Southern Linc Provides Update on Mission-Critical LTE Network
Thursday, September 19, 2019 | Comments

Southern Linc announced the official migration from its original iDEN network to the new mission-critical Long Term Evolution (LTE) CriticalLinc network. The company is now using all its 800 MHz LTE spectrum and giving customers more reliability, capacity and bandwidth for data needs.

"There were two phases to the LTE project,” said Alan McIntyre, engineering director for Southern Linc. “The first was to replicate the footprint we had with iDEN so that we could do customer conversions; the second phase, our current one, is to broaden coverage with LTE far beyond what we had with iDEN by adding more towers."

The first phase began in 2015 with the goal of getting about 1,000 sites up and running and to approximate iDEN coverage to begin the conversion. The last phase is 200 sites — 100 in 2019 and another 100 in 2020. This new infrastructure provides better, broader coverage than the iDEN network, and it will continue to improve, McIntyre said.

During October, Southern Linc will offer one-touch push to talk (PTT), which allows a user to configure what the PTT button does — call a specific person, call a group or do nothing — enabling greater control and avoiding accidental calls. Another feature is called Silent Talk Group, which allows a user to ignore talkgroup or group call conversations on the PTT application but still receive private calls, a helpful feature when in a business meeting.

A new Wi-Fi feature allows users who have not joined a public Wi-Fi network to stay on the LTE network for PTT calls. This will ensure that PTT calls are not disrupted based on the availability or lack thereof of a public Wi-Fi network.

Large group calls is essentially a broadcast for PTT, allowing a large group, 1,000 or more participants, to communicate under a single cell. This feature has broad applications for commercial purposes and emergency response situations, where communicating with a large group is essential.

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