MCX Enabler Softil Issues Annual Outlook for the Mission-Critical Communications Industry

MCX Enabler Softil Issues Annual Outlook for the Mission-Critical Communications Industry

Pierre Hagendorf, Softil’s CEO

Material increase in MCPTT usage in production MCX networks to breakthrough advances in 5G-Sidelink and device-to-device communication technologies in 2024

The year 2024 will see the life-changing mission critical technology continue to broaden its outreach in public safety agencies and extend its functionality and usage in MCX and FRMCS deployments.”

— Pierre Hagendorf, Softil’s CEO

TEL AVIV, EAST SUSSEX, ISRAEL, December 19, 2023 / — Softil, the world’s leading mission-critical communications (MCX) enabler, today issues its annual outlook for the disruptive MCX industry covering the 2024 period and highlights ten probable advances in group communications that the coming year will bring.

“The past decade has brought seismic change in the way that first responders communicate,” says Pierre Hagendorf, Softil’s CEO. “The year 2024 will see the life-changing technology continue to broaden its outreach in public safety agencies and extend its functionality and usage in MCX and FRMCS deployments.”


5G Private Networks

When it comes to MCX deployments, the most typical scenario is deployment in service provider networks such as AT&T FirstNet, KT SafeNet, or Southern Linc’s Critical Linc, etc … At the same time, as MCX technology is already mature, it is a perfect candidate for the deployment outside a major service provider’s reach – especially when it comes to, for example, utilities or oil, gas and mining. The utility companies often operate their own, private communication networks, and considering the level of maturity of MCX, group communications technology is perfectly suitable for private network deployments – which align very well with the increased proliferation of 5G private networks. We should expect to see more and more deployments of MCX within private 5G networks in 2024.

5G-Sidelink, V2X and Device to Device

For many verticals, it is imperative that devices be able to discover each other and then communicate with each other anywhere in the world. More often than not, and most importantly, device-to-device communications should work when no network is available. Device to Device (D2D) communications without using the network (whether the network is available or not), often called Direct Mode, is a critical success element in a variety of applications, but of all the use cases, the ones that clearly stand out are – communication between cars and infrastructure (V2X) and communication between first responders or any public safety users for that matter. Implementation of such D2D solutions for broadband devices were attempted before, but only now, with the advancements in 5G, real solutions are starting to appear in the form of the 5G-Sidelink standard. The year 2023 has already seen serious advancements in this space with Qualcomm, the major mobile chipset supplier, bringing 5G-Sidelink implementations for the MCX interoperability testing event (ETSI MCX Plugtest #8); Softil was delighted to be a part of the D2D interoperability demonstration in front of observers at the Plugtest. 5G-Sidelink with its ground breaking technology can provide at least 1.2km line-of-sight communication capabilities (can go higher) on standard cellular handheld devices, solving the important challenge of enabling forces on the ground to communicate with each other no matter what. All in all, this is an important step in the right direction, and we expect more advances in this space in 2024.

Internet of [lifesaving] Things

One of the key goals of 5G technology is efficient Machine to Machine (M2M) communications. As 5G is advancing along the Plateau of Productivity (if you are not familiar with the term, see Gartner Technology Adaption Curve), it enables better and more efficient communication for the myriad of devices comprising Internet of Things (IoT) universe. Many verticals are set to benefit from the advancements in the IoT space, including public safety and first responders. For example, think about the great number of sensors that can be placed on a first responder’s uniform – body vitals, temperature, barometric pressure, shot detection and so on – your imagination is the only limit here – and all of this data available in real time in the decision center, all thanks to ubiquitous 5G connectivity. We expect to see more and more solutions in IoLST (Internet of Life Saving Things) next year, and every year after that.

Machine Learning (ML) for MCX

It is well known that ubiquitous broadband enables an opportunity for a data flood. With billions of devices connected to the broadband network, the amount of data available for processing is simply immesurable. Specifically in Mission Critical Communications (MCX), the amount of data that is available and needs to be processed in real time is huge – sensors, audio streams, video streams from multiple sources (body-worn cameras, street cameras, traffic cameras), location data, images and lots more. Considering this “data ocean,” Machine Learning (ML) comes to the rescue – computers can take on processing and analyzing the data and make recommendations to a dispatcher – learning in the process and improving its algorithms to be able to help better next time. We predict significant advances in ML applications for MCX use cases in 2024 and beyond.

MCX in the Cloud

In simple terms, MCX is just a standards-based group communications technology. While public safety was the primary beneficiary of new open-standards based broadband group communications technologies, it was also clear that many other user types, from utilities to transportation to mining to even retail, can also take advantage of the same standard. At this point in time, MCX communication solutions have already reached an advanced stage, where core technology is stable and can now extend its reach to the 5G Cloud, offering the same group communications benefits to enterprise users. As 5G Cloud deployments grow, we expect to see more MCX cloud deployments in the years to come.


FRMCS (Future Railway Mobile Communications System) is a critical technology for high-speed railways and an essential part of the European Green Deal. Today’s high-speed train communications are based on the GSM-R, an old 2G technology that is rapidly sun setting, thus FRMCS, a 5G based technology, needs to become fully operational during the next decade. FRMCS, actively being developed by the UIC with the assistance of 3GPP, ETSI, UNIFE and many other organizations, will enter the second phase of trials next year and we expect that further development of FRMCS technology and FRMCS products and services will accelerate in 2024 and beyond.

Note for editors: the above is an extract of the full release. The full article can be accessed at

Hugh Paterson
Whoosh PR
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