Norway Plans for Commercial Networks to Provide Public-Safety Broadband Services
Monday, January 29, 2018 | Comments

Norwegian telecom regulator Nkom is preparing the allocation of the 700 MHz band and has determined that the country’s next-generation emergency communications network should be realized within commercial networks. The government will make available 2 by 30 megahertz in the 700 MHz band for commercial operators.

A public hearing of the overall objectives of the allocation will take place in the first half of this year. During the second half of 2018, a public hearing of the detailed rules for the allocation process will be held, and the 700 MHz band will be allocated in the first part of 2019, the Nkom website said.

Last year, Nkom considered whether parts of the 700 MHz band should be set aside for a high-speed broadband service for public safety and disaster response (PPDR). Nkom’s recommendation was that commercial operators in public mobile networks can best meet PPDR users’ and the Norwegian Armed Forces users’ broadband services needs.

A statement from the Directorate for Civil Protection (DSB), which owns Norway’s nationwide TETRA network Nødnett, and Nkom said the government's operating contract for Nødnett will be in place until the end of 2026. Next Generation Nødnett (NGN) will provide mobile broadband services.

The Norwegian government stated that the electronic communications authority and relevant ministries must facilitate and ensure that, as far as possible, the commercial mobile networks will be capable of supporting future PPDR services.

“If the NGN is to be realized in the commercial mobile networks, these networks will have to provide the necessary functionality, coverage, security and robustness,” the statement said. “DSB and Nkom believe that the authorities have the relevant means to achieve this through the combination of official instructions and commercial procurements but emphasize that there is still work to do to identify these specific means. The implementation of such measures requires the allocation of sufficient funds, but the measures will benefit the entire population, in that they will make the mobile networks we all use safer and more robust.”

DSB and Nkom said a conceptual decision on how to implement the NGN and an intention for implementing the solution financially should be made at the same time as the decision on the use of the 700 MHz band.

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