Part 7 in a series of reflections in the lead-up to Critical Communications World 2018
Today, mobile network operators In many parts of the world support critical communications users with commercial mobile broadband service. Though these end users have unusual requirements calling for high network reliability and priority access in times of trouble, few networks offer service support designed to meet the needs of critical communications users. As described in our earlier note on the opportunities for mobile network operators, new network features added since 3GPP Release 11 set the stage for just those types of high-performance beyond-consumer-grade service offerings. Of course, service offers are more than just technology options. Critical Communications World 2018 offers a valuable opportunity for mobile network operators to gain a better understanding of the unique needs of this challenging customer base.
Clearly, agencies delivering emergency services are unique customers in many respects. These organizations must operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week. When a crisis occurs these organizations must continue to communicate, even the civilian population overwhelms the mobile networks with attempts to reach loved ones. Even in the absence of a disruptive incident, these customers are unique because the workforce is primarily mobile ... with the front seat of police and fire vehicles replacing an office desk. And while voice communications remains the core foundation for command and control communications, the need to supplement voice with mobile broadband data is growing. Understanding the requirements driving mobile broadband is a vital step towards establishing viable network deployments and attractive service offerings that win business when agencies move to leverage mobile broadband for enhanced operational effectiveness.
Critical Communications World 2018 delivers program elements and exhibits that help mobile network operators better understand both the customer and their unique requirements. For an in-depth exploration of the topic, Critical Communications World offers a masterclass on "Keys to successful public-private partnerships and the implementation of MNO based critical communications." Here, mobile operators can learn from the experiences of TJ Kennedy, who helped take the U.S. FirstNet from concept to a partner-based reality with AT&T. Also, perspectives from TCCA Board Member Tero Pesonen and Airbus' Tapio Savunen supply a point-of-view from experienced players in the global TETRA critical communications ecosystem. Rounding out the masterclass are experts from Finland's innovative State Security Networks Group and Aalto University.
The Critical Communications World conference program provides several valuable opportunities to understand both the requirements as well as the practicalities involved in developing service offerings. Viewpoints from mission-critical network operators include TNO Project manager Bram van den Ende's session on "PPDR Mission Critical Mobile Broadband Network Services in the 5G Era." In addition, Timo Lehtimäki, CEO of Finland's State Security Networks Group will provide his view on "Mission Critical Broadband via Service Operator." Finland's perspective is particularly important because the nation already leverages mobile broadband services as part of its communications operations.
Critical Communications World 2018 will deliver rare opportunities for mobile network operators to scope the coming opportunity for mission-critical broadband services. On the exhibition floor, equipment suppliers such as Ericsson, Huawei and Nokia will showcase LTE networking solutions aimed at the critical communications sector. In the conference halls, mobile operators can engage directly with government officials to explore the potential opportunities and challenges of the mission-critical service opportunity. While 5G technology promises mobile operators opportunity in vertical industry segments, mission-critical LTE services can bring opportunity now. Critical Communications World is a place for operators that need to match promise to reality.