History and Evolution of Critical Communications
Updated: May 5, 2018
Clear communications have been a critical aspect of survival since the dawn of the human species. Being able to communicate non-verbally allowed our ancestors to hunt with stealth. Some verbal cues allowed them to warn each other of incoming doom and other dangerous scenarios. In the simplest terms, communication has been one of the most important aspects of human survival and growth as a species for our entire history.
On the battlefield, to communicate over large distances, commanders had to rely on humans to deliver messages, smoke signals, or carrier/ homing pigeons. The Pony Express is regarded as the "First Postal Delivery Service" was created in the mid 1900's powered my human and horse transport of information and goods. The Chinese used smoke signals to communicate from watch tower to watch tower and would send information 750KM in very short time with ancient "wireless communications." To show the importance of carrier pigeons during WW1, Cher Ami (a homing pigeon), was awarded the French War Cross for her services. Sometimes they would use flags, drum beats, or trumpet calls for specific signals in order to communicate during the chaotic situations.This went on with little advancement for millennia. The Telegraph, made in the mid 1800's allowed for much faster communications but had one HUGE flaw. It had to be operated using a cable system. This made the entire system vulnerable. Wireless communications have always been a huge goal for humans, either by more natural means such as carrier animals or by more modern radio frequency technology (Wireless Telegraphy).
The radio frequency revolution (RF) drastically changed the ground troop's communications, as well as, air-to-ground, ship-to-ship, and ship-to-shore connectivity. Innovation surrounding radio frequency (RF) development has been labeled one of the most important technological advancements of the 20th century. These near real-time communication solutions drastically enhanced every soldiers capabilities, and even the capacity of equipment. Communications continued to advance after WW1 mainly due to Commercial and HAM Radio popularity. Due to the private Sector by WWII, radios became portable and operated by one soldier with a hand-held device. This bought about the term "Walkie-Talkie".
The Telephone was the next large development in the communications world. Although it was created in 1876 by Alexander Graham Bell, the technology was reserved for diplomatic purposes. When the technology was first made available to the public, it could only be afforded by the wealthy and connect them mainly to their businesses. Not long after an infrastructure started to emerge, it began to connect cities, countries, continents, and vast oceans. This was known as the Public Switch Telephone Network (PSTN).
Clearly portable, wireless, reliable, fast and clear communications are always the focus for the next generation of products for First Responders and the Military. This has been the focus for the last several hundred years. The following video explains some of the recent advancements in communication technology and methods. It is clear that communications have played a key role in every major event throughout human history.
We did not stop with the development of a globally wired network. Instead, we started on the journey of creating and advancing existing mobile infrastructures and technologies. RF technologies were first introduced to the military in the early 1900's and the first car phone was tested in 1946. The testing of the mobile car device lead to the creation of the "Push-to-Talk" systems that became dominant in the 1950's. To improve on 2-way communications, the IMTS (Improves Mobile Phone System) was created in the 1960's. This is one of the larger advancements toward the telecommunications platform we all use today. In the United States we first used the AMPS (Analog Mobile Phone System). Where as, in Europe, they used: TACS (Total Assess Communication System) and in Japan/ Hong Kong they used J-TACS (Japanese Total Assess Communication System). These systems were first introduced by Dell Laboratories in 1982 as 1G. They were worried of weak security for "Air Interface" and no roaming capabilities. This lead to an alliance (debatable on alternative motive) of ETSI or the European Telecommunications Standards Institute in 1988. This global network lead to the 1991 commercial release of the 2G network in Finland powered by GSM (Global System for Mobile). This network brought several benefits, in contrary to its predecessor.
On the 2G network conversations could be digitally encrypted, worked more efficiently on the spectrum allowing larger throughput of data, and introduced Data Services (SMS). To jump from 9Kb/s to 160 Kb/s to 500Kb/s, the creation of GPRS 2.5G in 1995 and 2.7G in 1997 showed the exponential growth rate of data transfer. Barely one year later, in 1998 the internet began to take over the world and enhance digital communications to a new age. This expansion lead to the evolution to 3G connectivity or Universal Mobile Telecommunications System (UMTS) that used Wideband CMDA to package data in 1999. Communications airspace is a heavily trafficked area and (for better or worse) has been regulated by 3GPP and ITU since 2000 creating "Global Standards". These guidelines control the LTE (Long Term Evolution) and LTE Advanced systems in use today.
Knowing that communications are a critical aspect of all major events, Stealth Performance Communication wanted to perfect the future ability to communicate quickly and accurately during chaotic situations. Our solutions will not only make responding to these events much more fluid and effective, but also directly save lives with perfect communications. This is obviously important when transferring information between First Responders and other professionals becomes astronomically vital.
Communications during chaotic situations are the most underrated aspect of the security focus from many entities at the moment. However, communications is easily one of the most important aspects to the professionals directly involved in saving lives. In fact, communications are so important that they could have prevented the Las Vegas Shootings and drastically reduced the aftermath of the recent Parkland Shooting in Florida.
See how Stealth Performance Communication could have prevented the Las Vegas shootings:
DHS NGFR (Next Generation First Responder) Program: