Sweden Moves Forward on Plan for Public-Safety Broadband
Monday, June 29, 2020 | Comments

The Swedish government 25 June issued two assignments to the Swedish Civil Contingencies Agency (MSB), which will be the starting point for the work to develop a robust and effective broadband communications system for public-safety users.

Police, emergency services, EMS and other public-safety users need to be able to exchange information, via both speech and data, in a robust and secure way. The current communications system Rakel is based on older technology with limited capacity and can no longer meet the needs of users when they are to lead and collaborate on different efforts.

The government therefore decided on two assignments to MSB, which oversees Rakel, to develop and establish the so-called Rakel Generation 2 (Rakel G2). With Rakel G2, users should be able to take advantage of the opportunities that technology development provides in a robust and secure way. This involves, for example, transmitting patient data from ambulances to emergency hospitals or streaming real-time video to management centers from body-worn cameras of police in the external service or from drones in the event of a forest fire.

To create user benefit as early as possible, the first assignment is for MSB to procure and provide mobile data communications services to Rakel users. At the same time, according to the second assignment, MSB will analyze and submit proposals for a new communications system for public-safety users based on a hybrid solution between existing state infrastructure and collaboration with commercial mobile network operators.

The first assignment must be reported by 1 March, 2021, and a final report is due 1 September, 2022. The second assignment will be reported by 12 February, 2021.

In 2018, officials from the Swedish MSB, the Finnish State Security Networks Group and Norway’s Directorate of Emergency Communication (DNK) signed a letter of intent (LoI) to start a three-country project to design communications possibilities among emergency services in all three countries. In April, Erillisverkot, the provider of Finland’s planned Virve 2.0 public-safety broadband network, announced it will acquire the broadband radio access network (RAN) as a service from carrier Elisa and the core systems from Ericsson.

Last week, Swedish telecom operator Telia signed a contract with Motorola Solutions to provide its customers with a next-generation, Third Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) standard-compliant and future-ready, mission-critical push-to-talk (MCPTT) solution.

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