Wireless Public Safety Data Networks

From the firefighters who died on 9/11 to the rescue workers struggling to help victims of Hurricane Katrina, recent crises have demonstrated that the absence of reliable and interoperable voice and data communications among public safety agencies is an urgent national dilemma. While the need for voice interoperability among first responders is a fundamental and long-standing public safety issue that must be resolved in a timely manner, many communities across the nation have already begun to supplement their voice communication networks with wireless broadband data networks operating over unlicensed spectrum—most notably the 2.4 GHz “Wi-Fi” band.

These cutting-edge mobile high-speed data networks complement voice systems and serve as a cost effective means to deliver applications such as streaming video for surveillance and disaster response, fast downloads of suspect mug shots or building blueprints, and access to public safety databases. By providing first responders with more resources in the field—and reducing the time they need spend in the office – these wireless data networks act as a “force multiplier,” improving overall public safety.