LTE shows potential for emergency service use

Market research from ABI indicates that the role of the Long-Term Evolution (LTE) communication standard in first responder and public safety is likely to grow, they announced on Thursday.

As LTE technology improves, it is possible that LTE could become the main protocol for emergency and public safety communication. The research company states that LTE subscriptions are estimated to reach 11 million globally by 2020, and the industry to be worth approximately $5.1 billion.

Recent iterations of LTE technology have incorporated features and capabilities that are considered important in the public safety arena including relay extensions to expand network services that can provide coverage in disaster situations. LTE also allows point-to-point communication that bypasses the need for a base station.

The third Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) is a collaborative group of telecommunication companies that is working behind the development of LTE technology.

“The lack of legacy public safety communication networks allows these markets to deploy First Responder and Public Safety LTE networks, with no issues of interoperability," ABI Research analyst Lian Jye Su said. "Emerging markets will eventually replace advanced markets as the growth driver, especially with China joining the fray in around 2021."

Countries that use LTE technology commercially will likely be the first to adopt the technology for public safety purposes. ABI predicts that South Korea, the U.K. and the U.S. would be the first to implement this technology for emergency services.

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ABI Research

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