For more than 100 years, High Frequency (HF) radio waves have enabled people to communicate over vast distances. From Marconi's first experiments with HF in the late 1800s and early 1900s until the 1950s, HF was the primary means of communication for many industries such as maritime shipping, long-distance aviation, and the military. As other options began to surface, specifically satellite communications, HF began to fall out of favor.
Ensuring secure voice, data and radio communications between NATO allies in a common theatre of operation can be a difficult, even impossible task in forward operations. As encryption codes are secret, country-specific and are not shared, collaborating without risking eavesdropping from unwanted entities is a real threat.
NATO has 29 member nations, and each has circumstances that change from year to year. Geopolitical shifts can mean that a ‘friendly’ country cannot be considered as such permanently. For this reason, sharing encryption keys carries its weight of potential future risks, and understandably, countries want to maintain their independence as much as possible.
Interoperability is a key aim of emergency services around the world but one of the main challenges is the use of different communications systems. Canadian mobile communications provider Base Camp Connect believes it has a solution that could make interoperability easier. Lotte Debell reports from Fire&Rescue Magazine (p.26).
Today it seems like everywhere we go companies, schools and shopping malls all are using some sort of radio communication equipment for their own in-house use. During an emergency situation, this level of communication could prove invaluable to the public safety responders. If we’re able to know what they know prior to our arrival on scene, it could save us precious time. Let’s talk about an example of an active shooter at the mall; if we are able to hear the communications from the mall security command post, we would know the closest entrance to use to stop the shooter and where EMS should enter to find the victims.
Push-to-talk. A responder’s favorite button. With it, responders can communicate tactics, convey safety messages, and request resources. But what happens when you push that button and no one can hear you – or you can’t hear them?