15 European Countries Submit EU Proposal on Future of Broadband PPDR
Tuesday, October 06, 2015 | Comments

Fifteen European countries said they are committed to work together to establish a common roadmap for the evolution of European Union (EU) public protection and disaster relief (PPDR) radio communications via the BROADMAP partnership.

The BROADMAP partnership created a proposal to answer the Horizon 2020 DRS-18 call for proposals. Specifications and transition road mapping of future broadband PPDR radio communications in the EU will be available in 2017, if the proposal is agreed by the Horizon 2020 evaluation process.

In August, Public Safety Communications Europe (PSCE) submitted the proposal to Horizon 2020 BROADMAP. The proposed project intends to take the first steps toward future co-funded procurement necessary to enable “interoperable next generation of broadband radio communication systems for public safety and security” to enhance interoperability across borders and improve PPDR service to European citizens.

BROADMAP proposes to collect and validate PPDR organizations’ existing requirements with the aim to establish a core set of specifications and roadmap for procurement to achieve future evolution of EU broadband applications and interoperable radio communications solutions for PPDR.

The partnership comprises 15 potential buyers/end users representing EU member states and associated countries. Eight represent the ministry within the country responsible for public safety, and seven represent end users and network operators. In addition, 48 additional PPDR organizations signed letters of support for the project, expanding geopolitical coverage within seven additional EU and associated countries and support from stakeholders in the United States.

The BROADMAP proposal formation was initiated in 2014 at the request of PSCE’s User Committee members. It took eight months to gather the team of end users and a delicately balanced strategy to support the future procurement of necessary research and development (R&D) and innovative products needed to fulfill the validated requirements for broadband interoperable networks for PPDR and critical communications.

“BROADMAP is a milestone on the broad way for PPDR organizations to get a broadband network,” said Manfred Blaha, chair of PSCE User Committee. “It is not only to follow technological trends for a new gadget. It is about giving first responders some data-rich communications tools for their life-saving duty. It is about serving our citizens best possible.”

The proposal is now in the hands of the Horizon 2020 evaluation process, and results are expected in early in 2016. If the proposal is accepted, the group will be the broadest team of EU public-safety end users ever to formalize requirements, specifications, solutions and roadmaps that will lead toward new interoperable broadband capabilities deployed with an operational expectation within eight to 10 years.

PSCE will hold its next conference in Oxford, United Kingdom, 9 – 10 December. Attendees will discuss the outcomes of spectrum decisions made at World Radiocommunication Conference (WRC) 2015, the steps to take to achieve broadband capabilities for PPDR, security and resilience of next-generation networks, the potential for 5G, and data protection and privacy issues surrounding the deluge of information enabled by broadband, as overseen by the pending EU data protection regulation.

“It’s been a lengthy process but the collective enthusiasm of the partnership is unprecedented,” said David Lund, president of PSCE and coordinator of BROADMAP. “We have a truly motivated and influential team.”

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