Benefits of 5G rely on unified approach with narrowband technologies

5G will provide major benefits for mission critical communications, but narrowband technologies are still essential.

A unified approach to mission critical communications is essential now, and in the future as mission critical LTE becomes fully functional, warns ETELM director.

Now is an exciting time to unify legacy and new technologies for mission critical communications (MCC) to ensure that users retain existing functionality whilst adding new advanced LTE services, according to Paul Ward, international sales director for ETELM, a manufacturer of advanced mission critical communications infrastructures.

>See also: 5G will be transformative for the UK

Speaking today at 5G World in London, Ward commented: “LTE high speed mobile broadband will have a major impact on the mission critical communications market, bringing new advanced functionality and applications to users. However, LTE standards for Mission Critical users are still relatively new, and so LTE services should complement, not replace, PMR services.”

Ward explained that as LTE evolves it will add new standardised MC functionalities for Video & Data (MCVIDEO and MCDATA) and users will be able to choose when and where to deploy these services. With the ability to integrate other standard technologies, the user will get far greater flexibility as they can retain existing subscriber equipment whilst introducing new smart technologies and data applications. It also allows for lower cost, wider coverage, narrowband services to be deployed where cost-efficiencies are required.

>See also: EU to coordinate the connectivity of 5G

Ward continued: “Every country has different frequency regulations, and in some areas private LTE systems may not be possible, so the user has the choice of obtaining 4G services from operators or retaining their own private narrowband solution. It is likely that these users will need to have a combination of services – PMR for highly secure, mission critical services and LTE for business-critical applications. With ETELM’s 4GLinked fully integrated solution, operators can also offer MVNO Services with seamless broadband and narrowband services on their existing core networks.”


Ward finished his presentation with one clear message: “5G is the future for mission critical communications and the benefits are enormous for emergency services, professional users, operators and smart cities. However, there are still many areas to consider in terms of how the market implements these advanced services. Although 5G will provide dramatic new functionality for mission critical users, the implementation must be carefully planned and the transition risks carefully managed.”

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Nick Ismail

Nick Ismail is a former editor for Information Age (from 2018 to 2022) before moving on to become Global Head of Brand Journalism at HCLTech. He has a particular interest in smart technologies, AI and...

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