Andries Delport, CTO, Vodacom Group. Andries Delport, CTO, Vodacom Group.

South African telco Vodacom has demonstrated the first broadband multimedia trunking solution on a commercial LTE network in Africa.

The solution makes it easier and faster for public safety industry to communicate and it incorporates latest multimedia functions which makes it quick to avert potential disasters.

Vodacom believes public safety services such as police, ambulance and fire services and other vertical industries such as public transportation, logistics, mining, construction, air/sea/rail ports and security can benefit from the demonstrated LTE broadband multimedia trunking solution particularly when one factors in its performance, capability, total cost of ownership and time to market benefits.

Andries Delport, CTO, Vodacom Group, said: “I’m excited by what my team has done here as this is the first LTE broadband multimedia trunking demonstration in the whole of Africa.”

Vodacom has partnered with Huawei for the demonstration to use Huawei’s LTE integrated Trunked Radio (LiTRA) application to demonstrate a broadband multimedia trunking solution which runs on Vodacom’s commercial, nationwide LTE network.

The LiTRA solution also overcomes the challenges of using a public LTE network for mission critical communication by prioritising emergency communications with a higher Quality of Services (QoS) and also ensures encryption and security of these messages.

 

Traditional private mobile radio network technologies (such as TETRA) mainly provide basic voice trunking services such as Push to Talk (PTT) and cannot support new, innovative, high speed data services such as video and multimedia services. In addition, these traditional private mobile radio networks are expensive to construct and maintain, the user terminals are expensive and have limited variety, and the network technology is often proprietary and inflexible.

These issues currently facing traditional private mobile radio networks are overcome by using a broadband public trunking communications system such as the one demonstrated by Vodacom. The Huawei LiTRA application enables Vodacom’s existing and entire LTE network to be leveraged to provide high bandwidth and low latency trunking capabilities to improve the performance of existing mission and business critical services such as PTT, but more importantly which can also support new broadband multimedia trunking services such as push to video, real-time video surveillance, high resolution photos and location based services.

The LTE based trunking service demonstrated by Vodacom is also compatible with existing consumer LTE smartphones and new rugged LTE smartphones, and does not restrict the user terminals to exclusive providers as was the case with traditional private mobile network technologies.

The live demonstration at Vodacom’s Innovation Centre in Midrand showcased how users of mission and business critical services are guaranteed the highest priority on Vodacom’s LTE network. Various use cases were demonstrated such as: