Take note of the digital future

5 reminders of making multimedia-capable critical communication networks happen. The near future will see more calls to emergency centres arriving in a digital format.


Next-generation emergency centres have to be able to take distress calls as emergency text messages. In addition, they will have to be able to receive

  • video clips
  • digital images
  • location information.

Next-generation emergency centre personnel must be able to access an abdigitalfuturw.jpgundance of personal information that is in digital format in databases and in data clouds.

First responders will also find media-rich information extremely useful. They need secure access to multimedia themselves, just as their emergency response managers who need multimedia capabilities.

More than technology is needed

However, technology is not the only thing that matters.

1. Ease of use essential -

How will the users see and access the new multimedia-capable services? Both devices and applications must be easy to use. Devices in particular have to be durable and suitable for the purpose, with a long battery life.

2.  Don't forget the basics -

Users' everyday requirements still need to be met. The communication system has to provide the necessary voice and data services. Radio coverage must be available throughout the operational area. And the radio communication system needs to fit the operational needs of the users.


3.  Interoperability is a must -

Different organisations within a discipline need to communicate together easily, but in a controlled manner. Ideally, communications with other agencies will work the same way when data is used – easily, securely, and in a controlled way.

 4. The broadband future -

Broadband means a higher bandwidth and enables the sharing of video, for example. On the other hand, it requires a lot of spectrum and another network infrastructure from the existing public safety infra. However, in a hybrid network that complements the current TETRA network with a broadband network, the familiar, reliable, secure and efficient voice services continue to be available.

5. One step at a time -

The best road to the media-rich future is incremental. Use the existing network infrastructure as much and as long as possible and build the future solutions on top of this solid basis.

The result: better protection

When communications meet these requirements well, the results can be tangible. Public safety professionals will be able to respond faster, deal with more incidents more quickly and give better protection to people and property.