U.K. Seeks Direct Mode LTE Option Ahead of ProSe Standards
Wednesday, July 12, 2017 | Comments

The U.K. Emergency Services Mobile Communications Programme (ESMCP), which is rolling out the U.K. Emergency Services Network (ESN), announced an open early engagement for device-to-device (D2D) communications for the public-safety Long Term Evolution (LTE) network.

An open early engagement means that a procurement idea is active and is in the early stage of development and judging interest from potential suppliers. The exercise aims to further ESMCP’s understanding of the market options for D2D communications for the ESN.

The authority user requirements call for a D2D mode of operation for local communications without reliance on the network. The long-term proposal for LTE is to use Third Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) proximity services (ProSe) to address this requirement. However, this cannot be implemented within the authority timescales because of the immaturity of the standards and the lack of support in current devices and networks.

An alternative solution is therefore required to meet the D2D user requirement until a standards-based ProSe solution can be introduced. Except for D2D, the ESN device will provide principal communications features, and the interim D2D solution is expected to consist of a device, which will supplement the ESN device's functionality, either as a standalone or 'integrated' unit.

The quantities of devices and timescales are to be advised and informed by the market engagement.

A request for information (RFI) will be provided to interested suppliers containing a number of questions that the authority welcomes response to. The RFI closing date is 14 July. The project will use the information to inform its discussions internally and for the purpose of market engagement meetings with potential suppliers that respond.

The authority wishes to engage on a one-to-one basis with potential suppliers that demonstrate that they are capable of providing the required devices following receipt of a response to this RFI. Accordingly, the authority will contact potential suppliers to arrange meetings where it considers it necessary to do so following RFI receipt and review. Market engagement meetings are due to take place between July and 4 August.

The full notice is here.

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