The role of mobile technology in improving public safety communications (with related video)
Editor’s note: David Simon of Harris Public Safety and Professional Communications (PSPC) tells GPN how technology is changing public safety communications capabilities for governments. Simon is the Product Line Manager for BeOn and Applications Products at Harris.
GPN: How can government agencies use mobile technology to help improve critical communications response efforts?
David Simon: Advances in technology are helping to expand the reach of traditional push-to-talk voice communications, which, for decades, have relied on a Land Mobile Radio (LMR) system network. By using broadband (LTE) and Wi-Fi in addition to an LMR radio network, mobile application platforms like Harris’ BeOn allow agencies, officials, dispatchers and first responders to communicate securely via smartphone or tablet from almost anywhere — even outside of their LMR coverage area.
In addition to voice communications — to be clear, that’s individual and managed group calls — certain applications can provide access to advanced mobile-enabled features like group texting, geo-mapping, late-call entry, instant voice playback and presence information. And although “smart” commercial devices and commercial networks are not a fit for all Public Safety applications, they are an outstanding fit in scenarios such as undercover operations, administrator use, and special event support.
GPN: What would you say to a buyer or administrator who has security concerns?
David Simon: In this day and age, it’s no surprise that security is top of mind for government technology buyers. It is the right question to ask. When it comes to communicating and sharing sensitive data via commercial broadband networks and Wi-Fi, security has to be a part of that conversation. If you’re concerned about security, your best option is to purchase and maintain your own communications platform. This puts the users and system administrator in control.
Further, stick to a critical communications system that has been thoroughly tested against security vulnerabilities and includes security features such as AES end-to-end encryption, source code security validation, and FIPS 140-2 compliance.
GPN: Thank you, David Simon, for your views.
Harris Public Safety and Professional Communications (PSPC) provides mobile technology tools for local, state and federal government organizations seeking to improve their public safety communications capabilities. The company’s BeOn application platform enables P25 push-to-talk communications. The system relies on smartphones. and Law enforcement, emergency response and fire officials in jurisdictions nationwide use the platform.
Learn more about the BeOn P25 Push-to-Talk application in this video. The system extends Push-to-Talk (PTT) communications. The application works with mobile devices whether they are running iOS, Android or Windows on a PC client.