The death of radio frequency scanning and monitoring? Federal FirstNet project gets underway in New Jersey as JerseyNet.

Firstnet
Click to go over to FirstNet Home site

FirstNet is an independent authority within the U.S. Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration. FirstNet is governed by a 15-member Board consisting of the Attorney General of the United States, the Secretary of Homeland Security, the Director of the Office of Management and Budget, and 12 members appointed by the Secretary of Commerce. The FirstNet Board is composed of representatives from public safety; local, state and federal government; and the wireless industry. These dedicated individuals bring their expertise, experience and commitment to serving public safety and meeting the FirstNet mission…

Fierce Wireless Tech reports:

jerseynet_logoSetting out to meet an ambitious timeline, first responders in three regions of New Jersey are expected later this year to use a new dedicated public-safety LTE network composed entirely of deployable infrastructure operating on 700 MHz Band 14 spectrum licensed to the First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet), IWCE’s Urgent Communications reports.

PMC Associates, a New Jersey-based company specializing in mission-critical radio solutions for first responders, is teaming up with Oceus Networks and Fujitsu Network Communications to build the proof-of-concept network, known as JerseyNet.

PMC Associates is providing integration and support services, while Oceus Networks is supplying the LTE core and the radio access network (RAN). Fujitsu is designing, equipping and managing the wireless and wireline backhaul portions of the network.

Bryan Casciano, vice president of sales for PMC Associates, told IWCE’s Urgent Communications that JerseyNet is designed to include more than 30 cells on wheels (COWs) and six systems on wheels (SOWs) that can be deployed in various locations via SUVs, vans or trailers.

Under the terms of its Broadband Technology Opportunities Program (BTOP) funding, the JerseyNet deployment must be completed by September, a requirement that is expected to be met under the current schedule. “We want to have all of this installed by June,” Casciano told the publication….

See these and other comments from various posters over at Radio Reference: Continue reading

Rogue cell towers discovered in Washington, D.C. | CSO Online

A simple drive with a CryptoPhone reveals fifteen new rogue sites, by Steve Ragan

Towards the end of July, ESD America, the makers of the ultra-secure CryptoPhone, said that their engineers and customers had discovered more than a dozen rogue cell towers (also known as interceptors or IMSI catchers) around the U.S.

New information shows that the discovered towers might only represent a small fraction of the whole, and what’s been discovered doesn’t account for the mobile base stations that are only active on a limited basis.

Interceptors are a huge risk if used by a malicious actor. That’s because once a device connects to them, the interceptor’s operator can perform a number of tasks, including eavesdrop on calls or text messages, or in some cases push data (spyware for example) to the device. This is why they’re only supposed to be used by law enforcement or the government.

However, that doesn’t mean that the government or law enforcement haven’t found themselves in the hot seat for abusing an interceptor’s functionality. The potential for abuse and wide availability of the technology, including home-grown versions that work just as well as their commercial counterparts, means that the existence of unknown interceptors are a major concern. Continue reading

Why Ham Radio Is Still Handy | Technology News

“Ham radio has worked in emergencies where nothing else gets through. …,” said Ham teacher Norm Goodkin. “It’s also helping build basic skills — skills that are no longer taught in school — improving not only our ability to communicate in disasters, but adding back some of the ‘lost tools’ that Americans used to be famous for — the ability to do things ourselves.”

The tragic events of Sept. 9, 2001, and Hurricane Katrina in 2005 highlighted two phenomena common in disasters: Network communications tower sites were destroyed, and network traffic overwhelmed systems — two distinct issues causing failure in both public safety, and consumer-oriented communications. Continue reading