Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

1. What is the value of PSTA?

The PSTA’s goals are:

  • To empower public safety professionals through selection of best in class standards
  • To facilitate and improve emergency response
  • To promote and enhance first responder and community safety
  • To foster industry collaboration while providing a broad platform enabling maximum stakeholder participation
  • To promote innovation of new technologies and solutions
  • To create economies of scale
  • To facilitate simpler leveraging of open standards for public safety
  • To leverage and grow the evolving IoLST

2. What is the Public Safety Technology Alliance (PSTA)?

The PSTA, comprised of a broad representation of telecommunications and technology industry leaders and federal, state and local public safety users, is a nonprofit mutual benefit organization with a mission of fostering and promoting, open, best-in-class, standards-based technology for the public safety user community.

The PSTA’s mission is to accelerate the conformance of open and standards compliant technology that will offer public safety a safe, secure and interoperable framework for the next generation of communications tools by guiding the implementation and testing of technical specifications requirements for applications, handsets, connected devices, and cloud databases that will be used by the first responder community.

3. Why is the PSTA needed?

The PSTA’s vision is to drive industry standards and compliance for both hardware and software for the public safety user community by collectively identifying and selecting best in class open standards.

This includes common specifications requirements for applications, handsets, connected devices, and cloud databases that will be used by the first responder user community. By maintaining open-standards based APIs and open application frameworks and focusing on security with standards-compliant single sign-on (SSO) initiatives, the PSTA believes these initiatives will ensure technology from various industry vendors will remain interoperable, creating greater choice, economies of scale, and innovation for public safety.

The 3GPP standards do not address every facet of public safety communications, and there are some elements of this industry, which are impacted by other standards bodies. The PSTA will review and assess these other national and international standards and recommend products and services in addition to 3GPP standards that best meet the needs of public safety in the field today and into the future.

4. How does the PSTA interface with other organizations such as ETSI, FirstNet, the FirstNet PSAC, PSCR, etc.

The PSTA is focused on bringing together public safety, original equipment manufacturers, telecommunications providers, and the public safety technology vendor community in an effort to gain consensus on testing, implementation and adoption of prevailing open standards and commonly published open standard APIs for applications and devices.

Allied organizations and associations are invited to join the PSTA so their representatives can contribute to the PSTA in leadership roles and/or as technical committee members. The PSTA, and ultimately, public safety, will benefit from diverse governance and committee participation.

The PSTA is not a standards development organization but encourages organizations such as ETSI and 3GPP to join the PSTA and actively contribute their insight and perspective to the technical committees.

5. How is the PSTA governed?

The PSTA is governed by a 9-member Board of Directors and a 21-member Executive Advisory Council (EAC). Initially, there will also be standing Technical, Marketing and Certification, and Membership Committees.

6. Does public safety have a direct role in the PSTA?

PSTA offers membership to any public safety agency or association. Additionally, public safety members will participate on the PSTA Board of Directors, Executive Advisory Council (EAC) and committees.

7. Who are PSTA’s other members?

PSTA’s diverse membership base is comprised of leaders from every corner of the telecommunications and technology sectors, and will also include significant representation from: federal, state and local public safety agencies, application developers, public safety nonprofits, industry standards organizations, handset and accessory manufacturers, security solution providers, mobile device management companies, mobile carriers, cloud services providers, LTE manufacturers and academia.

8. Where can I find more information about the PSTA?

The PSTA website is www.pstalliance.org and includes the mission, vision, a member list, Board of Directors and Executive Advisory Council (EAC) member bios, and the membership application.