Associate Magazine - FBINAA - Q4 - 2022



Wireless connectivity facilitates fast, effective communication and public safety agencies around the country have been increasingly embracing mobile technology to support a variety of mission critical and mission essential operations. Until recently, those operations have relied upon 4G, which was first introduced in the United States more than 10 years ago. Now, however, 5G is widely available and provides significant improvements over the previous generation of wireless.

F ew technologies have received as much attention as 5G, but the benefits of the technology are still being realized as agencies migrate to 5G-capable devices. The safety of first responders depends on fast, reliable access to critical applica tions and data no matter the assignment, whether it’s a rapidly evolving tactical situation, a fast-moving wildfire, or a search and rescue operation during a natural disaster. With 5G, data transfer rates improve significantly, and latency is substantially reduced. This means high volumes of data can be delivered in near real time and overall situational awareness can be expanded and improved significantly. Some examples of emerging areas that utilize 5G include real time video feeds for evolving critical incidents, facilitated emergen cy response based on timely assessment of vehicle location and routing (green wave), and live-streamed, on-demand, body-worn camera feeds during an emergency. It’s likely that the use of body worn cameras will expand beyond law enforcement to both fire and EMS operations, allowing scene commanders to better assess rapidly changing fire environments, and emergency rooms to see the actual condition of a patient in the field. Expansive single pane-of-glass command centers can now display levels and quality of information that dramatically improve decision making. MAKING A DIFFERENCE WITH SENSORS Another area where 5G is showing great benefit is in sensor utilization, and there is a unique aspect that merits consideration for public safety tech planners, especially within the context of

smart cities. Orthogonal sensor cueing refers to a situation where one sensor tells a second sensor to execute an action or initiate a process. Conventional

4G transmissions can introduce a degree of latency during which a situation could change and make the action of the second sensor inconsequential. Imagine a ground sensor that detects vibration and notifies a pan/tilt/zoom camera to move to the affected area. With low-latency 5G, the subject is captured on video in near real time and the image can be immediately reviewed (by a human or AI-assisted video analysis) for criteria such as carrying an object or being armed with a weapon. In this example, any significant de gree of latency could result in missing potentially critical informa tion. Suffice it to say that 5G supports a much wider deployment of integrated and intelligent sensor networks that will help public safety professionals operate proactively and mitigate risk. IMPORTANT CONSIDERATIONS REGARDING 5G As public safety agencies consider the wide array of potential use cases, it’s instructive to understand the different frequency bands that comprise 5G. There are three general band groups of 5G frequency - low, mid, and high. Unless you’re a commu nications engineer, this is an area that can be confusing and it’s important to not focus solely on the incredible data transfer rates

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