The future of public safety DAS may be looking toward achieving a steady increase on many fronts in the coming years. In a recent news release, ABI Research projected that the move from current narrowband systems to LTE-based public safety will grow at double-digit rates over the next five years. It’s anticipated that this astonishing growth will result in public safety platforms doubling their DAS spending by 2021. In turn, it has been forecasted that the revenue from in-building wireless public safety systems will grow to reach $1.7 billion in 2021.
According to ABI Research:
“During this transition period, public safety agencies will use LTE in parallel with their legacy narrowband systems,” comments Nick Marshall research direction at ABI Research. “Typically, this will entail agencies relying on TETRA or P25 to supply million critical voice and using LTE to supply enhanced data services. Over the next 5 years, in-building communications systems, such as DAS, will be used to distribute public safety coverage and capacity in buildings.”
The evolution to wideband public safety networks and platforms will be given a major boost by the 3GPP’s upcoming LTE Advanced Pro specification due to be finalized in 2016. Government organizations like the U.S.’s FirstNet and the UK’s Emergency Services Network (ESN) are all poised to start nationwide public safety network buildouts. Other regions and countries, including South Korea and China, all have similar plans to migrate to broadband for public safety.
“Indoor public safety networks are more stringently specified than commercial indoor networks and must respond to the public safety imperatives of high availability and reliability,” concludes ABI’s Marshall. “Public safety communications must also be made available in areas not traditionally covered by commercial cellular communications such as stair wells, equipment rooms and underground locations.”
Public Safety DAS Future Bright – Code is Key
In response to ABI Research’s findings, Safer Buildings Coalition’s Executive Director, Chief Alan Perdue had this to say about the future of Public Safety DAS:
“The importance of in-building communications for the public and public safety has never been more critical than it is in today’s world. Public safety organizations rely on mission critical voice and data communications that allow them to make informed decisions in an effort to provide emergency services to the public in an efficient, effective and responsive manner.”
As one of the Safer Buildings Coalition’s main focuses, Chief Perdue emphasized the importance of stakeholder involvement concerning the in-building fire code development process:
“Through model fire code development by the International Code Council and the National Fire Protection Association, jurisdictions have available a set of requirements for adoption that provide design specifications and installation/maintenance requirements. These fire code requirements are set forth as mentioned in the article to enhance availability and reliability when our public safety responders need it the most. We continue to see the value added benefit of in-building communications solutions and know that their continued growth in the built environment will most certainly improve the way public safety responders do their work.”
Though the forecast looks bright, the details on how future fire codes and requirements will look remain to be seen. One thing is for certain, change is coming. And, these codes that are currently in development will certainly have an impact on the future of your organization. With the Safer Buildings Coalition you have an opportunity to have a voice in this code development process. Now is the time to get involved.