Verizon Advocates for Interoperability Across LTE Networks, Plans to Launch Alliance
Monday, January 25, 2021 | Comments

Verizon is urging other carriers and industry partners to embrace what it calls “true interoperability” for all public-safety professionals. To that end, the carrier plans to launch an alliance focused on interoperability later this year.

“While there has been a lot of progress in the carrier industry, we still have pretty significant gaps toward that true interoperability definition,” Irlando said. “By and large, they’re not technological gaps, and we think now is the time to solve that issue. We have essentially solved most of the technology issues, but now, it (true interoperability) is not the norm across fire, EMS and law enforcement.”

With true interoperability, first responders should be able to communicate and share data in real time regardless of the network, device, platform and/or the application that they’re using, Irlando said.

He noted that Verizon has focused on ensuring that its products, services and networks ensure interoperability with other carriers’ networks and platforms. Specifically, Verizon has focused on areas such as voice and data priority and pre-emption, mutual aid roaming, application ecosystems, LTE technology and mission-critical communications.

However, he noted, as one carrier, Verizon can’t provide true interoperability alone. To help reach that goal, Verizon is reaching out to other carriers and is planning to launch an industry coalition to push the issue forward. The carrier expects to launch that effort in the next couple of months.

In addition to carriers, the effort to bring true interoperability for first responders must include the entire LTE ecosystem from application, platform and devices developers up to carriers. The industry coalition will encompass this broad collection of industry providers, Irlando said.

With most of the technology to enable interoperability, the key is getting everyone within the public-safety LTE ecosystem to buy in and commit to providing true interoperability, Irlando said.

Some key paths to achieving that interoperability is supporting mutual aid roaming for current technologies as well as 5G, creating open application programming interfaces (APIs) to maximize the data created by deivces and internet of things (IoT) sensors and participating in an open model that allows any one to access data no matter the platform or network they are using, Irlando said.

“This is one of the most important issues facing public safety,” he said. “It’s a matter of life and death, whether it is a natural or man-made disaster. We don’t think it’s too much to ask that a first responder responding to disasters should be able to communicate and collaborate across voice and data, platform to platform and network to network in real time.” Would you like to comment on this story? Find our comments system below.

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