Mission Critical Services are services which are essential for our survival in extra ordinary situations, when any decision may be a matter of life or death.

Keeping First Responders Connected

The goal of “Mission Critical Services” is to minimize the likelihood of the service failure to avoid any risk of injury or worse. The mission critical public safety is heavily relying on communications among the groups such as police, firefighter, and medical emergency, whose goals may be to reduce the devastating outcomes of a disaster. Therefore, it is imperative for the first responders to the mission critical situations to communicate with each other and also to communicate with those responders who arrive later to the mission critical situations.

Compatibility with 3GPP Standards

3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) standardization has taken a lead role to standardize a global system for the Mission Critical Services which are for public safety. In order to perform this task, 3GPP Technical Specification Group on Service and System Aspects (TSG-SA) has created a new Working Group i.e. SA WG6 with responsibility to define, evaluate, and maintain the technical specifications for application elements and interfaces supporting critical communications.

Direct view and aid to critical situations

Mission critical services for the public safety were initially limited to voice only (i.e. Mission Critical Push To Talk (MCPTT)). Mission critical services have been expanded in Release 14 to accommodate video and data to provide direct view and aid to critical situations by robotics, remote data access, and location based critical helps.

Network’s Impact on Mission Critical Services

Mission critical services rely on Long-Term Evolution (LTE) network, i.e. “on-network” mission critical services, or no network at all, i.e. “off-network” mission critical services. The LTE network enables high efficiency for on-network mission critical services for real-time communications, high quality video and data transmission with low latency. Both on-network and off-network mission critical services are considered to be Proximity Services (ProSe) for the critical communications among proximity mission critical devices. The mission critical devices are pre-configured with discovery parameters and communications frequencies by the LTE network in prior to on-network of off-network mission critical communications.

MBMS for Mission Critical Service

The on-network Mission Critical Services may employ Group Communication System Enablers (GCSE) defined by 3GPP LTE, which are designed for both unicast bearer communication and multicast bearer communication. If the multicast bearer communication is available in a radio cell and with network choice, the Mission Critical Services can operate by employing the multicast bearer resources. The on-network Mission Critical Services may operate by accessing to both multicast bearer resources and unicast bearer resources, if both resources are required by the service.