The Nordic public safety network operators have published a joint specification of requirements for broadband devices in a white paper that includes requirements and guidelines on important device features. The paper was written for device manufacturers and intended to be considered when defining the future generation of handheld devices.
A strong phase of renewal is currently underway in the public safety networks of Finland, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, and Iceland, where the existing Tetra-based networks are planned to be replaced by next generation broadband 5G communication solutions. The collaboration forum for Nordic public safety operators (NCCOM) emphasizes the importance of handheld devices during the planning and implementation of this renewal.
Demanding user characteristics to be maintained
The Nordic operators have defined the requirements together in cooperation with their user organizations. In Finland, further experience on currently available devices has been gained via device procurement tenders that have been run as part of the Virve 2 programme that reforms the nation’s public safety communications.
The devices used in current Tetra networks are characterized by physical durability and a long lifetime, as well as specific buttons for Press-To-Talk (PTT) and emergency calls. The requirements listed in the white paper emphasise the need for similar rugged, physically demanding and reliable device characteristics to be supported by the next generation devices as well.
“The list of requirements is important information and acts as a strong baseline when end user devices are developed for broadband safety communications. I am very pleased that the Nordic operators and user organizations have combined their views on the matter. The requirements for devices suitable for the work of security authorities must be harmonized to create a common market. The importance of devices for everyday public safety work and the safety of citizens is critical, so information supporting the work of device suppliers is valuable in the renewal phase,” says Timo Lehtimäki, CEO, Erillisverkot Group.
The Nordic countries also want to highlight the effect of freezing working conditions on what is expected from the devices. The specification work has aroused the interest of other European operators, too. Together, the Nordic countries promote the development of device features in the working groups of TCCA, the industry’s leading organization, and in 3GPP standardization.
Erillisverkot Group operates the Virve public safety network and is currently developing the public authorities’ broadband Virve 2 communication services.
Other Nordic networks whose evolving terminal equipment requirements are discussed in the white paper are RAKEL in Sweden, Nødnett in Norway, SINE in Denmark and Tetra – the National Telecommunication service in Iceland. More detailed, country specific requirements will be announced as each country progresses in its broadband programme and tendering processes.