Welcome to the State of Texas Public Safety LTE Information Portal
You may have read about some of the exciting developments about a nationwide Public Safety Broadband system. In this overview, we’ll tell you a little about what it is, where it came from, what it will do for our government agencies, especially Public Safety, and what is happening with PS LTE right now. We have a list of Texas PS LTE Frequently Asked Questions, if you want more detail. We’ll conclude with some friendly advice, some actions you can take and where to get more information.
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Public Safety LTE Overview
Public Safety Long Term Evolution (PS LTE) is a term used to describe the next generation cellular technology which will be used to build the nationwide Public Safety Broadband Network (PSBN). PS LTE relies upon a global standard called 3GPP and which is commonly called LTE or 4G LTE. The "flavor" we call Public Safety LTE or PS LTE, uses the same technology, but implements LTE differently to meet the more demanding needs of Public Safety users.
How is PS LTE different from Commercial LTE?
PS LTE technology is different because:
What PS LTE will do for Public Safety?
The nationwide Public Safety Broadband Network will deliver new services, capabilities and applications, all of which will help our First Responders and other Public Safety entities become more efficient and effective. These include:
The Spectrum Act
Congress recently passed the "H.R. 3630: Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012." A portion of H.R. 3630, called the "Spectrum Act" outlines the plan, funding and governance for a Nationwide Public Safety Broadband Network. The statute has many components, with just a few highlights provided below:
Status of PS LTE in Texas
Public Safety LTE in Texas began in pockets of activities around the state with multiple entities applying for FCC Waivers. In 2011, it was decided to consolidate the waiver activities into a statewide waiver. An expedited application was filed and the FCC granted it in the Texas Waiver Order. This process establishes a path to achieving an authority to operate from the FCC which revolves primarily around achieving approval of an Interoperability Showing that must be filed. The impetus to prepare the Texas Interoperability Showing was the plan for Harris County to begin operation of PS LTE in the summer of 2012.
Texas began filing Texas Interoperability Showing with the FCC in July of 2011, and continued submitting revisions and numerous clarifications and related documents through March 2012. The Texas Interoperability Showing, v9 which requests on behalf of Harris County authority to operate a small coverage area, is awaiting approval by the FCC Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau.
On April 6, 2012, the Bureau released a Public Notice on, among other topics, whether or not the State of Texas and the City of Charlotte should be allowed to turn on their networks and "go live." The Bureau is sorting through the responses to the Public Notice and the State of Texas is anxiously waiting for a response.
What you can do
We need individuals and teams to begin ramping up to support PS LTE, so we have ideas on how to get started: