The need for mission-critical data

Tim Cull, head of business radio at the Federation of Communication Services, discusses the need for high-speed data services with the same resilience and availability as PMR

The use of data systems in operations is rising fast. It will therefore not surprise anyone that the demand is also rising for a truly mission-critical radiocommunications data solution to go alongside the existing mission-critical voice/signalling/telemetry solutions. The operational radiocommunications sector will have to find a way to meet this demand.

Until recently, the majority of data applications handled lower-priority items that could be satisfactorily carried by the public networks. But operations are becoming ever-more integrated. This implies that there is a real need for mission-critical data solutions.

Add in the already large and still increasing trend towards lone-working and you get what could be a very significant market shift towards mission-critical data for operational use.

Public mobile networks, despite advances in technology, are still subject to cost constraints, which make deployment in some areas uneconomical. Similarly, data is difficult to monetise. Ever-bigger data packages are meeting the demand for entertainment and social use. But the top-line income is not growing to match.

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