Advancing critical communications in Asia

03 July 2024

TCCA’s Critical Communications World (CCW) 2024 concluded in May, hosted in Dubai – it was a hugely successful event with record attendance. Holding CCW in the UAE presented a great opportunity for visitors and exhibitors from Asia to join the show. Exhibitors from China, Hong Kong, India, the Republic of Korea and Singapore presented a range of innovative products and services, showcasing the work of Asian companies in the advancement of critical communications.

Long term TCCA member Hytera, headquartered in China, gives some perspective on the region:
“In the area of critical communications, Asia is complex, for countries vary greatly in their respective phases of technology adoption as well as in the technology itself. However, there are some trends and, to some extent, consensus across the region.

“First, Professional Mobile Radio (PMR), can’t be skipped and is not skipped by the vast majority of Asian countries in their bid to modernize their communications infrastructures for their public safety and public protection authorities. This year China’s PPDR authority, the Ministry of Emergency Management, accelerates its pace to deploy its own PDT system. In different stages of fulfilling nationwide coverage, the authorities in countries like Thailand, Indonesia and the Philippines are upgrading to or expanding TETRA or DMR Tier III Trunking networks.

“Second, convergence is the way forward. Of course, convergence itself refers to many different approaches of integrating or interconnecting heterogeneous systems in a bid to improve communications and collaborations across departments in an as-large-as-possible coverage. Vendors such as Hytera offer a total solution of convergent communications, which can be tailored according to different scenarios complicated by technologies, budgeting, and spectrum.

“Third, while proprietary Push-to-talk over Cellular (PoC) is a shortcut to leverage LTE broadband, standards-based MCX is gaining momentum in the market.

Initially, the integration of heterogeneous systems relied on proprietary solutions due to the ongoing development of relevant standards and the lack of a standardized interworking function, which limited interoperability and hindered the establishment of a harmonized ecosystem. Thanks to the collaborative efforts of 3GPP, ETSI, and TCCA, particularly in the realm of MCX and the interworking function (IWF), it is expected that more Asian countries will embrace these standard-based approaches.”

Consort Digital enjoyed a busy CCW, extending its MCX ONE Application portfolio by launching a Mobile Device Management (MDM) solution. MCX ONE Mission Critical Solution is a 3GPP-based open standard mission-critical communication platform supporting Push to Voice, Data, and Video over public/ private broadband networks (LTE 4G/5G, Wi-Fi). The solution also integrates narrowband technologies such as TETRA and DMR. Consort Digital partner operators have access to a partner portal which facilitates subscription management, operational support systems, network monitoring and management tools, as well as streamlined billing and e-commerce functions.

“The critical communication landscape in Asia is experiencing a significant shift from narrowband to broadband networks for mission-critical communication requirements,” says Consort Digital. “Railways and semi-high-speed rails are leading the adoption of broadband technology, driven by the need for high-speed, reliable communication for operational efficiency and passenger safety. In addition to the transportation sector, other segments such as airports, public safety, and urban management are increasingly embracing broadband solutions to enhance their operational efficiency and safety measures.

“The shift from narrowband to broadband is primarily driven by the convergence of multiple technologies and applications. Broadband networks can seamlessly integrate CCTV, IoT, and various data-intensive applications, providing a unified communication platform that significantly enhances operational capabilities. This evolution towards broadband in Asia’s critical communication landscape underscores the region’s commitment to adopting advanced technologies for improved connectivity, safety, and operational efficiency.”

Consort Digital showcased its MCX ONE solution tailored for the rail transportation industry at CCW, addressing the evolving requirements of modern rail transport systems. The solution caters to various use cases in rail transportation, including communication between train pilots and control rooms, public address in rolling stock from dispatch centers, interface with signaling systems, CCTV video streaming to control rooms among others.

Motorola Solutions had highlights of its safety and security ecosystem at CCW, including the new DIMETRA Connect solution and MXP660 TETRA radio that allows front-line responders to automatically switch between land mobile radio (LMR) and broadband networks. Further committing to Asia, in early June the company opened its new Research and Development Centre in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, to advance data analytics and AI-enabled technologies that help fuel the company’s safety and security ecosystem.

“One of the most crucial challenges facing public safety agencies today is the vast amounts of data that can stand between those in need and those who can help,” said Mahesh Saptharishi, executive vice president and chief technology officer, Motorola Solutions. “Our innovation is focused on surfacing and centralizing critical insights from across public safety systems, so that first responders can better understand and respond to complex threats, helping to keep communities safer.”

The Vietnam team is focused on designing and building solutions that can dramatically improve public safety outcomes by connecting people to critical information and focusing human attention where it’s needed most. This includes cutting-edge software that leverages AI to create advanced camera systems, sensors and vehicle detection technologies that feed into command centres to improve decision-making and accelerate emergency response.