Imagine how much better a fire and rescue service could work if its staff could easily send live video images of the incident to the control room. Or if a police officer could complete their admin tasks during a coffee break, while remaining in their patrol car, out on the beat?
Broadband technologies can make these opportunities real for public safety organizations. But how do we get to this new world from where we are now?
New apps needed
Grasping these opportunities and bringing real value to users needs one key thing - advanced apps that take advantage of fast broadband data. We may also be able to upgrade today’s narrowband applications into mobile broadband apps.
Yet, how can we be sure that these new or redesigned apps are right for users?
Well, we have to ask them what they need.
A tried and tested method is a so-called Transformation Workshop, a forum in which participants are free to give their ideas. These inputs are then used to help develop apps that people want, while others are brought to life in the users’ organizations as new ways of working.
This brings us to the second key thing - moving towards broadband should not mean disrupting familiar ways of working.
Introduce the new possibilities gradually so people can continue using their familiar tools with the new apps as an added bonus, not a replacement.
This is best done with what’s called a hybrid network – a network combining a narrowband TETRA or Tetrapol network and a broadband network. Doing it this way means you make gradual investments as and when needed.
Mobile broadband delivered over a hybrid network will allow public safety professionals to use tablets, smartphones and laptops in the field, as well as their trusted PMR radios.
People are used to using apps in their private life – getting clever about public safety broadband means they can bring the advantages to work as well.
This was just an introduction. If you want to be smarter about PMR evolution to public safety broadband, download the new whitepaper “How to succeed in PMR evolution – the smart way”.
And if you want to know even more about the evolution path to mobile broadband and mobile apps, you should take a look at these 14 great resources that help you evolve your PMR network to broadband, provided by Key Touch magazine.