Cradlepoint Answers WAN Questions from First Responder Agencies

Answers to Public Safety Agencies' Inquires About In-Vehicle Networks, Security, IoT, and More

Today, the connected vehicle is now the hub for first responders in the field to do their day-to-day tasks, protect citizens, and serve the community. In-vehicle wireless technology is becoming mainstream to effectively leverage modern public safety devices and applications, and to take advantage of broadband networks dedicated to public safety.

The following questions are from real-life agencies looking for answers to their WAN questions.

My agency is starting to look at body worn devices via a personal area network hub that will connect to a vehicle aggregation device. What Cradlepoint solutions would address IoT based body-worn center communications such as NB-IoT and/or LTE M1? 

Cradlepoint: Our devices are smart devices. You can use our connectivity to the cellular network of your choice as wired or wireless or Wi-Fi as WAN. We even support communications to a satellite system when there is no cellular coverage available, such as in rural areas where cellular connectivity is diminished or not there.

A lot of agencies in the United States are deploying body-worn cameras to eliminate risk and mitigate liability, as well as criticism from the public. Often people don’t understand the events that transpire during an emergency or how quickly a police officer had to respond to a threat. One option is to utilize a smartphone and capture the images of an incident. You can store it and then offload the data at the station, or you can utilize the Cradlepoint to send either a recorded video or live streaming back to dispatch over the cellular network. We support many different services and service providers.

Also, make sure that you have the right product or the right specifications on what you are trying to do. Consider what application is needed and what latency.  We have specific devices that are for IoT and devices for in-vehicle networks.  Depending on the specific need, you may need to speak to an engineer for the best device and solution. We have over 200 engineering and support staff within Cradlepoint dedicated to support customers, both pre and post sales. It is very easy to get that technical support you need.

Why is having two SIM cards better?

Cradlepoint: If you have one modem with two active SIM cards on the same network, depending on the bandwidth that is needed or the data plan management, it allows for load balancing between two data plans. If you were to utilize two separate SIM cards from two separate carriers but you only have that in one single modem, through NetCloud, you can actually switch SIM slot 1 on carrier one over to SIM slot 2 to get on the network with the better coverage. It’s something that we’ve always felt was important to provide the customer — to help keep officers connected so they can act fast and have access to all the information that they need.

Knowing that funding is always an issue, can you talk more about how you help folks find grant funding opportunities or how you help agencies through that grant funding process? 

Cradlepoint: We know that agencies are working off of tax-based revenue or grants and money is always tight. As part of our First Connect Program, we sponsor a grant assistance program through PoliceOne and FireOne. They help to match first responders with possible grants. For more information contact FirstConnect@cradlepoint.com or visit our Grant Assistance Program. Researchers with PoliceOne and FireOne will help find grants that are available, also, if it comes through the Cradlepoint program, agencies get a 50% discount on the grant writing service. To get information on First Connect or to enroll your agency visit our First Connect Program.

Is the Cradlepoint Band 14 compliant for use with FirstNet? 

Cradlepoint: Yes, Cradlepoint is FirstNet ready. We also have devices that are already built and deployed that are FirstNet capable. The Cradlepoint devices that are FirstNet ready do in fact support the FirstNet network including Band 14 which is the 750-780 spectrum. Learn more about our FirstNet products.

Does your system switch seamlessly between satellite to cell carriers like it does when you switch from carrier to carrier? 

Cradlepoint: Yes, it is ultimately controlled by you. You can set those standards and teach the device to do what you want it to at the time you provision it and deploy it.

What security consideration should we take when deploying a fleet solution if we’re just getting started? 

Cradlepoint:  Identify which carrier you would like to utilize, understand the abilities of our devices, and know what your expectations are when you deploy that device. Know what your agency’s security standards are and understand how you want to set up that router and deploy it as part of your day-to-day fleet management. For security, consider every open port within that vehicle and how you can secure it.

What does it mean to be CJIS conformant in layman’s terms? 

Cradlepoint: The CJIS Security Policy is set up to provide the appropriate controls to protect CJI (criminal justice information), from creation through dissemination, and is intended to prevent unauthorized disclosure. This minimum standard of security requirements ensures continuity of information protection.

Law enforcement customers (and partners who manage CJI) utilize Cradlepoint Gigabit LTE enabled routers and NetCloud Service to easily extend and manage secure network connectivity to their policing vehicles, stations, and surveillance locations while maintaining CJIS compliance.

Read more about this topic in our CJIS White Paper.