Wireless Mesh Networks enabling Public Safety Applications

Smart Cities used to be a futuristic concept with an imagined goal of creating efficient, sustainable infrastructure and a better quality of life for the world’s population.

What we thought was generations away is becoming a reality right now and made possible with improvements to technology and increased global spending on the Internet of Things. Now these technologically advanced areas, designed to take on 21st century challenges, have the potential to meet the connectivity needs of an urban population that is expanding at an astonishing rate.

Although there won’t ever be one type of connection that dominates the Smart City ecosystem – a diverse network, made up of wireless technology and the cloud, will emerge to manage data in real-time, support operators and help improve the lives of citizens.


What does a public safety Wi-Fi network consist of?

Networks that feed into public safety need to have vast, consistent connections that can keep up with modern applications.

Many of these applications also require huge amounts of contextual data to support their video-centric functionality. Traffic flow monitoring, emergency management systems, and 4K quality video from CCTV rely on a high standard of data transfer, without latency or technological blind spots.

Local governments and large network operators are currently the two primary providers of public safety infrastructure. Implementing new technologies would help rebalance the internet provision and resulting connections across a city, giving everyone a balanced level of connectivity, and the same ‘standard’.

Done correctly, services will offer benefits to citizens, visitors, and business groups that all have very different and specific needs.


The network technology enabling public safety applications

There is not a specific network technology associated with public safety applications, and an ideal ‘core network’ would be made up of fibre, private networks, 4G/5G, and Wi-Fi working together seamlessly.

Traditionally, physical fibre networks have been fundamental to the interconnected ecosystem. But while they provide extremely high-quality connections, and a signal that does not degrade as it moves, they often are not available where they are needed for surveillance and monitoring.

These gaps in connection need to be filled, and wireless network technologies can be used in tandem with other technologies to fill this gap and connect to the core network. Wireless technology can act as a high-quality, cost-effective, and easy-to-deploy substitute when fibre is not economically or geographically viable.

Blu Wireless’s mmWave technology is a key, market-ready example of how this technology can be deployed to complement fibre networks, providing more capacity and universal coverage where it is needed.

Wireless network topologies

A traditional network would connect a range of devices or access points to one central hub, but any blockage like a fallen tree or fault would cause the connection to fail as there is no alternative route. This would take a significant amount of time and investment to resolve.

Mesh networks are designed to mitigate against these complications and are particularly suited to supporting public safety for that reason.

A mesh network is designed to be robust and resolve problems within the network itself. The central hub is connected to various pathways that create a blanket connection over the network, it has no single points of contact that can cause bottlenecks. Therefore, quality of service and availability are maintained which is key for any public safety system operators.

Creating cost-effective networks

Integrating a wireless mesh network into a backbone network is necessary because laying fibre cable takes a long time, is expensive, and the excavation process can cause city-wide disruption during installation.

For situations when fibre solutions are not viable, mesh networks can be added seamlessly to provide high-quality wireless connections. A wireless mesh network uses a series of distribution and client nodes, that can be easily and quickly installed onto existing street furniture such as streetlamps, telephone poles, or roofs.

These nodes are self-sufficient, finding the fastest and most reliable paths using line-of-sight millimetre wave wireless communications to transfer data at faster rates. The more nodes there are, the further the connection spreads, creating a wireless web of connectivity that can serve a whole city. Sophisticated hardware and software technology allow them to adapt their connections to avoid any obstructions ensuring the network remains robust. Networks can be deployed fast and cost effectively to ensure the most efficient public safety services in that city.


The benefits of Blu Wireless technology

Blu Wireless’s technology supports the core backbone network and branching applications and is designed to complement fibre with powerful high bandwidth connections, scalability, and cost-effectiveness.

Our Fixed Wireless Access (FWA) and wireless small cell technology is proven in important use cases, such as providing high bandwidth links for public safety networks.

Our Evaluation Kits enable users to easily set-up their own high-performance connections, helping customers and partners evaluate new and emerging applications and verticals where speed, latency, and power are critical.

We also develop sophisticated mesh software technology that uses nodes that can be quickly and easily installed, creating reliable, flexible, and scalable network connections for a range of modern use cases.

Get in touch to find out more about our wireless technology and how it’s powering the future of connectivity.