SKT develops LTE walkie-talkies for rescuers

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SKT develops LTE walkie-talkies for rescuers

The nation’s largest mobile carrier SK Telecom has developed next generation technology for walkie-talkie devices to effectively support rescue workers at massive disasters.

According to the telecommunications company on Sunday, it succeeded in creating the world’s first communications technology for walkie-talkies over long term evolution (LTE) networks in partnership with global IT company Nokia.

The trial was made at Nokia’s research lab in Poland on Thursday.

The new LTE network technology, dubbed Mission Critical Push to Talk (MCPTT) Solution, offers a more stable group communications network at more than two times the connection speed compared to existing push-to-talk technologies based on Internet Protocol, the Korean company said.

“The previous IP-based networks were highly prone to quality degradation when hundreds of rescue workers exploited the network at the same time,” a spokesperson from SKT said. “Disaster managing institutions such as fire and police stations have been looking for safer communications networks to provide against emergency situations.”

According to SKT’s statement Sunday, the new technology can provide a stable communications network to hundreds of rescue workers at once.

MCPTT is currently designated as the next-generation technology for walkie-talkies by 3GPP, an international cooperative body authorized to set telecommunications standards.

SKT plans to broaden application of the technology for walkie-talkies and use it for the nation’s public safety LTE network systems, a wireless communication network used by first responders to disasters, and LTE-R, railway communications on LTE.

The company also aims to enter the United Kingdom and the United States, where governments are pushing forward plans to set-up wireless communications networks for disaster response.


BY KIM JEE-HEE [kim.jeehee@joongang.co.kr]
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