Deployment Scenario

Police, fire and EMS personnel are attending the county fair when an oil tanker derails on a remote track in rural New Hampshire. A deployable at the fair provides temporary coverage for both carrier and FirstNet Band 14 frequencies. Once dispatched, volunteer first responders switch their mobile phones from carrier to Band 14. A Sheriff’s vehicle equipped with a mobile LMR:LTE base station (eNb) is first to the accident site. It ‘deploys at the speed of dispatch’ automatically, creating instant Band 14 coverage. Carrier LTE provides backhaul reaching to a nearby tower while a firetruck follows with a small format deployable using satellite and carrier backhaul.

New Hampshire is a mostly rural state with three mid-sized cities. As mandated by FirstNet legislation, the State must develop an alternate PSBN plan for comparison to the plan from AT&T/FirstNet. New Hampshire was the first state to solicit and award a contract which created an opt out option. In this deployment, Parallel Wireless and our exercise partners aimed to illustrate a range of network options reflecting this rich vendor and technology environment.

Hybrid Network Capabilities

From May 25-26, 2017, the Northern New Hampshire deployment in North Stratford and Grafton, NH illustrated several hybrid capabilities that are essential to meeting the goals for a national public safety broadband network:

  1. To enable rural coverage and building penetration, and increase deployable capacity, two hybrid mobile elements were used:
    • Mobile eNodeB for every police, fire, EMS vehicle to bring coverage with the vehicle;
    • Small deployable with backhaul options (satellite, and carrier LTE) plus embedded EPC.
  2. To leverage today’s carrier coverage while respecting their existing subscriber relationships with hybrid dual mode handsets that switch between consumer spectrum and Band 14.
  3. Enable agency LMR radios to interoperate with Band 14 LTE and migrate to mission critical voice at their own pace and budget, one team member or agency at a time, using a hybrid OTT (over the top) interoperable push-to-talk (PTT) app.
  4. Simplify deployments with Network Function Virtualization (NFV) so the Band 14 roll out can be swift and easy while still being compatible with carrier architecture.
  5. Assure resilience with multi-operator core network (MOCN) capabilities where the HetNet Gateway (HNG) enables a hybrid mix and match of eNodeBs and multiple EPC locations, removing dependence on proprietary networks.
  6. Offer access anywhere via satellite plus carrier LTE backhaul for local LTE and Wi-Fi.

What Elements were Deployed?

  1. Parallel Wireless (PW) CWS-210 that delivered mobile Band 14 plus carrier LTE backhaul.
  2. Wireless Partners, a rural LRA, provided carrier LTE backhaul for deployable Band 14 eNb.
  3. SONIM and Bittium handsets enabled switching between Band 14 and Verizon or AT&T

4. PW’s CWS-3000 eNodeB providing carrier AND public safety frequencies from a 40 W macro.

5. StarRunner compact deployable with KA band satellite backhaul for the Band 14 radios.
6. LA-RICS & Harris County, TX networks’ EPCs extended to the site by PW’s HetNet Gateway.
7. Mutualink bridges local dispatch and LMR radios to AT&T, Verizon, and Band 14 handsets.

These hybrid elements meet the requirements for all public safety scenarios: urban and rural, fixed and mobile, permanent and deployable, plus interoperability with all carriers and legacy LMR networks.

How Was The Network Deployed?

  • Parallel Wireless installed the HetNet Gateway (HNG) inside the Harris County (Houston, TX) and LA-RICS (Los Angeles, CA) early builder networks in 2015 and 2016, respectively. The HNG is adjacent to Ericsson’s EPC in these mission critical networks built by Motorola.
  • The HetNet Gateway enabled Parallel Wireless’ eNodeB to extend the Los Angeles and Houston Band 14 networks similarly to what was done in previous deployments for a FirstNet board meeting, Super Bowl 50, the Rose Bowl in 2017, the NY Marathon, Republican National Convention, and Lollapalooza in Chicago.
  • No prior network planning was required to deploy the CWS which delivered Band 14 and carrier frequencies. The HNG connects any eNodeB to the cores wherever there is Internet connectivity. In late 2016, the HNG was installed at Wireless Partner’s data center in Maine and integrated with the core provided by EXTENET. Three days before the exercise, a three-man crew engaged by Wireless Partners installed the Parallel Wireless CWS-3050 macro eNodeB at 170° at ground level on the tower in Grafton, NH. Wireless Partner’s provided fiber connectivity back to the HNG.
  • Rescue 42 transported their StarRunner deployable to the site on the day of the exercise. During the exercise, this deployable was stowed, relocated from North Stratford to Grafton, then deployed in under 90 minutes, including travel time.
  • Mutualink installed their EDGE capability on all handsets and in the Grafton County Sheriff Department to support PTT voice and video (between LTE sets), convert LMR to IP, and enable interoperability with other EDGE sites in Hanover and Lebanon, NH and over 100 other sites nationwide.
  • Sonim, Bittium, Samsung, Apple iPhone and iPad devices enabled connectivity across all public safety platforms including the AT&T and Verizon networks using the Mutualink EDGE app.

Technology Partners

For a solution to enable a true nationwide public safety broadband network, it requires a cohesive ecosystem of industry players who can work together to provide the capabilities essential to a project of this magnitude. Parallel Wireless is extremely fortunate to have been able to work with the following industry leaders and are truly grateful for their work in helping us to deploy this reimagined public safety LTE solution:

LA-RICS:

Provides EPC support, co-located with Parallel’s HetNet Gateway Support. EPC/HNG integration, work with SONIM on dual SIM configuration.

  • Ted Pao, Supervising Telecom System Engineer
  • Bob Kupsh, Televate

Harris County (Houston) Texas:

Provides EPC support, co-located with Parallel’s HetNet Gateway. Collaborate with SONIM on dual SIM configuration. Support PW with EPC/HNG integration

  • Shing Lin,
  • Gary Herzog,
  • Jim McMillan

Wireless Partners:

Tower for CWS, fiber backhaul, local carrier LTE backhaul.

  • Bob Parsloe, President
  • Tom Buckley, Project Manager

Rescue 42:

Satellite deployable & LTE platform

  • Tim O’Connor, President

Mutualink:

LMR:LTE interoperability

  • Scott Polley,
  • Bob Galvin

SONIM

Dual mode handsets (AT&T/Band 14)

  • Bob Escalle

Bittium: 

Dual mode handsets (Verizon/Band 14)

  • Jani Metsa

Grafton Sheriff:

Live dispatch center support

  • Tom Andross