Over the past decade, mobile broadband communications have become central to the way emergency services across the country respond in a time of crisis.
The land mobile radio systems that once formed the backbone for voice communications have gradually been augmented with mobile broadband, resulting in an extraordinary transformation in the way emergency services mobilise when disaster strikes.
As national general manager for government and public safety and security at Telstra, Alex Stefan has witnessed this transformation brought about by real-time video transmissions, rapid access to a patient’s medical information, and immediate background checks during policing operations.
Underpinning all of these services is a world-leading mobile broadband network technology called LANES, developed by Telstra to ensure highly mobile emergency services operators get the information they need, when they need it most.
My name is Alex Stefan, I’m the national general manager for government and public safety and security [at Telstra].
Communication is the lifeblood of all emergency services, from the receipt of the 000 call through to the dispatch to the site.
Historically, in the police and emergency services, the primary method of communication was voice communication using land mobile radio networks, and that’s always been the mainstay of communications for many, many years. And over the last decade since the introduction of mobile broadband in Australia, we’ve seen this extraordinary transformation.
LANES was conceived in Australia by an Australian-owned company, and it won the 2015 World Mobile Congress award for LTE [long-term evolution] innovation.
We can co-locate that spectrum and provide surety of service of that spectrum to be solely and exclusively utilised by that organisation for the purposes of meeting their particular requirements.
Today what we’re able to do – we’re actually able to bring from the field, through the officer, the actual event occurring. [We have] the ability to stream real-time video and imagery from the fire front, be it from a helicopter that’s hovering above, be it from a fire truck or an individual officer.
The police today carry iPads, and they’re able through their iPads to access real-time crime reporting information.
And for ambos, similarly again, they can access through their tablet computers real-time patient information, they can stream ECG [electrocardiogram] information, they can connect back to special medical centres to ask for additional support.
And this has been quite transformational for these organisations that are very highly mobile, which deliver frontline services to the community.
I think it is really unique. I think it – it will fundamentally change the way people perceive and deploy mission-critical communications through mobile broadband into the 21st century.