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4.9 GHz Public Safety Radio - Analysis of Technologies and Markets
PracTel Inc, July 2008
Sufficient mobile communication capacity for agencies charged with protecting the public welfare is of critical importance to the overall well-being of the nation. Wireless communications provides a vital component in the nation's public safety and emergency medical infrastructure. Agencies involved in the protection of life and property are able to do their jobs effectively and efficiently only by making extensive use of a wide array of wireless communication options available to them.
This report goal was to assess 4.9 GHz technologies and markets developments in the U.S. This market exclusively serves one client - public safety communities, and it was created by the government to enhance broadband communications between various levels of first responders.
Today, 4.9 GHz public-safety wireless broadband networks finally moved away from experimental deployments and trials to the real world, opening the way for many broadband applications, ranging from instant database access, field reporting and photo transmission as well as streaming video. Wireless video surveillance over the licensed 4.9 GHz public safety band is growing exponentially in the U.S., with significant deployments in Chicago, Dallas, Boston, Phoenix, and West Palm Beach, FL., among others. Most public safety agencies in the U.S. already own a 4.9 GHz license and plan to use it. Network access allows patrolling officers to tap into the video surveillance network to monitor live video feeds as they respond to incidents.
The allocation of 4.9 GHz band offers public safety agencies an opportunity to deploy advanced services unavailable in other bands, such as permanent “hot spot” devices in high-use areas or temporary incident command centers erected at an incident scene. Particular technologies could include wireless personal area networks, hot spot networks, mesh topologies and wireless vehicular area networks. 4.9 GHz radio networking facilitates creation of ad-hoc broadband wireless structures around a person or vehicle, personal telematics, voice, data, video, image, or biometric transmissions, and immediate, high-speed access to information.
This report analyzes:
- The process of 4.9 GHz radio development
- Technological specifics of communications channels based on the 4.9 GHz transmission; in particular:
a) Multi-radio platforms
b) Utilization of OFDM
c) Mesh topology.
- 4.9 GHz radio market
- 4.9 GHz industry and major vendors, including their portfolios.
The 4.9 GHz industry is regulated by the FCC and U.S. public safety organizations; the spectrum was allocated in 2002, but only in 2004 major technical issues were resolved. Uncertainty in technological directions slowed down commercialization of this spectrum, and only in the 2006 time frame a sizable amount of radios was shipped. Currently, the industry is strong, and many major wireless radio vendors are involved in the design and production of 4.9 GHz equipment. Potential applications are endless; the public safety broadband communications market in the U.S. has huge opportunities, and 4.9 GHz equipment works to satisfy the increasing demand of first responders for high-speed communications.
Considerable research was done using the Internet. Information from various Web sites was studied and analyzed. Evaluation of publicly available marketing and technical publications was conducted. Telephone conversations and interviews were held with industry analysts, technical experts and executives. In addition to these interviews and primary research, secondary sources were used to develop a more complete mosaic of the market landscape, including industry and trade publications, conferences and seminars.
The overriding objective throughout the work has been to provide valid and relevant information. This has led to a continual review and update of the information content.
This report is important to a wide population of researches, technical and sales staff involved in the developing of high-speed wireless services and products for public safety communications. It is recommended for both service providers and vendors that are working with related technologies. The report also helps to understand issues associated with relationship between 4.9 GHz radio and other supporting technologies.
1.2.1 Frequency Mask
1.4 Research Methodology
1.5 Target Audience
2.0 4.9 GHz Radio
2.1.1 4.9 GHz Public Safety Radio Applications
2.1.2 FCC Process
2.4 Frequencies Allocations
2.4.1 Public Safety Bands
2.6 Advantages of the 4.9 GHz Band
3.0 Standards and Related Technologies
3.2 IEEE 802.11j
3.3 Mesh Networks: Standards
3.3.2 IEEE 802.11s
3.3.3 Mesh Networks Standardization Process
126.96.36.199 Wi-Mesh Alliance
3.5 Multi-radio Platforms
PacketHop (SRI International)
Trango Broadband Wireless
Attachment I: FCC Ruling
List of Tables
Table 1: Emergency Services
Table 2: Requirements
Table 3: Power Limits
Table 4: Frequencies Allocations: 4.9 GHz Band
List of Figures
Figure 1: Public Safety Communications Frequencies Allocations
Figure 2: Mesh Network Diagram
Figure 3: WiMesh Stack
- Carlson Wireless
- Fluidmesh Networks
- Hautespot Networks
- LPN Wireless
- PacketHop (SRI International)
- Proxim Wireless
- Trango Broadband Wireless
- Trimax Wireless
- Ubiquiti Networks
- Zhone Technologies