PSCR uses Polaris Networks’ NetEPC to demonstrate Deployable LTE at the Public Safety Broadband Stakeholder Conference
Lexington, Massachusetts, June 10, 2013 – Polaris Networks participated in the Public Safety Broadband Stakeholder Conference from June 4 to June 6, 2013, in Westminster, Colorado. Polaris Networks' CTO, Vinay Gupta, participated in a panel discussion on 'Deployable LTE'. Polaris' small EPC, the NetEPC, was also used in a live LTE Network demonstration by the PSCR at the conference venue.
As part of FirstNet’s efforts to create a nationwide Public Safety LTE Network, the PSCR (Public Safety Communications Research) Program lays down testable requirements for LTE Network gear, and carries out extensive interoperability testing between LTE base stations and EPC from multiple vendors. The PSCR organizes this conference to bring stakeholders up to date on the interoperability testing conducted at its Boulder lab, while also inviting opinion on the challenges of creating a nationwide LTE network for Public Safety communications..
Mr. Gupta drew attention to the fact that the LTE networks of large commercial operators are deployed to meet predictable trends in subscriber load and demand. Public Safety LTE networks, on the other hand, may be called upon to provide communication at varying times and locations, and to meet subscriber demands that cannot be determined beforehand. He laid special stress on the need for LTE equipment used in Public Safety applications to be scalable, so that it can meet varied subscriber loads, and portable, so that LTE networks can be deployed on-demand in the event of an emergency. This is particularly true of core network equipment.
To demonstrate how LTE networks can deployed in remote areas, the PSCR used Polaris Networks' NetEPC product to set up an LTE network within a truck located outside the conference venue. The base station used for this demo was a small cell, and the backhaul used to connect to the Internet was accomplished via satellite.
Polaris Networks' NetEPC combines the MME, SGW, PGW, HSS and PCRF into a single platform, thereby providing all the core network elements required for LTE deployment. The NetEPC is available on portable hardware platforms, and can be scaled to meet subscriber loads of varying sizes. The NetEPC can also be deployed in a cloud.
Most importantly, the ability to deploy the LTE network from a moving vehicle – on wheels, as it were – makes the NetEPC uniquely suited to the task of disaster relief in areas struck by natural disasters or some other form of calamity. As local communications networks are frequently brought down by such crises, a mobile LTE network that could enter the affected area and deploy on demand, temporarily re-establishing communication, would be invaluable to emergency services and disaster relief efforts. Depending on the communications infrastructure available in the terrain where the LTE network needs to be deployed, the NetEPC can use various backhaul solutions that range from fiber to satellite.
Polaris Networks is also helping the PSCR test LTE equipment from other vendors for functional and performance standards at PSCR’s Boulder lab, using LTE Test Tools developed by Polaris Networks.