Adoption of Multiband Radio Technology Advocated to Improve and Enhance First Responder Communications

"Overlapping jurisdictions and missions today create the need for communications that provide direct, full-spectrum interoperability."

by / December 8, 2008

During a presentation titled "Enabling First-Responder Interoperability through Multiband, Software Defined Radios," Kevin Kane, director of business development for Government and Public Safety, Harris RF Communications Division, said that multiband, multimode radios are a powerful tool that will enable state, federal, local and tribal agencies to operate more effectively.

Kane made his remarks during the Second Annual Conference on National Preparedness, which is taking place December 8-9 at the Hilton Melbourne Beach Oceanfront Hotel in Melbourne, Fla.

Hosted by the Florida Institute of Technology, the conference features more than 25 distinguished speakers who are leaders in disaster preparedness and response, national and international security, and humanitarian and disaster relief logistics. The conference provides an in-depth look at technologies and integrated strategies on national preparedness. Sessions cover a wide range of topics, including national and international safety and security, command and control, global preparedness, and cyber security.

Kane told the conference that multiband radios will help first responders overcome barriers to more effective and efficient cooperation. "Overlapping jurisdictions and missions today create the need for communications that provide direct, full-spectrum interoperability," said Kane. "Multiband, software-defined radios have the power and flexibility to support these critical and fast-changing missions now and into the future.

"Multiband technologies address many communication challenges in homeland security that are driven by jurisdictional overlap, large areas of responsibility, joint missions, regional communications systems, and the unpredictability of the unknown," Kane said. "Multiband is a superior solution to the current system of single-banded radios.

"Solutions that are capable of providing compatibility among today's communications systems are costly, provide limited capability, or are unreliable," Kane said, citing ad-hoc interoperability tools such as gateways, switches, patches and swaps as examples. "Multiband radio technology provides reduced cost of product development and communications upgrades, pathways to future technologies, and improved battery life."