BYOC in-vehicle unit from Parallel Wireless solves coverage challenges for LA-RICS Rose Bowl deployment and at Fire Camp 2

Steve Kropper, VP Business Development | April 5, 2017

Parallel Wireless deployed its LTE networks at National Special Security Events like Super Bowl 50, Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Lollapalooza 2016 in Chicago, and at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The January 2, 2017 Rose Bowl was different because it was the first mission-critical public safety LTE permanent network deployment running on band 14, the spectrum allocated to FirstNet in the US

LA-RICS is pioneering band 14 LTE for a public safety wireless data network operating in Los Angeles.

FILLING COVERAGE HOLES

Parallel Wireless was asked to fill two coverage holes in the LA-RICS network:

  • First was at Rose Bowl stadium in Pasadena
  • Second at Fire Camp 2 in the hills of Altadena, CA

Voice, data, and video services were to be supported for first responders standing by in the event of an incident at the Rose Bowl Parade and Stadium. Parallel Wireless provided the network access points (eNodeBs) at these sites by using in-vehicle unit orchestrated by HetNet Gateway which helped with speed of deployment and made delivering instant coverage true plug-n-play.

ENABLING FLEXIBILITY

LA-RICS installed Parallel Wireless’ HetNet Gateway (HNG) months before the event. HNG was installed inside the network firewall adjacent to the Ericsson EPC and orchestrates Parallel Wireless Converged Wireless System (CWS) eNodeBs while removing the need to pre-plan/configure each individual node.

For LA-RICS, our BYOC (Bring Your Own Coverage) capabilities on our in-vehicle unit enabled these cases:

  1. Parallel Wireless operated a Band 14 node locally installed by LA-RICS and connected it to HetNet Gateway in the cloud in Nashua, New Hampshire
  2. Senior LA-RICS staff plugged a CWS into Internet service at home to create an instant coverage bubble
  3. Parallel Wireless’ in-vehicle CWS-210 was deployed with carrier LTE for backhaul connection to LA-RICS to create an instant coverage bubble with BYOC capabilities

Parallel Wireless’ Uni-Manage EMS suite of monitoring and management tools was also installed adjacent to the EPC at LA-RICS.

INTEROPERABILITY

HetNet Gateway enabled the interoperability between LTE and LMR by enabling an ecosystem. The esChat push to talk application was resident on the handsets from SONIM, Bitium and Motorola.  The application allowed interoperability with the existing LMR Network.  Interop between legacy LMR and future LTE radios allows an agency to migrate from legacy systems one radio or one agency at a time while retaining interoperability across all users and radios.

ROSE BOWL SITE

Coverage holes were identified in the stadium and adjacent parking lot / tailgate areas. Coverage was provided via:

  • A deployable macro base station installed by the south scoreboard in the stadium, using open Internet service, and
  • A deployable trailer southwest of the stadium; AT&T provided fiber backhaul from the COW.

In contrast, the adjacent COW supporting carrier networks required 25′ long trailers for their LTE gear. As deployed at the RNC in Cleveland, the future COW may simply be a flagpole with a CWS strapped atop.

FIRE CAMP TWO/JPL SITE

Two miles from the stadium and parade route, Fire Camp Two was the staging area for regional fire department hazmat, search and rescue, radioactive materials, and helicopter evacuation. Band 14 coverage was required there, but there was no attractive mount site for antennas, PLUS Internet backhaul was limited to low speed business-grade service. To solve these two problems, and to broaden agency hands-on experience with LTE, LA-RICS involved JPL (Jet Propulsion Lab) from Altadena, CA. JPL is sophisticated and could provide backhaul and their site’s altitude might support an attractive broadcast footprint beyond Fire Camp Two.

BYOC on PARALLEL WIRELESS IN-VEHICLE BASE STATION

On the day before the Rose Bowl game, Parallel Wireless deployed our CWS-210 at Fire Camp Two tapping Internet services in a training room. LTE antennas were mounted outside the room and they covered the staging area and personnel adequately. The CWS-210 is a one watt eNb designed for in-vehicle mount with optional embedded EPC when there is no backhaul for ad hoc operations.

It provides control, security, and traffic prioritization along with the unique capability to extend or create coverage anywhere, including in-building, rural, etc. to enable performance critical public safety, military, and local government multimedia and data communications via Bring Your Own Coverage (BYOC) capability. BYOC capability addresses coverage shortfalls from geographical or building limitations to network outages and emergency circumstances. The CWS eNodeB can extend nearby macro coverage into areas with no coverage like underground parking garages, basements, etc., and can also enable an ad hoc network when infrastructure does not exist or is compromised. With flexible mounting options, the hardware can be easily installed in any emergency vehicle.

ECOSYSTEM

Motorola is the system integrator, Ericsson the principal network vendor, and Televate the technical adviser to LA-RICS.

SUMMARY

We are grateful to many different ecosystem players for making these deployments a success. This mission critical deployment of Parallel Wireless’ elements succeeded because of months of detailed planning by LA-RICS, their systems integrator Motorola, and Televate, the technical advisor.  Installation of the HetNet Gateway enabled Motorola and AIRWAVE, their local agent to install the deployable without Parallel Wireless staff onsite. Also, installation of the in-vehicle BYOC unit was accomplished by LA-RICS staff with no training or pre-planning.

In the carrier world, many months of planning are required for a deployment, however, public safety needs the network to “deploy at the speed of dispatch”, with deployments in an hour when there is less time to plan. Parallel Wireless is accustomed to short planning horizons such as Super Bowl 50 (18 days), RNC (21 days), Arizona Tribal (Grand Canyon coverage – one day). In this deployment, pre-installing the HetNet Gateway removed all provisioning delay from core/EPC components.