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- Public Safety -

Public Safety - Mobile Computing/Wireless Related
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Public safety refers to those services that contribute to the safety of public in our society. In the mobile computing and wireless segment of technology, there are three major areas that are covered by this term:

  • law enforcement activities associated with municipal, state or federal police agencies 
  • fire emergencies
  • emergency medical services (EMS) - ambulance dispatch

Public Safety - A Legacy Wireless Application

Because of the nature of their work, public safety agencies such as police, fire safety and ambulance services were justified in employing radio networks and implementing mobile computing applications long before they could be cost-justified in the private sector. Vendors such as Motorola worked closely with public agencies and terminal manufacturers like MDI (which Motorola eventually acquired) to design customized end-to-end systems that used proprietary radio network technology for the following applications:

  • CAD for police, fire and ambulance vehicles
  • Queries to local police databases and state/provincial transport systems for vehicle and driver information;
  • Records management (in some cases, on site, right in vehicles)

Early applications were implemented on mini-computers such as DEC VAX and mainframes such as IBM, UNISYS and Tandem. Hardware used in the vehicles was pre-PC, with limited intelligence and storage for store screen formats only. This was done to conserve radio network bandwidth, which was typically 2400 bps in the early 80s.

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