Verizon focuses on interoperability in public safety push
Although the operator lost out on FirstNet to AT&T, Verizon continues to push its public safety offerings, most recently through partnerships that focus on interoperability between devices used by first responders.
In a partnership with public safety device specialist Axon, Verizon is providing connectivity to a new breed of body camera used by law enforcement officials. Specifically, the Axon Body 3 connects to Verizon’s LTE network public safety core to provide “real-time situational awareness with live streaming, gunshot detection and the ability to preview and upload critical evidence in real time from the field.”
Axon’s CEO Rick Smith said enhanced connectivity “will help increase public safety for officers.”
As more connected devices see adoption by first responders, law enforcement and other public safety officials, interoperability between those devices is key to realizing value. To that end, Verizon has also partnered up with Mutualink to leverage the company’s software system to more easily integrate field devices. For instance, multiple agencies working on one situation can use the system to share data coming in from cameras, land mobile radios, smartphones and other connected devices.
The complexity of providing seamless communication between agencies equipped with disparate technology systems has been a consummate complaint from the public safety sector, particularly in times of crisis management when large scale situational awareness is especially important.
Verizon’s SVP of Public Sector Mike Mariorana hit on this in a statement: “In times of emergency and crisis, it is important for everyone—first responders from different agencies, schools, hospitals and others—to have real time, on demand cross-agency communications. Multualink allows Verizon to provide that level of communication to our customers.”
Further to the push for interoperability, earlier this year Verizon threw its lot in with the Public Safety Technology Alliance, a nonprofit coalition comprising telecom, safety and technology members focused on pushing interoperability through collaboration with standards bodies and other stakeholders. Former First Responders Network Authority President TJ Kennedy is the CEO of PSTA, which counts AT&T, JVCKenwood, Microsoft, Secured Communications, device maker Sonim Technologies, and TRX Systems among its initial members.
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