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How spectrum can save lives

Zafar Anjum | July 15, 2013
Motorola Solutions’s Bharat Bhatia, Regional Director, Government Affairs for the APAC and Middle East regions, speaks on public protection, spectrum harmonisation and why Asia is leading in this area.

"So the whole message from this is if we need to protect the lives, we need to equip our public safety agencies be it fire, police, civil defence or whatever with these kinds of things. I'll just skip some of this."

Worst day scenario

"Why can't they just use the normal cell phones?"

"They can also use the same things as the public but that is not the right answer because what they do has to be secured, what they do has to be mission critical because if they start depending on this and at the time that they need it and it fails, it is of no use. So their communication system has to be much more ardent than the public's. So these are some of the differences between a normal system that we use as the public and what public safety uses. The difference between a commercial system and the public safety system is while this is designed for a typical day, this is always designed for the worst day."

"Now if we have to do that kind of system, spectrum is the basic requirement. For any mobile communication system, be it for public safety or commercial, spectrum is the basic requirement. Without spectrum, the public safety network would be dead, they cannot survive. Even today's walkie-talkie systems, they depend on spectrum.

"So spectrum is one of the most important. If there is no spectrum then I think they can close shop and go home and the guards can have their field day. But what we are trying to do is we are trying to harmonise those frequencies so that the cost can be brought down. If every country has its own spectrum then it will be so expensive that it will not be viable. So harmonisation of the frequencies is really very useful for bringing down the cost."

"So these are basically a number of studies that have happened in a number of countries. The study that has been done in the US, and I will give you some details of this; the US has gone through this whole process and last year in February 2012, that the US Congress passed the law where they gave 20 MHz of spectrum to the public sector agencies for this kind of broadband LTE network and this is one of those studies done by Phoenix Center, one of the think tanks in the US.

"Similar studies have been done and this one was done in German are of similar results. This is a German study because Europe is still to take that decision. While the US has decided, Europe still has not decided. Again based on one of the detailed calculations using LTE technology, how much spectrum that is dated so it is all approximately in the US it was 20 MHz, 10+10 MHz. This particular German study actually calls for 10+15 so 25 MHz in total."


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