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Public safety agencies increasingly reliant on connected services

Cradlepoint’s study sets out to reveal the state of critical communications and key drivers impacting digital innovation in the US public safety sector.

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Public safety agencies are rapidly adopting connected technologies
Public safety agencies are rapidly adopting connected technologies

Demand for connectivity is outpacing current capabilities as the global pandemic continues to accelerate digital transformation with public safety agencies using “at least” nine connected technologies to transmit information in the field, new research finds.

 

Released by Cradlepoint, a cloud-delivered LTE and 5G wireless network edge solutions provider, the study sets out to reveal the state of critical communications and key drivers impacting digital innovation in the US public safety sector.

 

Reliable connectivity

 

The research spotlights how police, fire rescue, emergency medical services (EMS), and local government are leveraging connected technologies and their increasing reliance on LTE cellular solutions to address the need for reliable connectivity – ultimately helping first responders do their jobs better.

 

The pandemic has also prompted a necessity for the digital transformation of various public safety operations. Whether needing to rapidly spin up pop-up networks to support a remote workforce or to connect mobile command centres to field operations, the challenges of 2020 – and those that will continue in 2021 – have also demonstrated how public safety agencies and local governments rely on robust, stable and secure access to mission-critical information, Cradlepoint reports.

“This research substantiates what we always have believed – public safety agencies need enterprise-class reliability, security, and management, but delivered in a simple-to-use and cost-effective solution”

“Public safety agencies are rapidly adopting connected technologies, and the pace of this transformation is quickening given societal demands and challenges in keeping front-line personnel safe and productive,” said Todd Krautkremer, chief marketing officer, Cradlepoint.

 

“However, achieving the desired benefit from connected technology investments is almost entirely dependent on a secure and reliable mobile broadband network that can span vehicles, places and things”.

 

Key survey findings include the following:

 

Most public safety agencies have at least nine connected technologies that are regularly used to transmit information in the field, with half (48 per cent) using LTE cellular networks in connected cruisers and devices, emergency response vehicles, and ambulances, followed by one-third (35 per cent in dispatch centres.

 

Most often these devices are tethered to vehicles, and provide agencies with the ability to do things like:

  • create instant pop-up networks for medical testing stations
  • monitor field operations by live-streaming bodycam or thermal imaging video to command staff and fire chiefs
  • securely transmit electronic patient care records and vital signs from ambulances to hospitals.

Whether they subscribe to a public safety network or not, most first responder agencies regularly rely on cellular connections to transmit information from the field over devices like mobile data terminals, tablets, bodycams and automated external defibrillators (AEDs).

 

Instant networks

 

Even local government agencies are using LTE wireless connectivity to create instant networks for online learning and to facilitate remote work, Cradlepoint claims. Any interruption in connectivity that delays critical information from getting where it is needed can put first responders, the public and property at risk.

 

When asked what their requirements are in evaluating LTE-enabled router technology for critical connectivity, reliability was the top factor (85 per cent) followed by security (61 per cent).

 

“This research substantiates what we always have believed – public safety agencies need enterprise-class reliability, security, and management, but delivered in a simple-to-use and cost-effective solution,” added Krautkremer.

 

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