Erillisverkot will acquire the broadband Virve 2.0 radio access network as a service from Elisa and the core systems from Ericsson. With this procurement, Erillisverkot will ensure the continuity of critical communications and operational capability of public safety in all situations in the future.
Erillisverkot will implement the next generation Virve in collaboration with Elisa and Ericsson. Virve 2.0 service will provide secure, reliable and more diverse wireless broadband services to the authorities and other public safety users. In the procurement, all parts are closely interlinked. The contract term is 10 years.
“The importance of Virve in critical operations cannot be overstated. The next generation of Virve will be one of the most important governmental ICT project in the coming years, and naturally, a high priority for us at Erillisverkot. Virve will facilitate seamless cooperation between the authorities and other public safety operators, crucial in daily life but also in crisis situations, such as the current coronavirus pandemic,” says Timo Lehtimäki, CEO of Erillisverkot.
“Our long-term cooperation with state administration and security actors is now being taken to a new level. The goal is nothing less than the world’s highest-quality service for authorities and Finland’s most comprehensive mobile phone and data network. We are proud that the high quality provided by Elisa has also been trusted with this critical service. Erillisverkot is the world’s leading security operator in its field. It is great to be able to work together to develop the next generation of network systems and services for the authorities and to be involved in ensuring national security and preparedness”, says the director of Elisa’s Corporate Customer unit Timo Katajisto.
“Critical networks demand the very best standards of reliability, security and performance in the core. We are working closely with Erillisverkot to ensure that is exactly what they will get from Ericsson’s dual-mode 5G core products and solutions to benefit critical services in Finland. It’s fantastic to see Finland take such bold steps to ensure the safety and support of the nation in such a forward-thinking way and I look forward to other countries following suit”, says Arun Bansal, President Europe and Latin America, Ericsson.
Erillisverkot is the statutory service operator and produces critical broadband Virve 2.0 services. For the next generation Virve, Elisa will provide the 4G and 5G radio access and expansion of the geographical coverage area to correspond to the current Virve network. Ericsson will supply the core systems for Erillisverkot for managing the network and key data systems, and for ensuring data security and preparedness.
The current procurement of services and systems will enable Erillisverkot to produce a prioritised broadband connection for public safety authorities and other security operators by the end of the year 2021. The procurement of applications for the Virve 2.0 project will be launched later this year, to implement communications solutions similar to those in the current Virve network, and new functionalities, including a group video call service in 2023. Users will adopt the new service by the end of 2025. The current Virve network will be used simultaneously with the new Virve 2.0 service until the end of the migration period.
The Virve 2.0 project was launched in 2018 by decision of the Ministerial Committee on Economic Policy. The procurements will be completed in accordance with the Act on Public Contracts in the Fields of Defence and Security. All companies involved in the negotiations submitted approved offers by the end of the deadline for tenders, and partners were selected on the basis of points allocated to the tenders.