Blueforce Announces Deep Platform Integration for Airbus Tactilon® Agnet Mission Critical Push-to-Talk (MCPTT)

For decades now, public safety Land Mobile Radio (LMR) systems have provided a reliable, albeit geographically limited, communications backbone and baseline for related command and control systems for public safety agencies. These legacy LMR systems are often limited to the geographic areas of the agency/agencies being served and, in many cases, there may be multiple public safety LMR systems in the same geographic area using differing radio spectrum. LMR use for the foreseeable future is assured given the size, complexity, and cost of these networks, yet 21 years after the 9/11 attacks in New York and Washington DC, ad-hoc interoperability continues to be evasive.

Blueforce technologies were built and optimized to run on any IP-based network, and most of our customers deployments running over commercial and private LTE/5G/CBRS networks which are now prolific here in the United States and beyond. These terrestrial broadband networks solve one “layer” of the interoperability problem in that every device has access to a common “dialtone” and mission critical applications that ride on top of these networks can most assuredly “see” each other while also taking advantage of not being confined to a single geographic area. Still, the applications that ride on top of this global “dialtone” must embrace open standards in order to deliver application interoperability. The combination of IP dialtone and open standards for voice are changing the landscape for interoperable and global interoperability for audio and multimedia services. Enter MCPTT.

The phrase “mission-critical push-to-talk” or “MCPTT” refers to a push-to-talk product functionality that meets the requirements for public safety mission-critical voice communication. This includes high availability, reliability, low-latency, support for group calls and 1:1 calls, talker identification, device-to-device direct communications, emergency calling, clear audio quality, and more. MCPTT is now typically used to refer to 3GPP’s “Mission-Critical Push-to-Talk over LTE” standard, which is part of 3GPP Release 13, which was finalized in March 2016. The evolving MCPTT standard enables public safety agencies to leverage LTE technological advancements for mission-critical communications and offers a multitude of advantages which include:

  • Leverage of low cost mobile broadband capabilities
  • Use of a single device for all mobile voice and broadband data applications
  • Voice as an embedded core service for situational awareness and other public safety applications, like Blueforce
  • Quantifiable cost savings and economy of scale
  • Nationwide and worldwide network coverage
  • Cross-agency interoperability

Five years ago, Blueforce extended our platform “mosaic” services to enable software plugins to be built to support a variety of dead reckoning, subterranean, and WAAS/NMEA devices for location and tracking services. Two years ago, we did the same with ultra-low latency streaming video services which now includes multiple Blueforce plugins which turn the Android or iOS device into a streaming “bodycam”. Today, Blueforce is proud to announce support for Mission Critical Push-to-Talk through our new partnership with Airbus, a worldwide leader in general aviation, aerospace, and defense including public safety, delivering aerospace products, services and solutions to customers on a worldwide scale.

Our new Tactilon® Agnet MCPTT Plugin for BlueforceTACTICAL and BlueforcePATROL brings secure group communication to smart devices on 3GPP broadband services via commercial or private 4G/5G platforms with full support for MCPTT over WIFI. With Airbus Tactilon® Agnet, Blueforce smart device users become part of the professional world – voice, data, video, location, and edge IoT services are all at hand with the reliability and security that professional users expect, with a high level of encryption (AES 256). Airbus Tactilon® Agnet services plus Blueforce’s shared situational awareness and edge IoT services (with support for more than 300 sensors from more than 93 manufacturers) deliver on the promise of unified communications and more:

  • Accountability tools: PAR, PASS, EVAC, and SOS
  • Shared edge GIS and POI services
  • Physiological monitoring
  • PPE monitoring
  • Environmental monitoring
  • AI to the edge
  • Multi-variant threat detection
  • Swarm Intelligence with cued Autonomous Ressupply via drones, robotics, and more
  • Interoperable IoT data with cloud systems
  • Open API for maximum extensibility and enterprise integration
  • Sustainability: One code base, 100% standards-based, rapid extensibility via a published API/SDK, and world class support

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