US Public Safety Mobile Data Technology

Law enforcement agencies, firefighters and other agencies need information to respond quickly in an emergency, to warn of a possible threat at the destination, and to predict trends and patterns of events.

In the pre-computer era, information collected by field operatives was transmitted through paper notes, reports, and other handwritten messages, and then structured in archives – in drawers of metal cabinets. Now the computer has taken over the task of regularly collecting data, transferring and distributing it to most of America’s law enforcement agencies, including transferring data to mobile units.

Simultaneously with the computerization that began in the 1980s, several large institutions began installing specialized mobile terminals (MDT – mobile data terminals) in their patrol cars.

At this point, mobile terminals were presented by the original in-house developments of individual companies specializing in the production of digital mobile radio communication devices. The terminals had small screens (30 lines x 24 characters), took a long time to start up the system, were expensive and generally unreliable. These devices also had significant restrictions on the type of data transmitted, they could only transmit text information displayed on small screens and entered using non-ergonomic keyboards. However, they were a complete solution.

Mobile data networks were built on the basis of existing radio networks built and operated by law enforcement agencies. They required a dedicated RF channel and transmitted data at a very slow speed. Fortunately, since the messages usually contained very brief textual information, the performance of such networks was usually sufficient for operational personnel who needed basic access to information.

The 1990s saw the emergence of commercial digital communications devices, especially among delivery and service companies that needed to effectively manage their mobile workforce. Commercial devices for transmitting digital information began to appear in the form of alphanumeric pagers, handheld computers (PDAs or PDAs – personal digital assistants), and even cell phones with the ability to receive text messages. Quite quickly, the era of personal digital systems came to an end, being ousted by companies – telecom operators, providing both user terminals and access to communication networks covering the entire country at the same time.

Now, in the 21st century, mobile technologies are widespread among ordinary users, penetrated into all areas of American business. Many PDAs, cell phones and laptops can receive and transmit information wirelessly from anywhere. Anyone from a teenager to a corporate executive can check their emails, trade stocks, check bank accounts and check sports results wirelessly.

At the same time, these advanced wireless data transmission technologies have not always found widespread use for the needs of government security agencies, including law enforcement agencies. The capabilities of these institutions are always limited by budgets, the ability to integrate with existing document management systems, as well as security and reliability requirements when interacting with legal and criminal databases.

Large institutions typically had the financial capacity and competent technical staff to deploy mobile data systems for their mobile units. Sometimes large system integrators have implemented network projects that, in accordance with those. assignment include voice radio communication and computer information system. Smaller institutions typically rely on external experts to design and install mobile data transmission systems that provide these services as part of a workflow or automated database project.

Commercial wireless networks offer a fast, simple, and inexpensive mobile data solution for organizations large and small. For the transmission of personal messages, hundreds of organizations have purchased Blackberry communicators or similar wireless devices so that they can send text information to key employees by calling a paging operator or by e-mail.

Cellular operators have also offered a data solution based on their networks originally used for voice communications. The first such solutions did not have an advantage in transmission speed compared to in-house digital radio communication systems. Nevertheless, a modern cellular network does not require the customer to design, build and maintain their own communication network, and in most regions it provides better bandwidth and a longer range.

Early cellular data networks (CDPDs) functioned in conjunction with the voice network using the same resources and often crashed when network traffic increased. Today’s third generation (3G) technologies operate separately from the cellular voice network, and also have a significantly higher data exchange rate.

As mobile data systems have been successfully implemented in large and medium-sized institutions over the past five years, law enforcement has officially recognized the benefits of mobile data access. This, in turn, has generated interest in both so-called broadband wireless applications, including the transmission of video, instant photos and other graphical information, fingerprints, operational reports from the scene, as well as the construction of advanced smart networks and messaging scenarios in critical situations. Just like ordinary users with DSL and cable access to the Internet, law enforcement agencies need quick access to a variety of information anywhere within their jurisdiction.

Following the events of 9/11, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) recognized the need to allocate additional spectrum for broadband data transmission. They have allocated 50 MHz of spectrum in the 4.9 GHz band exclusively for wireless public safety devices or mobile data hotspots. This range is directly adjacent to the public Wi-Fi Wireless range. The equipment used uses generally accepted technical standards that allow building high-speed broadband networks.

More recent developments allow the creation of networks with a so-called mesh structure (with multiple paths between any pair of nodes) using Wi-Fi access points located throughout the service area. The data received by the base station from the mobile device is relayed to the neighboring access point, and it, in turn, to the next one.. Outgoing data is transmitted to mobile subscribers in reverse order. Such networks have the advantage of the speeds provided by broadband access as well as low network deployment costs.

More recently, several companies have developed a software application that allows messaging between computers using Wi-Fi and 4.9 GHz networks. The program allows you to exchange instant messages, organizes multiple audio and video streams between multiple computers, and also contains a critical event management module.

Several companies offer multi-path network solutions that select the best network available and transmit user data using the best route. The smart software finds and uses your office wireless network, cellular network, or the nearest available Wi-Fi hotspot to establish a link to