A new mobile service known as Group Radio Solution could be implemented across Telstra’s Next G network for use by Australian emergency service organisations.
The technology, designed by Ericsson, is still in the early stages of development but Telstra, which has completed trials of the service, says it could be made available across the Next G network footprint and complement existing essential and emergency radio networks if private mobile radio network operators express interest.
Emergency service organisations currently use a range of different technologies such as mobile phones and two-way radios to communicate and personnel must carry both radios and mobile phones. The telco is working with mobile device manufacturers to design a prototype that would allow mobile voice and data services as well as two-way radio functionality on a single device should the Group Radio Solution be deployed.
Telstra trialled the technology late last year and wireless executive director, Mike Wright, said the trial showed there was potential to combine the advantages Next G coverage footprint and services with the requiements of private radio network operators.
“While the technology is in its early days, the Group Radio Solution could some day provide a single network to help Australia’s emergency services organisations provide a rapid and synchronised response, especially in large-scale disasters that cross state and territory borders,” Wright said in a statement.
“If we proceed with this technology, it will provide a complementary interworking service to our existing private emergency networks by allowing customers to use the same device to access advanced private radio features, together with their mobile voice and broadband services.”
The technology is the result of a collaboration effort between Telstra and Harris Corporation, Ericsson's technology partner for Group Radio Solution. It will be demonstrated at the Association of Public-Safety Communications Officials (APCO) annual conference at Melbourne’s Convention and Exhibition Centre.
Telstra said it would make a decision about the potential broad deployment of Group Radio Solution following consultation with the industry.