Public Safety Broadband Market: Who’s on FirstNet?

Public Safety Broadband Market: Who’s on FirstNet? is an overview of telecom veteran Frank Ohrtman's impressions gained while attending FirstNet's first public board of directors meeting accompanied by a tour of the Public Safety Communications Research labs where evaluated platforms were on full display. If the success of FirstNet is to be judged by its stated goals, then FirstNet is not technically, financially or politically feasible. In addition, FirstNet is not a solution for rural broadband. On the other hand, the work of the Public Safety Communications Research lab in evaluating LTE platforms for interoperability is perhaps the most valuable work of FirstNet-related efforts. Those efforts may point to industry winners and losers not only in the US but in Asia, Latin America and the European Union as well.

Target Audience:

  • System Integrators
  • Public Safety Agencies
  • LTE Radio Manufacturers
  • Smartphone Manufacturers
  • Cellular Network Operators
  • Public Safety Network Operators
  • LMR Infrastructure Manufacturers
  • Public Safety Application Developers
  • Mobile Computing Equipment Manufacturers
  • Cellular Network Infrastructure Manufacturers
Companies in report:
  • 7Layers Lab
  • Aeroflex
  • Agilent
  • Alcatel-Lucent
  • Anite
  • Anritsu
  • At4 Wireless
  • CalAmp
  • Cassidian
  • Cetecom
  • Cisco
  • Elektrobit
  • FirstNet
  • General Dynamics
  • Harris
  • Inmotion
  • IPWireless
  • LGE
  • Motorola
  • MSI
  • NEC
  • Public Safety Communications Research
  • Public Wireless
  • Rohde & Schwarz
  • US Department of Commerce
  • Vodafone
Key Findings:
  • The goals espoused by FirstNet for the nation-wide network are not feasible.
  • FirstNet may not be funded as planned.
  • The Public Safety Communications Research serves as a gatekeeper testing for interoperability and other aspects of 4G LTE products for the US public safety market.
  • Industry winners: Those with products approved for interoperability in US 4G LTE public safety by PSCR. May lead to acceptance by US public safety buyers. Success here may lead to success in international 4G LTE public safety markets
  • Industry losers: Those who do not participate in or fail FirstNet-related interoperability testing


General Methodology

Mind Commerce Publishing's research methodology encompasses input from a wide variety of sources.

We rely heavily upon our Subject Matter Experts (SME) in terms of their market knowledge, unique perspective, and vision. We utilize SME industry contacts as well as previous customers and participants in our market surveys and interactive interviews.

In addition, we rely upon our extensive internal database, which contains modeling, qualitative analysis, and quantitative data. We review secondary sources and compare to our primary sources to update previous findings (for prior version reports) and/or compile baseline information for technology and market modeling.

We share preliminary models with industry contacts (select previous clients, experts, and thought leaders) to verify the veracity of initial modeling. Prior to final report production (analysis, findings, and conclusions), we engage in an internal review with internal SMEs as well as cross-expertise, senior staff members to challenge results.

We believe that forecasts should be prepared as part of an integrated process which involves both quantitative as well as qualitative factors. We follow the following 3-step process for forecasting.

Forecasting Methodology

Step 1 - Forecasts Input: The inputs for the present and historical revenues are derived from industry players. Financial and other quantitative data for individual sub-market categories are derived from original research and tested with interviews with major industry constituents.

Step 2 - Forecasting of Future Years: Mind Commerce extends forecasts based on a variety of factors including demand drivers as well as supply side data. Key success factors and assumptions are considered.

Step 3 - Validation of Data: The final step is to validate projections, which is accomplished in consultation with both internal and external industry experts, including both topic and regional experts. Adjustments are made to the forecasts based on factors identified throughout this process.


1.0 Executive Summary
2.0 Introduction
3.0 What It Means To Vendor And Investor Community
4.0 Who Is Pscr?
5.0 Lab Tests As Indicators Or What’s Being Tested In The Labs?
6.0 Analysis Of Feasibility: Is Firstnet Technically, Financially And Politically Feasible As Advertised?
6.1 Reliability Of The Network Is Priority #1
6.2 Cover Every Square Meter In Us With 30,000 Cell Sites
6.3 Network Will Be Built To Public Safety Specifications (Determined By Public Safety Communications Research Labs In Boulder, Colorado)
6.4 Network Must Be Economical To Build And Operate (Local Authorities To Fund Operations)
6.5 Network Must Be Built As Soon As Possible With Existing Technologies
6.6 Is Firstnet Financially Feasible?
6.7 Is Firstnet Politically Feasible?
7.0 What Vendors Should Do/Not Do Now
7.1 Follow Firstnet, Pscr News, Attend Pscr And Firstnet Events
7.2 Note The Types Of Platforms Being Tested
7.3 What Network Topology Does That Indicate?
7.4 Who Are The Vendors Whose Products Are Being Tested And/Or Approved By Pscr?
7.5 How Do Your Products Fit Into That Emerging Value Network?
8.0 Challenges For Firstnet
9.0 Advice To Firstnet: The “5 A’s” Approach For Firstnet
9.1 A #1 Aggregate Experience
9.2 A #2 Assess The Broadband Environment
9.3 A #3 Assess And Aggregate Demand
9.4 A #4 Adopt Existing Resources And Solutions
9.5 A #5 Adapt For Sustainability
10.0 Conclusion
List of Figures
Figure 1 Handheld devices (smartphones and tablets) seen in the PSCR labs February 12, 2013.
Figure 2 In-vehicle platforms known to be in the PSCR labs February 2013.
Figure 3 Other vendors in PSCR labs 2012
List of Tables
Table 1 How "reliability" is measured in terms of availability
Table 2 FirstNet board of directors

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