Cellular on wheels

Colorado to demo LTE safety network

FirstNet Colorado, along with public safety agencies in Vail and Eagle counties, will demo a dedicated wireless broadband data network for emergency response.

The LTE Demonstration Network will be held during the 2015 FIS Alpine World Ski Championships in early February, giving first responders the chance to use next generation LTE devices that will bring the power of broadband data to local, tribal, state and federal responders. 

During the trial, four sites will be used on a 29-site distributed antenna system in Vail. A deployable cell on wheels at the base of the Beaver Creek race site will also be used and networked back to the event command post.

To access this infrastructure, responder vehicles will be equipped with ruggedized smart phones and CalAmp modems, capable of providing Wi-Fi hotspots.  The devices will allow first responders to test situational awareness, computer-aided dispatch, records management  and field-based video applications. Fixed cameras will offer video observation and license plate reading.

About 30 first responders will be on the pilot network, depending on the number of devices available, said Brian Shepherd, broadband program manager, Colorado Office of Information Technology. Agencies with users on the network will include the Eagle County Sheriff’s Department, the Vail police and fire departments, some federal agencies and possibly local search and rescue and ski patrol users, according to a statement by General Dynamics.

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