700 MHz Demo Network Participation Deadline Set for April 30 (3/3/10)
Wednesday, March 03, 2010 | Comments

The solicitation of participation for the 700 MHz public-safety broadband demonstration network was published in the Federal Register this week. The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) announced the network late last year.

Expressions of interest in participating in the program are due April 30 and should be sent to 700MHz@its.bldrdoc.gov. A kick-off informational meeting will be held March 15 via a Webinar. The registration deadline for participation in the meeting is March 12 and registrations for the kickoff meeting also should be sent to 700MHz@its.bldrdoc.gov. The Webinar details, meeting time and teleconference bridge information will be e-mailed to registrants prior to the event.

The network will provide manufacturers and first responders a location for early deployment of their systems in a multivendor, neutral host environment. Emergency responders will see how these broadband systems will function and determine through hands-on experience how these systems meet their unique needs. This demonstration network is in the preliminary planning stages and is expected to go live in mid-2010.

The goal of this project is to demonstrate and evaluate the behaviors of Third Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) Long Term Evolution (LTE) technology deployed in the 700 MHz bands, specific to the needs of public-safety agencies. NIST developed an initial network design that must be evaluated by vendors, service providers, academia, and other stakeholders to ensure that it can support all test cases. Each participant may provide individual input to NIST; no consensus advice will be provided.

Vendors developing LTE equipment (Band Class 14) are eligible to participate in this project. By April 30, interested parties should submit their name, address, phone number and an e-mail address. After receiving all submissions, NIST may contact any party that submitted an expression of interest to follow up on how its technology would meet the evaluation criteria.

As part of the project, NIST will enter into Cooperative Research and Development Agreements (CRADAs) with participating equipment stakeholders. The network will have three major phases for stakeholder participation:


    1. Network and Test Planning: Stakeholders will be involved in creating a common test plan for all vendors and creating a common network deployment and coverage scheme.

    2. Deployment: Equipment is scheduled for delivery to site locations. Coverage, network planning, site preparation completed. Installation and commissioning takes place.

    3. Testing and Demonstrations: Test plan execution takes place. This may be staggered into subphases as equipment and features become available. Network is available to perform system-level testing and demonstrations.

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