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What does 5G really mean for critical communications?

21st January 2022

Critical communications plays one of the most important roles in our society and inside the world of the emergency services. Whilst there is no denying the fact that the current technology and network has been continuing to support first responders, the case for 5G is a no brainer and massively opens up the critical comms playing field in terms of latency, security, speed, new tech collaborations and exciting new use cases.

In order to address some of the many questions raised around the new use cases, benefits and impacts of 5G on critical comms, the TCCA (The Critical Communications Association), the global organisation for the advancement of standardised critical communications technologies has developed a whitepaper covering many of these topics. The TCCA go on to confirm that the rollout will inevitably provide critical users their much-needed connectivity requirements, therefore helping to enhance efficiency and effectiveness within their roles.

So, what does 5G really mean for critical comms? Here are just a few of the main use cases to consider:

• Situational Awareness: Enabling high amounts of operational devices such as body and car cameras, the processing of large amounts of data and providing a real time incident overview which will in turn enhance user operations and planning.

• Video Surveillance/Analytics: Remote controlled drones and unmanned vehicle usage can be increased, allowing for additional specific hotspot coverage, meaning increased awareness. Also capacity for high resolution video or thermal imaging cameras.

• Remote Control and Monitoring: 5G NR (new radio) will bring about reliable, low-latency comms for assisting with high-speed drones, assisted driving or unmanned vehicles.

• Immersive Applications: Command and control capabilities such as AR (augmented reality) and VR (virtual reality) for First Responder organisations, or wearables such as smart glasses for data access at a potential crime scene.

Whilst the transition to 5G will take some time, the fact remains that the potential for greatness is within reach, and we can all help to get there by continuing to build, support, develop and create important partnerships within the critical communications community.

Click here to read how Metricell are currently supporting the new Emergency Services Network (ESN) rollout.