Norway Outlines Timeline for Mission-Critical Broadband Services
Monday, April 01, 2019 | Comments
Norway is moving forward with a governmental decision process to roll out mission-critical broadband services in the country with a population of 5.3 million.

A 2018 white paper laid out three potential alternatives for Norway, which comprises 324,000 square kilometers, much of which is in harsh, frigid terrain. The three proposals for mission-critical push-to-talk (MCPTT) broadband include a single turnkey provider, several competing providers or a governmental mobile virtual network operator (MVNO).

A governmental MVNO would see Norway acquire its own core network and service platform and enter into agreements with mobile operators for use of their radio access networks (RANs). Under the first option, a single operator would provide next-generation communications services through a turnkey contract without any state-owned network infrastructure.

Under the competing turnkey providers model, two or all three of the operators in Norway would offer mission-critical broadband services and compete to attract customers. The operators would have to fulfill certain requirements set by the government, including full interoperability and interconnect on the application level for services such as MCPTT, before they can offer mission-critical next-generation services.

Under the current timeline, a government decision should be made by end-2021, and an acquisition conducted from 2022 to 2023, said Knut Baltzersen, senior principal engineer for service and technology development for Norway’s Directorate for Civil Protection (DSB). DSB owns Nødnett, Norway’s nationwide public-safety mission-critical narrowband network.

Nødnett covers 86 percent of Norway by area with 2,100 TETRA base stations. The broadband timeline expects the next-generation network to be built in 2024 with user transition from 2025 to 2026, allowing Nødnett’s 60,000 users to transition to the new service before Nødnett’s support contract with Motorola Solutions expires at the end of 2026.

Baltzersen said the new 4G/5G service requires group communications, priority and pre-emption, and security and resiliency that match Nødnett. The broadband network also must include integrated voice, video and data communications with network hardening and sufficient governmental control without disrupting market competition.

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