The National Strategy for Homeland Security and the Louisiana Homeland Security Strategy
identify emergency preparedness and response as critical missions. A major initiative in both strategies is to enable seamless communication
among all responders
to an event or emergency and to improve information sharing
The devastation caused by Hurricane Katrina severely hampered the ability of emergency responders operating on the statewide 800MHz analog system to communicate with other emergency service personnel. In addition, communications systems maintained by local governments suffered severe and debilitating damage, which further restricted communications between emergency responders.
The Louisiana Wireless Information Network (LWIN) is one of the largest statewide radio systems in the country. It provides daily voice communications to more than 109,000 users at the Federal, State, local and non-governmental levels. Of these users, more than 70 percent are from local jurisdictions. LWIN provides better than 95 percent in-building coverage to the nine (9) largest metropolitan areas in the State. As of March 2021, there were an average of over 10.7 million push-to-talk (PTT) transmissions a month on LWIN. Planned major expansions will increase system capacity to accommodate additional users over the next 10 years.
Currently, LWIN operates with:
- 141 active tower sites
- Four (4) mobile tower sites
- Two (2) mobile repeater sites
- Four (4) mobile satellite dishes
- Six (6) generators on wheels
- Four (4) masters sites
Users enjoy 95 percent portable on-street radio coverage throughout the State. With such extensive coverage, responders now experience near-seamless communications across Louisiana.
The system is fully maintained by the State and charges no fees to its users.
General System Requirements
LWIN is an Internet Protocol (IP) network-based and Project 25 compliant trunked system (P25 system). It operates primarily in the 700 MHz and 800 MHz bands and be capable of providing voice and data. The P25 system operates 95 percent or better coverage when using a portable radio inside a building within the metropolitan areas of the State as identified in the Plan and 95 percent or better coverage when using a portable street-level radio in all other areas of the State.
How to Access LWIN
The State of Louisiana authorizes access to the statewide LWIN system, for:
- Authorized Federal and State first responder agencies.
- Authorized local entities that wish to operate on the system that have eligibility in the Public Safety Radio Pool as described in Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Rules and Regulation (47 CFR Part 90).
- Other entities vital to the health, safety, and welfare of the citizens of Louisiana.
Prospective users must submit a letter of application to the Chairman requesting access. GOHSEP, along with Louisiana State Police (LSP), Radio Communications, makes a recommendation to the Executive Committee for acceptance, and the Executive Committee makes a final determination. There are no user fees; however, each user is responsible for acquiring and maintaining, at its own cost, all of its own approved compatible subscriber units.