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Connecting mission-critical Push-to-Talk with enterprisegrade apps When lives depend on co-ordinated action, there is a requirement for standards that interconnect Push-To-Talk with enterprisegrade communication apps. By Roderick Hodgson Director, Secure Chorus

50 | Australian Security Magazine

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irst responders in medical services, police forces, border security, fire service, civil aviation, disaster relief, armed forces and other emergency services, have a requirement to communicate efficiently and securely not only with each other, but with other stakeholders such as government officials. Until recently, connecting enterprisegrade communication apps to first responders using Mission-Critical Push-to-Talk (PTT) communication has not been technically possible, but innovation resulting from Secure Chorus’ interoperability standards can enable such communication. Historically emergency services have relied on dedicated radio systems to provide these mission-critical communication services. The ‘Project 25’ standard was adopted in North America, while Terrestrial Trunked Radio (TETRA) has become widely used in 114 countries across Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Asia Pacific, the Caribbean and South America. The TETRA standard was designed to be entirely separate from commercial mobile infrastructure. When it was first standardised in 1995, the first 3G infrastructure had not yet been introduced to the consumer market. Since the development of TETRA however, commercial mobile infrastructure has undergone a complete transformation, with the universal take up of 4G.

Commercial mobile operators are now rapidly migrating to IP-based systems and are preparing for the roll-out of the next-generation consumer mobile technology, 5G. This investment in commercial mobile infrastructure is bringing increased performance and additional features to the user market. Originally developed for voice communication, TETRA remains reliable for that type of communication. But it has limited capacity for handling the vast demands for data bandwidth created by the media-rich communications that have become essential in emergency response environments. Also, agencies adopting TETRA often find themselves “locked-in” to a single supplier, limiting their ability to upgrade to different technologies. This also places limits on their ability to communicate with colleagues in neighbouring countries or agencies. While features have been added to improve TETRA (such as the “TETRA Enhanced Data Service”), and to build interoperability gateways between systems (such as the “TETRA Inter-System Interface”), these have seen limited uptake to date. Many countries are evaluating the use of commercial mobile infrastructure to provide the necessary bandwidth and are delivering much-needed additional capabilities. Consideration is being given to augmenting or replacing

Profile for Asia Pacific Security Magazine

Australian Security Magazine, Issue 1, 2019  

The Australian Security Magazine is the country’s leading government and corporate security magazine. It is distributed free of charge to ma...

Australian Security Magazine, Issue 1, 2019  

The Australian Security Magazine is the country’s leading government and corporate security magazine. It is distributed free of charge to ma...

Profile for apsm