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Texas' Harris County Takes Crime Fighting to Next Level with Expanded Public Safety LTE Comms System

Date: 2012-05-04
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Motorola Solutions broadband network will double in size to enhance port security, improve Gulf Coast communications with expanded video, data capabilities


Motorola Solutions, Inc., a leader in the development of Public Safety Long Term Evolution (LTE) networks, devices, applications and services, has been awarded a  $4 million contract to expand the Harris County, Texas Public Safety LTE wide area broadband network.  Seven LTE sites will be added to the network for a total of 13 LTE sites delivering enhanced video and data capabilities along with expanded interoperability with Harris County’s existing ASTRO® 25 Land Mobile Radio (LMR) system.

The broadband system, which will comply with standards adopted for the national broadband plan, will provide increased communications initially for the Port region and eventually throughout the Houston-Galveston Area Council (HGAC) Region.  Harris County first responders will be prepared to meet new threats at the ports and on the street with powerful new Public Safety LTE devices connected to a multimedia command center on an always-on Public Safety LTE broadband network. The county plans to add Motorola’s LEX 700 Mission Critical Handheld to the system when the LTE device begins shipping later this year.

Along with adding seven LTE sites, the Harris County broadband network will be expanded to include:

  • Real-Time Video Intelligence (RTVI) software, enabling live fixed or mobile video to be delivered to and from the field. With RTVI, Harris County agencies will be able to stream video between headquarters, vehicles and handheld devices on the street.
  • Broadband Push-To-Talk (PTT) software and servers to allow for increased PTT capabilities between LTE and Project 25 (P25) networks.
  • VML 700 LTE Vehicle Modems, MW810 Mobile Workstations and MVX1000 In-Car Digital Video Systems to record audio and video evidence from multiple cameras and microphones to a solid-state drive.

“When looking for an LTE/broadband solution, we took the same approach as we did when looking for a Public Safety Land Mobile Radio solution,” said Robert Cavazos, Harris County’s director of broadband services, Information Technology-Mobility. “We wanted a standards-based, reliable solution designed for  the special mission critical needs of public safety. An LTE solution that would allow us to leverage carrier networks for roaming and that could be integrated with our existing P25 LMR network was an important consideration. The goal is enhanced interoperability between our public safety and first responder networks and a robust broadband solution for public safety that would carry us well into the future.  The resulting solution will enable Harris County to provide enhanced priority of services to first responders at a granular level, ensuring bandwidth availability for a given person and situation. We considered this crucial for public safety.”

With more than 50 sites, the Harris County ASTRO 25 LMR system provides interoperable communications among more than 170 Public Safety agencies and more than 65,000 users in 13 counties. These agencies will eventually be able to tie into the Harris County LTE system, further expanding LTE to P25 interoperability throughout the region while offsetting costs associated with building multiple independent networks.

Harris County is maximizing its return on investment by leveraging Motorola’s comprehensive suite of Public Safety LTE Lifecycle Services throughout the system design, build-out and start-up phases of operation.


- Corporate News/9-1-1magazine.com (via Motorola Solutions, 4/18/12)

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