Enabling seamless and mission critical voice and data services is a key requirement for public safety networks during the emergency and natural disaster scenarios. The ability to save lives depends on the reliable and effective communication amongst the first responders and victims. Land Mobile Radio System (LMRS) is a legacy technology which has been used for public safety communication scenarios for decades. It has been designed as a narrowband technology for critical voice communications with limited use for data applications.
With the evolution of broadband technologies that enable wideband data transmission, there is a significant potential to transform the capabilities of public safety communication technologies. In the United States, FirstNet is building a nationwide public safety communication system that uses band class 14 and the broadband Long Term Evolution (LTE) systems, which is designed for broadband voice and data to ensure reliable and high-quality services at all times. This paper presents a study of legacy public safety networks and the FirstNet system that is based on the LTE technology. A simulation study of LTE band class 14 environment is also provided using the NS-3 simulation environment.