First Responders Trial 4G LTE in Las Vegas


Whether a consumer is looking to better manage his health or a business owner is looking to better manage her assets, M2M technology is enabling the data today’s connected world mandates. Nowhere is the need for realtime data more critical than in first-response solutions deployed by public-safety organizations like police and fire departments and emergency-services professionals, among others.

In fact, a lack of information by the folks who respond to all types of emergencies—from power outages to high-profile shootings and terrorist attacks—can greatly hinder response time when minutes and seconds seem to matter most. Along with a lack of data, a lack of interoperability among public-safety organizations can prevent seamless communication and response during critical situations.

Recently, a milestone trial of a 4G LTE public-safety network was successfully completed. The trial could serve as a stepping stone toward a nationwide, interoperable public-safety broadband network. The six-month trial involved global communications company Alcatel-Lucent,, and first responders in the city of Las Vegas, including the Las Vegas Metro Police Dept., the Nevada Dept. of Transportation, and others.

The trial, which took place in parts of Las Vegas, used 700 MHz spectrum allocated to FirstNet (the First Responders Network Authority), which is described as an “independent authority set up by the United States government to facilitate the building of a nationwide interoperable public-safety broadband network.”

With the help of data-generating tools provided by members of Alcatel-Lucent’s ngConnect program—such as realtime video from networked security cameras, GPS-enabled vehicle tracking, Wi-Fi connectivity, and high-speed videoconferencing technologies, among others—first responders put the network to the test as they shared data during real-life emergencies.

Using existing systems and introducing new ones, the trial aimed to provide new insight into processes and generate valuable input that could help facilitate a nationwide network rollout in the future. Trial participants noted the 4G LTE safety network helped Las Vegas responders leverage their resources more efficiently and effectively. The lessons learned could help shape the future of first response in the United States, providing the data these valuable professionals need to serve their communities to the best of their ability.

Want to tweet about this article? Use hashtags #LTE, #publicsafety


Connected World Issue
June/July 2014
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