Dual-mode radios (TETRA/MCX) for first responders, FRMCS for train operators to CAD in blue light communities … ten MCX trends likely to emerge in 2023
TEL AVIV, ISRAEL, December 15, 2022 /EINPresswire.com/ — It’s that time of year again. Softil’s crystal ball is out, dusted off, and been intently looked into trying to see what the next year might bring to the transitioning world of Mission-Critical Communications (MCX).
You know how moody and capricious these virtual crystal balls can be, refusing to show you a clear picture. If there is anything which seems to be clear to us at Softil, it is the trend of evolution. We can expect that the quantity of MCX devices available today will become better and many of the predictions which were already made will start to materialize during the next two-three years, and the new, important technologies will “magically” appear in a quiet, almost unnoticeable fashion. But make no mistake – this is still a quiet revolution.
If we are willing to look, it is easy to see that this “quiet revolution” just appears in our daily life without being recognized as such. Take a look at automatic translation, for example. Of course, Google translation had been around for a while. But translating a whole website was never simple. And this year, we already have the Softil website available literally in any language you want – French, German, Japanese, Korean – take your pick. The technology quietly arrived and is in use – all matter-of-factly.
Take a look at another example – satellite communications. Again, satellite communications has been around a very long time – who doesn’t have a mental image of the large phone with even bigger antenna? No special phone – no satellite communications. And yet satellite communications is now all of a sudden available to tens of millions of people – anyone with an iPhone 14 now holds the power of satellite communications in their hand. Yes, you can only send an emergency text message via satellite, you can’t yet have a conversation at will – but think about the revolutionary significance of what is now here.
Now that we have illustrated our main point – more often than not, revolutions take the form of a quiet evolution – let’s get to our main subject … mission-critical communications
Dual-mode radios are entering the main fray
Every technologist’s dream is to see new technology being deployed overnight. But this never happens in reality as “old” technology never becomes “old” in a matter of a day. Old and new has first to coexist.
Public safety professionals are accustomed to rely upon radio communications devices in their daily work. No matter how attractive the capabilities of ruggedized smartphones, getting used to them requires time. This is where dual-mode devices come into play allowing for a comfortable transition for public safety professionals – familiar old form-factor, new advanced capabilities, all in one. We have been talking about dual-mode devices, sometimes called “hero devices” for a while – but we finally expect to see them in the hands of first responders in 2023.
FRMCS continues to gain momentum
Every technology has its lifespan. No matter how great the technology, evolution always catches up with it – performance, features, cost and even ability to maintain – life just evolves.
For more than 20 years, GSM-R had been powering train communications in Europe and many other countries. It will continue to do so for another 10 years at least. However, its end is on the horizon. This is why the Future Railway Mobile Communications System (FRMCS), entirely based on 5G technology and MCX standards, is being actively developed by the International Union of Railways (UIC) and other international organizations to create a new and better solution for train communications, train control, automation and many other critical railway tasks. Work on FRMCS started a while ago, but we expect to see more proof of concept and trials in 2023.
There is an app for this
With the mass proliferation of smartphones, apps rule the world – or at least they give us that impression. Obviously here we are interested in apps for public safety users – and luckily, there are lots of them. There is a barrage of Android and iOS applications offering first responders tools tailored precisely for their specific branch of public safety – firefighters, EMS, police for situational awareness, smart maps and navigation, communications, video analytics and many more. So why are we even talking about them as 2023 predictions? Many of these applications offer PTT communication capabilities to users. Today, PTT might be proprietary. But in 2023, we expect to see PTT capabilities to become standards-based MCPTT (Push to Talk), to fulfil the promise of the interoperable global MCX standard and enable the power of broadband communications for all.
CAD is taking notice
Computer-Aided Dispatch is at the heart of any first responder operation – fire, EMS, police – everybody needs to be able to optimize the use of resources for what whatever emergency is coming our way.
Traditionally, CAD systems are self sufficient and rely upon integrations with equipment, location and communication providers. As MCX communications becomes even more prolific, the opportunity arises to bring all communications under one umbrella and allow CAD systems to take advantage of comprehensive location management and group communications which are an integral part of any MCX deployment. In 2023, Softil expects to see early trials of CAD systems connecting to MCX services and taking the efficiency of emergency response to the next level.
The full Softil outlook for the MCX industry can be viewed at https://www.softil.com/category/press-release/
email us here