5G Networks Delivering Benefits for First Responders and Smart Cities – The Strength of Connected Communities

Posted at May 9, 2022
5G Networks Delivering Benefits for First Responders and Smart Cities – The Strength of Connected Communities

Growing 5G deployments proving the value of Mutualink’s hyperconnected services vision and enablement.

Byline: Mutualink Staff

Recently Government Computer News published an article that highlighted how the increasing deployment of 5G networks is providing first responders and smart city projects with more reliable communications, faster data transfer, and new capabilities like intelligent edge computing. The article included a link to a new report from the Department of Homeland Security's Science and Technology (S&T) Directorate, which looks at the impact 5G and eventually 6G will have on domestic security.

“We are ideally positioned to meet the evolving needs of public safety agencies today and in the future,” says Joe Mazzarella, President & COO, Mutualink.

“The benefits of advanced, mobile broadband network services are becoming increasingly appreciated because they enable real-time, information-rich environments at scale and with actionable situational context. Naturally, these services have transformational implications for public safety, smart buildings, and connected communities.”

Since its founding Mutualink has been the leading provider of a best-in-class multimedia interoperability platform that enables public safety agencies and connected communities to share voice, video, and data on demand and exactly when the information is needed. These communications are protected at the highest level with AES-256 encryption. The research firm Gartner calls this kind of 5G enabled interoperability Hyperconnected Public Services.

Hyperconnected public services are defined as the use of multiple digital technologies, tools, or platforms to automate business and IT processes. At the core of hyperconnected services are collaboration, automation, and seamless information exchange, which 5G networks make possible as never before. This integration of data and workflow processes is increasingly necessary to deliver interdependent public services, such as public safety.

Hyperconnected services provide faster and more complete access to government resources, creating connected communities. They enable vast improvements in the quality of life for citizens and huge potential for process and system efficiencies. Mutualink was recently recognized by Gartner as a market leader in their Hype CycleTM for Public Safety and Law Enforcement 2021 report.

Trusted by Government for Improved Public Safety

Mutualink has worked closely for years with DHS on issues of public safety. We are trusted by hundreds of schools and police forces nationwide. As part of the Homeland Security Act of 2002, Public Law 107-296, Congress enacted the Support Anti-Terrorism by Fostering Effective Technologies Act (SAFETY Act) of 2002.

Mutualink is the only multimedia interoperable communications product that is Safety Act certified by the Department of Homeland Security and is on DHS’s approved products list. To receive SAFETY Act Certification, DHS must conclude that a supplier’s technology will perform as intended, conforms to the seller’s specifications, and is safe for use as intended. Mutualink is working with many different government agencies to improve communications and safety with innovative collaboration technology.

In 2021 New Hampshire deployed Mutualink’s real-time multimedia collaboration solution across the entire state. The new statewide collaboration network-enabled first responder agencies, 9-1-1 centers, and hospitals across the state to securely communicate voice and share video and information on-demand. The solution dynamically bridges different agency radio and voice communications systems and enables real-time video from any video source, including internal surveillance systems, wearable cameras, aviation assets, and cell phones to be securely shared with partners.

The solution includes a next-generation, multimedia push-to-talk (MM-PTT) application that operates as a radio over wireless mobile networks and can send and receive real-time video. The Mutualink MM-PTT application is unique in that it can be linked with an agency’s own radios system, but also can be dynamically linked to other partner agencies’ radios when needed.

Mutualink also manages FEMA’s Interoperable Gateway System (IGS), which is part of the U.S Government’s National Continuity Program (NCP). IGS is deployed throughout the 10 FEMA Regions and Caribbean Islands, with expansion planned throughout the Pacific Islands. The primary mission of the IGS is to provide resilient ("black sky'') communications as part of the COG/COOP (Continuity of Gov't/Continuity of Operations) programs.

Connected Communities

Mutualink successfully deployed and is powering the state’s first Smart City deployment, the Virginia Smart Community Testbed. Mutualink worked in partnership with Stafford County and Virginia’s Center for Innovative Technology (CIT) to create this smart city proof of concept. These new technologies can include live drone search and rescue, immersive augmented reality displays, and advanced sensor network deployment to monitor flood potential, air quality, and wastewater.

Mutualink’s secure, intelligent network is the digital backbone for Smart Cities and connected communities. The network connects community partners, smart infrastructure, and sustainable IoT technologies in real-time so community leaders can work together to improve livability and resilience.

“Mutualink is a Smart City enablement framework that empowers us to integrate and deliver a wide range of emerging technologies in a real-world setting," said David Ihrie, Chief Technology Officer of the Center for Innovative Technology. "We see it as the foundation for a new digital infrastructure.”

Mutualink is also working closely with DHS’ S&T Directorate, which authored the 5G report mentioned in the Government Computer News article. Our technology has created the first fully Intelligent arena in the country, Capital One Arena in Washington, DC. Known as the Indoor Building Sensor Suite (IBSS) project, this smart building work has established a testbed facility for testing and evaluation of indoor building sensors and associated building analytics developed to improve overall building safety and performance.

Learn more about Mutualink’s trusted and certified communications solution here.

The increased availability of high-speed, low-latency technologies enables hyperconnected public services. For too long, the convenience and user experience provided by government services has lagged far behind that of private companies. For example, compare the Amazon-like button and one-click commerce to renewing a driver’s license at the DMV.

When dealing with basic government services this poor user experience leads to frustration. In an emergency situation, it can cost lives. Historically venue-specific intelligence like CCTV feeds, floor plan data, panic button-based alarms, etc. were siloed within the venue-specific administrative and security departments. Any alerts requiring further action by public safety and law enforcement agencies required manual intervention or coordination by the venue-specific personnel.

First responders need the situational awareness that comes from real-time, multimedia, and interoperable communications. Rich media delivery means first responders can know what they are heading into and be better prepared. Mutualink technology bridges voice, video, IoT systems, and data communications into a single platform to improve situational awareness and make for improved police responses - every day and in any emergency.

The proliferation of 5G networks has been and will continue to be a catalyst for the adoption of hyperconnected services. It’s an integral part of the future of cities.

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