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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.

"In a fire event, for example, or a bombing event, you could have a robot go there and can diffuse the bomb because you now have a pipe available and experts sitting at the headquarters wherever it is you could actually do this. But if you have a nuclear problem like what happened in Japan, a remote robot can actually go there and close the wall and do whatever needs to be done driven by an expert who may not even be sitting in that country. He could be sitting somewhere else and from there he could try that."

"So the first thing is getting the spectrum harmonised and all our studies indicate that we need 20 MHz either 700 or 800. So around the world there is recognition that this is the way this is going and hopefully in 2015 at the WRC, we will achieve that harmonisation. By that time we feel at least 10 major countries which are moving in this ADR would have already taken steps to implement that, like US and Canada has done, Australia has done.

"I'm sure Singapore, Hong Kong, Malaysia; those countries are always ahead of the rest. China has already implemented actually. So China, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Singapore, Australia, New Zealand, those countries would have already moved forward. So those seven to eight big countries in Asia are already spending, a lot of studies (are being done) and looking at what spectrum options exist, how the network will be rolled out, what will be the philosophy of that network rollout; all that is happening today. So by 2015, we would have the astute decision and we would have the networks in the major countries."

Nothing is without a challenge

"There are a lot of challenges, of course," says Bhatia. "Nothing is without a challenge. The very first challenge is the spectrum because this particular spectrum is also the same spectrum that SingTel and the startups want. The data demand is rising so much that they need more and more and more space."

"The second challenge to do this is the huge investment. The money has to come from the public. The government has to spend money on this. While SingTel can spend its own money, for the police network and public safety, the government has to spend the money. So first is spectrum and second is to find the funding. So those are the two big challenges for public safety."

"The third issue is the technology," he adds. "In Asia most countries we use a standard called TETRA. Singapore uses TETRA and many countries use TETRA. There was another standard called P25, it is an American standard. So TETRA and P25 are the two major standards for wireless public safety communications."


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