information as needed without any human intervention. Perhaps most importantly - police, firefighters and emergency medical staff can communicate with each other using all advanced MCC functions - with the push of a button. There are no more isolate.

Providing mission-critical communications as a core mobile network service, designing it from the ground up and taking advantage of all the features provided by the enhanced network is a big step forward that will make all those involved in mass communications smarter and more Work well.

Although the MCC on MCC and LTE is still in its infancy, there is no doubt that this technology will have a huge impact and is now very much needed, not yesterday.