Denver area emergency crews to get LTE broadband system

First responders in Adams County, Colo., will soon have a broadband communications network for public safety information.

The 4G Long Term Evolution (LTE) system operates on Band 14 of the public safety network in the 700 MHz broadband range. It is part of an effort to provide the region’s first responders with a technology that will allow them to share communications across jurisdictional boundaries, said Frank Brzezinski, business development manager of Raytheon’s Integrated Communications Systems division, which is installing the system.

The $8.7 million contract will provide Adams County and the adjacent Denver area with a 15-site LTE communications system delivering public safety broadband capabilities such as streaming video, remote data access and information sharing.

At the heart of the LTE system is an Enhanced Pocket Core, which is a broadband server connected to a radio-frequency system, Brzezinski said. The core will be installed in the Adams County emergency response center. It can send out alerts to as many as 80,000 to 100,000 users, he said. It can provide network control, security, and communications for up to 1,500 users across the network during both normal and emergency situations. The data is received on first responder wireless devices such as laptops, tablet computers and smart phones. 

The system uses the latest release of the 3G PP standard and will be able to service all of the public safety users in the network, he said. Messages from the system appear on wireless devices such as dongles and handheld computers.

The system will be deployed to 15-20 sites around the county. Early delivery of the system will begin in October with a full deployment planned for March 2013, when the system is turned over to the county, said Brzezinski.

Interoperability is important for first responders in nearby communities. For example, Adams County is located next to Denver International Airport, which wants to join the first responder network. But it is taking time to process the paperwork, Brzezinski said.

In the meantime, LTE transmissions will spill over into the airport. Because the airport wants to join the network, it means that airport emergency personnel will be able to get messages from country first responders, he said.

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