ENGLAND, UK: The US Congress has finally signed off on the public safety D Block frequency allocation, paving the way for private LTE networks to be deployed en masse by public safety agencies in the US. This backs up key conclusions from a just published report from IMS Research that over three million LMR users will be using private LTE by 2021, spurred by activity in the United States.
Over the last few days democratic senators, including Senator Jay Rockefeller, have announced that public safety organizations in the United States will get the much awaited allocation of D Block 700Mhz spectrum but also that there will be $7 billion funding to support the build out of these private LTE networks. This announcement was described as “…a huge day for America” by Rockefeller as the bill finally goes to the house and senate for final approval.
IMS Research forecasts this will not only have a dramatic impact on the US market but that this announcement will also push the rest of the world into action as the debate around the future of broadband LMR solutions continues.
This will be seen as good news to LMR users as in a recent survey conducted to over 260 respondents from North America and Europe, it was indicated that nearly two thirds of public safety agencies preferred an LTE solution for their future data needs. D Block allocation and funding will now finally allow for this.
Thomas Lynch, Mobile Radio Market Analyst at IMS Research, states: “This is good news for the industry just in time for the forthcoming IWCE show. We expect some significant announcements during the show and look forward to seeing the emergence of LTE as the preferred mobile wireless technology for public safety agencies”.
In the same survey, agencies using LMR systems also indicated that other private wireless technologies such as WiMAX and HSPA would be considered as solutions for the broadband wireless, but to a much lesser extent. However, IMS Research forecasts that this announcement will now further the case for LTE over these other solutions.