Finland, Sweden Establish Public-Safety Network Interoperability Across Borders
Friday, February 08, 2019 | Comments

Finland’s VIRVE public-safety network and the Swedish equivalent Rakel was officially combined 7 February. This allows Finnish, Swedish and Norwegian public-safety TETRA networks to function seamlessly outside country borders, facilitating communications between the Nordic rescue authorities in accidents and emergencies.

Previously, the public-safety networks of Finland and Norway had been combined, as had those of Sweden and Norway.

The benefits of having access to a joint network allow daily cooperation in the border region, for instance, when assistance needs to be requested from the neighboring country. In the past, authorities were only able to communicate in the public-safety network in the immediate vicinity of the border, but now access to the Finnish VIRVE network will be available everywhere in Sweden and Norway.

"Having a common public-safety network will benefit all Nordic security authorities. It will be particularly helpful for the police, rescue services and ambulance services in the performance of their daily duties in normal conditions, as well as in the case of a serious accident," said Kai Mykkänen, Finland’s minister of the interior. “This is a significant improvement in the Nordic rescue cooperation.”

Nordic cooperation in accidents and crises has proven to be effective and intensive.

"Rescue assistance provided to Sweden to combat the forest fires last summer proved that there is a clear need for Nordic critical communications in situations where assistance is provided between the Nordic countries,” said Janne Koivukoski, deputy director general for rescue services, Ministry of the Interior, Finland. “Fortunately we had launched the process of combining our networks earlier.”

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