Etherstack and Telstra sign agreement for MCX IWF trial
Etherstack has signed an agreement with Telstra for the latter to trial and evaluate Etherstack’s innovative Mission Critical Interworking Function (MCX IWF). This 3GPP standards-compliant telco network element has been designed to bridge digital radio networks, such as those used by state and federal public safety agencies, and future mission-critical push-to-talk cellular services, which are the type proposed to be deployed within Australia under the federal government’s Public Safety Mobile Broadband (PSMB) initiative.
The creation of a national PSMB capability was supported in the 2023–24 Budget, and follows similar government-backed initiatives currently underway in the United States, United Kingdom, New Zealand and multiple other markets across the EU, Middle East and the Americas. On 25 September, the government officially established a PSMB Taskforce that will be responsible for laying the groundwork for the long-term public safety communications infrastructure, as well as creating the framework that drives the delivery of PSMB to public safety agencies nationally.
Standards-based migration from existing LMR networks to carrier 4G/LTE and 5G MCX networks requires the use of an MCX IWF to enable secure and robust interoperability between the LMR and MCX domains, according to Etherstack. These hybrid LMR and MCX networks will be commonplace for at least another decade as traditional LMR users migrate to MCX, the company added.
Under the new agreement, Etherstack will deploy the same MCX IWF technology to Telstra as it is currently supplying to the AT&T FirstNet project (via its global teaming partner Samsung), which is the largest known deployment of this emerging technology in the world. The trial will initially last for approximately nine months.
“We are thrilled to have the opportunity to trial our MCX IWF with Telstra at home in Australia,” said Etherstack CEO David Deacon. “Our technology is being well received in multiple markets globally and it is great to have our technology being used in support of local public safety applications.
“Etherstack has been at the forefront of standards-based public safety communications innovation for over 20 years. It is fantastic to see adoption of our world-class MCX IWF technology in multiple carriers across the globe.”
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