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R&D deal enables stress testing of LTE-based public safety comms network

March 17, 2011 // Colin Holland

R&D deal enables stress testing of LTE-based public safety comms network

Aeroflex Inc. has entered into a cooperative research and development agreement with the US Department of Commerce's Public Safety Communications Research (PSCR) program. The US government has mandated a nationally interoperable public safety network based on the LTE standard as defined by 3GPP (3rd Generation Partnership Project), the telecommunications industry standards body.

The National Telecommunications and Information Association (NTIA) began granting federal funds in 2010 for public safety network rollouts.

Under the agreement, PSCR is using Aeroflex's TM500 Test Mobile system to test Long Term Evolution (LTE) network infrastructure for US public safety broadband networks.

The first call was completed successfully on the LTE wireless broadband network designated for public safety using an Aeroflex TM500 Test Mobile with an Alcatel-Lucent base station.

The national, interoperable public safety network robustness must be tested to make certain the network can handle sudden spikes in network traffic during emergencies, as well as potential heavy loads in sparsely populated areas.

The TM500 Test Mobile can emulate real emergency network traffic scenarios and public safety use cases with LTE-based public safety network equipment. It includes the latest 3GPP specification with all features required for public safety communications.  .

"In an emergency, hundreds of first responders will simultaneously begin using the network with different levels of access and priority," said Oleg Fishel, North American Marketing Manager, Aeroflex Test Solutions. "These unique public safety scenarios necessitate testing the type of real world network usage that can only be properly emulated with the TM500 Test Mobile system."

As part of its role, PSCR will be deploying and operating a demonstration and evaluation LTE network for public safety broadband. This network will serve the dual purpose of demonstrating the technological capabilities and allow public safety entities to evaluate infrastructure vendor's equipment against a live public safety network.

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