First responders may utilize the computing power of a smartphone throughout the workday—in the field, in a vehicle, and in the station/office—to complete myriad tasks requiring connectivity in the foreseeable future, according to a Samsung official helping lead the company’s U.S. public-safety initiatives.

A global communications equipment giant, Samsung is playing key roles in the deployment of public-safety LTE technology in both South Korea—where Samsung has its global headquarters—and in the United Kingdom (UK), and the company also is focused on delivering solutions to U.S. first responders, according to Reg Jones, Samsung’s director of sales and solutions for the public sector.

“We think that it’s the right time for first responders to take advantage of strong mobile compute and begin to look at it as a way to complement their daily workflow and also for them to begin seeing how to leverage it in more mission-critical situations,” Jones said during an interview with IWCE’s Urgent Communications.

“In the U.S., we’re very excited about what I would say is the disruption—in terms of technological advancement—that’s happening in communications for first responders.”

Samsung plans to deliver LTE-based first-responder solutions “with a strong security posture, as well as an eye on cost reduction,” Jones said. At the center of this vision are Samsung’s devices, including the new Galaxy S9 and S9+, both of which include the capability of operating on the Band 14 spectrum licensed to FirstNet.

One key feature of the Galaxy S9 and other Samsung devices are their considerable computer-processing capabilities, and Samsung hopes to lead the development of an ecosystem that leverages this strength in myriad environments, Jones said. For instance, when a device is docked in the Samsung DeX—short for “desktop experience—first responders can use the computing and connectivity capabilities of the smart device to have a PC-like experience, with the added benefit of charging the smart device, he said.

“DeX is really exciting for us,” Jones said. “It means that—in addition to the use cases of being in the pocket and in the hand [of a first responder]—the S9 can be in the station and power [computationally] the work station when you’re actually at your desk.

"It can also power an in-vehicle compute solution, where we are leveraging DeX in the vehicle to show this convergence of mobile power and all of the app ecosystem that officers need in their vehicles—from e-citations to CAD and RMS.”

This means public-safety users can have their information with them “wherever they go throughout the day,” whether they are holding the device in their hands or have it docked in a DeX station, Jones said.

“I think the smartphone eventually becomes the center of compute. It becomes the center of communication,” he said. “We’re replacing a lot of their centers of compute. You can get rid of a desktop, if you want to. You can get rid of the laptop that’s mounted inside of the vehicle and save some money.”