Public Safety DAS Spend Forecasted to Break Billion Dollar Mark

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.

public safety DAS

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.


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Radio Interoperability Advisory Panel Established By DHS S&T

One of the issues first responders face is that of radio interoperability among digital two-way land mobile radio communications products. In order to make their radios unique, manufacturers often use different technical approaches, which could potentially render the products incompatible with other systems.  That is why DHS created a formal independent process known as P25 CAP.  Operated in collaboration with the National Institute of Standards and Technology, P25 CAP ensures that communications equipment advertised as P25 actually is compliant.

First Responder Radio Interoperability Safer Buildings CoalitionAccording to DHS Under Secretary for Science and Technology Dr. Reginald Brothers, “S&T has been working to address this challenge by promoting the acceleration of interoperability standards and establishing compliance testing.”

On December 9, 2015, The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) announced the membership of its Project 25 Compliance Assessment Program (P25 CAP) Advisory Panel.   Click here to see who is on this inaugural Advisory Panel.

The Advisory Panel members will provide recommendations on promoting the P25 CAP, review and comment on proposed compliance assessment bulletins and updates to existing test documents, establish new test documents for new types of P25 CAP equipment, and propose P25 user input for improving functionality through the standards-making process.

DHS explained, “The P25 CAP Advisory Panel will provide S&T’s Office for Interoperability and Compatibility (OIC) with federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial  perspectives on portable, handheld, and vehicle-mounted radios and infrastructure equipment. Through the P25 CAP AP, S&T OIC can support the collective interest of organizations that procure P25-compliant equipment.”

It is critical that radios advertised as P25 CAP function as they are supposed to.

“To successfully respond to day-to-day incidents and large-scale emergencies, first responders must be able to communicate with each other regardless of the make or model of their equipment,” said DHS Under Secretary for Science and Technology Dr. Reginald Brothers.

For more information about P25 CAP, visit DHS.gov.

 


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Safer Buildings Coalition Steps Into the Spotlight in Chicago

Safer Buildings Coalition has been in existence since 2012, working to refine the fire codes that regulate in building public safety communication. SBC Executive Director Chief Alan Perdue (Ret.), has been working tirelessly to encourage stakeholders with widely varying perspectives to “come to the table” and provide their input on the process.

That process is centered on the delicate task of refining the codes to the satisfaction of everyone in the eco-system. The stakeholders. They include the sometimes faceless wireless industry to the more personal and identifiable first responders and many people in between. The stakeholders include the building owners trying to install systems, to the Authorities Having Jurisdiction (AHJs) who interpret the codes and hold the keys to the all powerful occupancy permits.

The list of stakeholders also includes the general public. “Simply put,” Chief Perdue repeats, “the public must be able to call for help and receive updates and information about an event. The public’s expectation of always-on connectivity has never been stronger, and it’s imperative that people be able to communicate regardless of where they are.”

A community of stakeholders has long supported SBC’s vision. Until now, the support has been verbal and the promise from Chief Perdue and SBC was always somewhere on the horizon.

Recently SBC has revealed the answers to the questions that have come from interested stakeholders who have stayed on the sidelines, trying to decide what to make of this promising idea. Wondering when it would really take shape. Some also wondered what a seat at this idealistic table would cost.
Now we know.

Safer-Buildings-Coalition-in-ChicagoA Code Meeting is scheduled for October 20 in Chicago. The next day, SBC will offer a preview of the first course on In-Building Public Safety Communication to an invited list of stakeholders. Another course, open to all, has been penciled in for December.

Membership is open. Fees are dependent on the size and type of organization looking to join. Benefits include an invitation to the Code Meetings and the possibility of getting a sneak peek at that first training session. Click here to discover more about SBC membership and how to join us!

In short, Chief Perdue and SBC are now delivering on the promises that have been made since the announcement of its formation at an FCC conference in 2012.

“My initial concept of Safer Buildings Coalition was for us to build a toolkit that helps public safety better understand what it is they are requesting and how to review it and how to inspect it.” Says Chief Perdue, “So this becomes that course in the toolbox of assets we can provide back to public safety to help them do their jobs and also for the vendors that offer communications equipment and services to Public Safety entities. The two days in Chicago really allows all of these entities to provide input and better understand and create partnerships that need to be there to be successful.”

With the January code submission deadline quickly approaching, this is the perfect time for collaboration. The input gathered at the code meeting will go into the formal presentation to the International Code Council (ICC) for the International Fire Code(IFC). Suggestions for improving the training course will increase the effectiveness of the first official training course in December. Work has begun to offer certification to stakeholders who complete the SBC courses.

The meetings in Chicago literally offer stakeholders a place at the table Chief Perdue has been talking about for more than a year. Make sure your organization claims a seat.  Click here to discover more about SBC membership and how to join us!

 


Join Safer Buildings Coalition to receive an invitation to this code meeting and training. Learn more about joining the SBC by clicking here.  Also be sure follow us on our Facebook page, Twitter (@SaferBuildings), and connect with us on LinkedIn.

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Chief Perdue Comments on Chattanooga Shootings

Recent tragic shootings in Chattanooga prompted thoughtful consideration of the significance and utility of smartphones during times of crisis.  Below is an excerpt from an article featured by Urgent Communications to which SBC Executive Director, Chief Alan Perdue contributed his comments.

First and foremost, our thoughts and prayers are with the families of all of those killed during the murder of our service men during this horrific event. It was noted that one of those killed, Lance Cpl. Squire (Skip) Wells, sent a last text message that simply included the words “active shooter.”

Lance Cpl. Wells did what millions of other people might do in an emergency. His text went through. Not all of them will, because the public-safety answering point (PSAP) cannot receive a 911 text or because there may not be indoor coverage in a particular location.

The good news is that the number of PSAPs that provide text-to-911 service is growing constantly.

However, there is one critical component that must always still be factored in during that emergency situation for both the public and public-safety responders: The ability to have cellular signal and public-safety-radio coverage inside the building. Without that, no one communicates.

My 38 years of experience in public safety have taught me that, during emergency situations, people tend to revert to what is most familiar to them when taking action. For example, in a fire, they typically choose the door they used to enter the building, even if it may not be the closest or safest option.

With the increasing reliance of texting to communicate during emergencies, it is vital that we understand the capabilities and the limits of this technology.

Read Chief Perdue’s full commentary on Chattanooga and the need for in-building wireless, text-to-911 services on Urgent Communications’ “View From The Top” blog here:

 http://urgentcomm.com/blog/chattanooga-shootings-exhibit-need-building-wireless-text-911-services


Join Safer Buildings Coalition to network with experts like Chief Alan Perdue. Learn more about joining the SBC at saferbuildings.org, through our Facebook page, follow us on Twitter (@SaferBuildings), and connect with us on LinkedIn.

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SBC Front and Center at APCO 2015

The Safer Buildings Coalition earned the spotlight in two significant ways at APCO 2015.

First, SBC Executive Director Alan Perdue served as a panelist on a session entitled “Making Buildings Safer Through Wireless Technology”.

Next, the highly publicized release of the E-Book “The Imperative generated a buzz around the Safer Buildings Coalition.

APCO-2015-LaunchWith approximately 5,000 industry experts and exhibitors in attendance from around the world, SBC made more than a splash according to Executive Director Alan Perdue.  The E-Book, from SOLiD and Hutton Communications, takes readers deep into the discussion about public safety in-building communication. The launch brought together the who’s-who of public safety communication and gave attendees at APCO a clear picture of the significant support SBC enjoys. Download “The Imperative” here.

“The opportunity to hear and learn about the latest technologies and issues and how they are being addressed certainly helps us with our mission of explaining the critical nature of 9-1-1 and public safety radio. A lot of the experts in the industry were there and the opportunity to communicate with them was significant. We made some great contacts with some of the people that will help us elevate the issue.”

The E-Book The Imperative outlined the crossroads public safety communications has reached. Chief Perdue said the launch brought together key stakeholders and generated dialogue on the issue. “The title itself means ‘absolutely necessary’ and that’s exactly the situation we are confronted with. Trying to make all the stakeholders aware of how critical communication inside a building is.”

Safer Buildings Coalition is an independent, non-profit organization focused on advancing policies and ideas through the code development process leading to more public buildings being served with commercial and public safety wireless coverage.


Join Safer Buildings Coalition to network with experts like Chief Alan Perdue. Learn more about joining the SBC at saferbuildings.com, through our Facebook page, follow us on Twitter (@SaferBuildings), and connect with us on LinkedIn.

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