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A year of innovation in the development of Southern Linc’s new mission critical LTE network.

11/01/2017 Craig Joyner

LTEIt has been a busy year for Southern Linc engineers.
When Southern Linc’s network engineering team set out to create the Southeast’s first standards-based mission critical 4G LTE network, they knew they were going to push the boundaries of hardware and software technologies. As 2018 nears, Southern Linc is about to unveil to customers the CriticalLinc network–a completely new, mission critical voice and data network that offers redundancy, reliability and security at levels not available elsewhere.

The unique network design includes completely geo-redundant Evolved Packet Cores as well as generators or fuel cells at 99% of the cell sites. In addition, Southern Company has constructed a new MPLS backhaul network to support the CriticalLinc network’s transport requirements. This transport network is designed with leased fiber and extensive microwave paths in a configuration that provides transport redundancy for LTE cell sites. This architecture was successfully tested during Hurricane Irma. It performed so successfully, that it was utilized to recover several iDEN sites that had last mile transport outages because of the storm.

Building a mission critical push-to-talk service
Southern Linc chose Motorola Solutions’ WAVE push-to-talk technology to integrate into the CriticalLinc network. Motorola created WAVE 7000, the next generation of their public safety 2-way radio platform, which we will be the first to deploy. The technology is now being field-tested and will be available when LTE services launch next year.

Looking forward to 2018
2018 will be an exciting year for Southern Linc because the company because customers will move from the current wireless technology to the new CriticalLinc network. Public safety customers should be particularly happy because they will be able to use a mission critical push-to-talk network well before a standards-based mission critical public safety network is available.

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