Harris/Miami-Dade Explore Wireless Broadband for First Responders

First responders in Miami-Dade County, Florida are on the air with 700 MHz Band 14 LTE and are poised to take advantage of the benefits of next generation wireless broadband technology.  The program, one of the first of its kind, demonstrates the...


First responders in Miami-Dade County, Florida are on the air with 700 MHz Band 14 LTE and are poised to take advantage of the benefits of next generation wireless broadband technology.  The program, one of the first of its kind, demonstrates the potential for real-time access to databases and video for the 35 municipalities of Miami-Dade – putting integrated, mission-specific information into the hands of Miami-Dade County police officers who respond, on average, to roughly 12 million calls each month.

Harris Corporation (NYSE:HRS) is providing the Miami Dade Police Department a pilot program which runs through July 2012 and delivers LTE to vehicular modems installed in department vehicles.  Miami-Dade is investigating and testing the possibilities of LTE-enabled public safety communications, with Harris and the department working together to determine the best applications to capitalize on LTE’s capacity and capability.

Harris also is demonstrating the capabilities of its recently-unveiled Next Connect Solution, a technology that allows first responders to maintain seamless, secure connectivity when moving between private and public broadband networks.  In conjunction with NetMotion Wireless’ leading Mobility XE technology, the Harris Next Connect Solution meets first responders’ needs for secure mobile access to high-bandwidth data during moments of mission-critical decision making.  The MDPD currently uses NetMotion’s Mobility XE technology.

“Miami-Dade is leaping forward to bring our first responders much-needed access to data-rich applications only available through LTE,” said Felix Perez, director, Radio Communications Information Division, Technology Department, Miami-Dade County.  “We are pleased with the coverage of this initial system, and the ease with which we’ve integrated our existing applications.

“Importantly, this program brings the potential for advanced capabilities, as well as greater efficiency and effectiveness in the field.  With more than 2.4 million citizens to serve, our officers require the enhanced situational awareness that only public safety LTE can deliver,” Perez added. 

Nokia Siemens Networks continues to serve as a key LTE technology partner to Harris.  For the user and the MDPD, the total Harris LTE solution illustrates potential operational advantages, including:

  • Broadband offerings for the delivery of video to and from the field. “Real time” views of traffic stops or tactical operations mean greater efficiencies, visual cross-communication, and ultimately a safer community.
  • Applications that improve situational awareness.
  • Integration with the existing assets.  A solution that would co-exist with LMR/P25 systems provides an integrated LMR-LTE experience – giving the user access to the feature set of LMR, and the applications of LTE.

"For more than 20 years, we’ve collaborated with Miami-Dade County to bring innovative tools to first responders in the field,” said Chuck Shaughnessy, vice president, LTE Business, Harris Public Safety and Professional Communications.  “This program showcases how the Harris LTE Solution brings the benefits of next generation wireless broadband to the U.S. public safety community.”

With this program, MDPD is testing Harris’ Radio Access Network (RAN) infrastructure connected to the Harris Chelmsford, Mass. LTE core.  This particular architecture – a local RAN connected to a multi-tenant remote core, is consistent with many agencies’ future LTE needs because it minimizes the cost and time required for deployment within any given geographic area.