Events over the past decade have prompted a renewed interest in Homeland Security,
and an urgent need for a secure and interoperable communications infrastructure
to support this national initiative. The United States government’s role
in addressing the communications issues surrounding public safety presents
monumental challenges that focus on the following:
Given a broad range of needs across a base that includes public safety workers,
government field workers and government mobile professionals, it has become
a collective necessity to have immediate and secure access to cross-jurisdictional
communications, information and data while responding to an emergency situation.
CDMA2000® is fully capable of delivering secure solutions that address
these specific needs. To demonstrate this, consider the following fictitious
A major railroad derailment within site of the Capitol Building has occurred.
While the cause is yet unknown, international terrorist threats have been
received. Thus, an incident commander needs to seriously consider the possibility
of a follow-on attack. Cross-jurisdictional communication is required. Local
resources are quickly overloaded trying to respond to the current crisis
while managing potential follow on threats. Neighboring agencies require
common communications for rapid, coordinated action. Injuries require first
responder personnel to work with multiple trauma centers in the district.
The possibility of a toxic fluid and gas leak requires cargo inventory and
precautionary procedures and information to be downloaded on demand. Given
the high potential for fire, wireless sensory units are deployed to monitor
danger areas. Tracking the movement and location of fire departments is critical
to efficiently route emergency personnel to the scene. Public safety agencies
need to effectively coordinate responses with an interactive, cross-jurisdictional
communications and information system to manage situational awareness and
distribution of information. So how can CDMA2000 deliver solutions better
than other technologies?
CDMA Provides Key Benefits
Try envisioning the ultimate Public Safety wireless network of networks. What
would be the main tenets of its foundation? Security, spectral efficiency
and system reliability are certainly fundamental elements. But in the end,
Public Safety wireless networks must leverage the core technology of commercial
wireless systems and be augmented by features required to support the unique
mission of Public Safety / Homeland Security goals. Such a vision requires
technology that encapsulates data-rich applications, high security, interoperability,
mission critical capabilities, and can provide a low total cost of ownership.
CDMA2000 fits this bill very well.
A Powerful Range of Data Intensive Applications
Today’s CDMA cellular networks support a wide range of advanced communication
capabilities delivering voice, cutting-edge data and multimedia capabilities
across a broader range of jurisdictions, using non-proprietary commercial technology.
As a result, key personnel can communicate faster and more effectively in emergency
situations, with an increased opportunity to save lives and minimize additional
risks to the public. Spread spectrum mobile technology supports full-featured
voice services, geolocation services, push-to-talk, faster download of photos,
maps and other graphics, and streaming audio and video, as well as broadcast/multicast
services providing highly efficient ways to facilitate team-based communications.
These data intensive applications are just not possible using limited bandwidth
and low speed data solutions. However, the power of 3G spread spectrum technology
is that it is able to match capabilities to crisis management needs as illustrated
in our crisis scenario.
Spread Spectrum Security
Spread spectrum technology provides inherent and supportable elements of security
and privacy. Firstly, CDMA signals are more difficult to tap than TDMA, GSM/GPRS
or Analog signals. Multiple cells simultaneously supporting a call make it
very difficult to follow the CDMA cellular call. Additionally, the CDMA air
interface is robust against casual eavesdropping protecting session information
via end-to-end encryption. System resources are protected via multiple layers
of authentication and authorization of users with long code mask providing
built-in security at the physical layer. To date, CDMA2000 has not fallen victim
to attacks and there are no known and commercially available CDMA interception
Ubiquitous, standards-based technology provides many benefits over proprietary-based
solutions. Leveraging mainstream, commercial technology allows for extensive
re-use of standardized data communication protocols, products, and application
software. Additionally, commercially available, “off-the-shelf” technology
utilizing industry standards enables interoperability between vendor’s
equipment. In a time where multi-vendor environments are the norm, full interworking
among increasingly complex networks of legacy and disparate systems is absolutely
critical. Finally, commercially available technology supports cross-jurisdictional
communications, enabling public safety agencies to communicate more effectively
across disciplines and jurisdictions. Full interoperability is provided with
Public Safety Wireless Systems, wireline systems supporting IP interfaces—and
any system using Public Switched Telephone Network interfaces. In times of
emergency, the ability to communicate seamlessly with key resources is critical,
and commercial networks provide today’s broadest range of interoperability
for responders’ mobile devices.
Enhanced Economy and Innovation
As a result of wide-ranging competitive activity, mainstream mobile technology
can deliver a growing range of new capabilities, more cost effectively. Economies
of scale help drive down expenses for network elements, mobile devices and
development of innovative features. Wide deployment also encourages ongoing
product development and support—and helps maintain a commitment to the
open standards that allow interoperability and application innovation.
Mission Critical Capabilities
Earlier this year, the United States government SAFECOM committee produced
a wireless communications requirements document to outline core capabilities
that should be present in future Public Safety Wireless networks. The goal
of the SAFECOM Program is to improve public safety response through more
effective and efficient interoperable wireless communications. As such, the
SAFECOM committee defined several mission critical capabilities essential
in allowing public safety agencies to talk across disciplines and jurisdictions
via communications systems, exchanging voice and / or data with one another
on demand, in real time, when needed. A subset of these capabilities include:
- High security
- Interoperability across jurisdictions and frequency bands
- High quality communications
and performance end to end
- “Off the shelf technology” that is spectrally efficient and
has a low Total Cost of Ownership
Commercially available spread spectrum wireless networks deliver on all of
these points and more, today. Most of the nation’s first responders could
be made fully interoperable, at a minimum cost in a very short time. Future
funding of a privately held Public Safety Wireless network will leverage the
economies of scale and operating experiences of the current networks.
In conclusion, CDMA technology provides compelling benefits over alternative
solutions in the marketplace. Public Safety Wireless networks need to fully
support the delivery of cutting-edge data and multimedia capabilities across
a broad range of jurisdictions, providing government agencies with anytime,
anywhere communications. Real life experience is increasingly demonstrating
that CDMA2000 can meet these needs TODAY.
CDMA2000 is a registered trademark of the Telecommunications Industry Association
About the Author
Mr. Iandolo is Vice President of CDMA/TDMA Product Management for Lucent Technologiesí Mobility Solutions with more than 25 years of experience in the global telecommunications industry. In his current position, Mr. Iandolo is responsible for the product line strategy and market development for Lucentís wireless infrastructure equipment based on CDMA and TDMA standards.
From 1997 through 1999, Mr. Iandolo was Executive Director of AirLoop Product Management and Marketing for Lucent Technologies; a high-end wireless local loop product based on CDMA technology providing wireline quality voice and data services. In 1998, he led the successful introduction of the first commercial AirLoop product, winning major contracts in Poland and Saudi Arabia.
Prior to 1997, Mr. Iandolo led several new business ventures for Lucent Technologies in international military communications and electronic fingerprint identification systems. Early in his career, he directed the development of advanced technologies for special US government customers where his teams achieved significant breakthroughs in signal processing, automated signal detection and characterization, neural network technologies, and artificial intelligence.
Mr. Iandolo received his MS Degree in Biomedical Engineering from Carnegie-Mellon University and his BS Degree in Electrical Engineering from Villanova University.