Understanding Wireless Communications in Public Safety: A Guidebook to Technology, Issues, Planning, and Management   [open pdf - 3MB]

The National Law Enforcement and Corrections Technology Center (NLECTC) system was conceived with the idea of helping public safety personnel understand and use new technology. In keeping with that goal, NLECTC-Rocky Mountain developed this guidebook to help unravel the confusing issues, terms, and options surrounding wireless communications, particularly as it involves commercially available communications services. The target audience consists of those middle and upper managers who are responsible for funding and/or managing communications at their agencies, but who have little or no technical background in wireless technology. This guidebook is divided into four parts. Part one, Planning and Managing a Communications Project, discusses the overall scope of a project, including planning, funding, procurement, and management. Part two, Wireless Communications Technology, discusses voice versus data, characteristics of radio systems (including terminology), and current types of public safety radio systems. Part three, Wireless Communications Issues, discusses Federal Communications Commission (FCC) licensing, rules, regulations, and related issues; tower sitting and radio frequency radiation exposure; various Federal and other group initiatives; and interoperability. Part four, Wireless Communications Options, discusses voice system options, data system options, and some of the latest developments in communications technology. Each section can be read separately from and independently of the others. If all you want to know is what your options are, go directly to part four. However, if you are not familiar with how the various wireless options work and the terms used, you may first want to read part two.

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