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NIST Unveils Prototype Tech for Integrating Broadband Into Public Safety Communications Systems

Public safety communication systems

The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has developed a prototype system designed to integrate broadband communication technologies with aging radios for emergency response.

NIST said Monday that the prototype is designed to help older Land Mobile towers and mobile phones take advantage of wireless long-term evolution (LTE) capabilities, including voice, video, text, instant messaging and other features related to the data.

The Agency notes that efforts are being made to take advantage of LTE-based, mission-critical push-to-talk capabilities while addressing the challenges of transition costs. LTE elements are also designed to support key aspects of public safety communications, including speaker identification, clear sound, emergency calls, and high reliability and availability, according to NIST.

In particular, the NIST prototype will include elements such as software-defined radio, open source software and a user interface designed to support LTE phones for seamless interconnection.

“The goal here is to create a prototype and accelerate the development of technology in the industry, which will fill a significant gap,” said Jordan O’Dell, an engineer at NIST.

NIST researchers are continuing their efforts to develop a prototype and introduce links to more types of radio.

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