Best Use of Mission-Critical Communications During a Major Event
The vast amount of voice and data traffic that can take place during both planned and unplanned large-scale events or incidents poses formidable challenges to network operators and the vendors that support them, while the cost of any interruption of service in terms of human life and/or reputational impact can be considerable. This award will highlight a network operator that has risen to the challenge. Submissions will be judged on information on availability/reliability and call volumes, along with statements from user organisations (if applicable).
One of the fastest-growing applications of critical communications technology around the world is in transport services – including bus, tram, metro, railway as well as port operations and airport ground operations. For efficient operations in all such categories of application, a reliable radio system which can meet voice and data communications needs both during quiet times and in emergencies is essential. In this category the Judges will look for an outstanding implementation that effectively meets the particular requirements of these activities.
Increased communications needs among power, water, and gas distribution companies have encouraged more and more of them to focus on digital radio as a versatile bearer for their voice and data traffic.
In evaluating this award the Judges will be seeking a particularly elegant and effective critical communications deployment within the utilities sector.
Best Use of Critical Communications in Other Vertical Markets
As well as public safety, this category covers the many other vertical industries in which communications are both business and life-critical. The successful submission will have showcased a deployment that meets all the unique requirements of its specific vertical, while acting as an example of best practice in the field of radio engineering.
Greatest Advance in the Migration to Critical Broadband
The driving forces behind the migration to mission-critical broadband at the national level are often a combination of home security agencies and public safety network operators. This award serves to highlight the progress that one particular such organisation has already made in its transition towards broadband. The Judges will be looking for candidate entries which reflect the underpinning philosophy of TCCA’s Critical Communications Broadband Group (CCBG) – i.e. those that are based on common, global, mobile broadband technology standards.
With many countries not expected to fully migrate to mission-critical broadband until the late 2020s, narrowband devices will continue to have an important role and are expected to continue to shoulder the bulk of critical voice communications for many years to come. While great strides have been made in recent years in terms of form factor, weight, battery life and usability, more can still be done, especially given the way in which the data capabilities of such devices have historically been underexploited. This award recognises a device that offers an outstanding user experience with all the ruggedness and features that first responders and other critical communications users have come to expect. Each submission needs to be supported by three 200 word testimonials, each from a different customer.
While full public safety grade broadband networks have yet to become a reality for most countries, user organisations are already making use of LTE and hybrid devices to provide their first responders and staff with extra data capabilities and access to a large number of applications that can boost situational awareness and coordination. This award will recognise a device that stands out from the crowd in its features, usability and performance. Each submission needs to be supported by three 200 word testimonials, each from a different customer.
While terminals are often in the spotlight, they depend on reliable serving infrastructure to function. These vital elements underpin much of the user experience and the ongoing work to reduce the total cost of ownership and environmental footprint of critical communications, while improving flexibility and longevity. Each submission needs to be supported by three 200 word testimonials, each from a different customer.
Buildings of all varieties often present formidable barriers to RF propagation, an issue that is likely to increase in importance as the emphasis shifts toward broadband communications given their use of higher frequencies. This award recognises a system that offers building owners and public safety networks affordable, robust and reliable in-building coverage, with best in-class availability and economically viable total cost of ownership. Each submission needs to be supported by three 200 word testimonials, each from a different customer.
The vendor community has embraced the challenge of developing systems that support standardised mission-critical push-to-talk (MCPTT) as demonstrated by the numbers participating in the recent ETSI Plugtests™. This award recognises the most innovative and advanced of these. Each submission must include one 200 word testimonial from a customer.
In the world of critical communications, the relationship between supplier and customer exists long after the initial sale or deployment, due to the need for on-going support, security updates and the introduction of new features as and when they become available. This award recognises a vendor that has exceeded expectations to provide truly outstanding customer service, either as part of their day-to-day operations or in response to an end-user emergency that required their commercial partners to go above and beyond the call of duty. Each submission must be jointly written by both the supplier and their customer.
Computers may have taken over much of the routine, but the human element will remain an indispensable part of designing, building and running critical communications radio systems.
Here the judges will seek to reward and encourage a young engineer who embodies the technical skills and insight and the inspirational personal qualities which will help drive critical mobile communications towards a further generation of successes.
Please note that the maximum age to enter this category is 30 years old.
Outstanding Contribution to Critical Communications
The Outstanding Contribution to Critical Communications Award seeks to recognise individuals whose work has benefited the critical communications industry as a whole, influenced its development, and have earned the respect and gratitude of their peers many times over.
We invite you to nominate individuals who you know to be tireless in their work to drive innovation, quality, and best practice in this sector, and in doing so have helped to significantly improve the safety of first responders and other mission-critical users around the world.