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Seeking spectrum P

A surprise move in Geneva has boosted efforts to find broadband channels for critical communications. Jeppe Jepsen reports on progress in Europe and around the world

ublic Protection and Disaster Relief (PPDR) responders provide us with indispensable police, fire and other

emergency services. Each individual in our society has growing

expectations of, and the right to, timely assistance from emergency services. In turn, society expects that governments will use the necessary resources to aid those in emergency need. Te provision of emergency services extends beyond the social contract and invokes a moral obligation to protect life, welfare, and property. Broadband wireless access is considered

essential to the future of our society at large. In Europe there is a general political drive to close the digital divide – not only through cable and wires, but also through wireless means. Te mobile network operators are driving

broadband access and UMTS/HSPA/LTE technologies are being deployed in the public networks. Spectrum is harmonized for the public access services and the digital dividend allocation 790–862MHz will ensure the benefit of harmonization to consumers and enterprises.

Te promise is access to the Internet everywhere, at any time. Te Internet Protocol (IP) has enabled

both the Internet and the corporate intranet. Tese have become an everyday necessity. Organizations increasingly use both, but only an intranet connection gives security managers control over their own network; it allows them to manage reliability and availability and avoid harmful network attacks.

Separate spectrum Dedicated spectrum would enable PPDR organizations to build their own wireless intranet. Such spectrum should be allocated separately to meet their needs before arrangements are made to sell off (auction) the remaining spectrum to the commercial sector. A number of recent developments are worth

noting. nTe European Commission has obtained full adoption in Parliament and Council of its Radio Spectrum Policy Programme (RSPP), which is now a legally binding set of policy objectives regarding spectrum regulation in the European Union. Te RSPP was published in theOfficial Journal of the European Union on March 21.

nTe RSPP instructs the EU Commission to seek an EU-harmonized solution to PPDR spectrum needs and is a forceful tool in the successful completion of these efforts across all member states of the EU.

nTe 2012 World Radio Conference (WRC) held in Geneva, Switzerland (January 23 – February 17, 2012) adopted resolutions relevant to IMT/PPDR. Te general expectation prior to the

‘Jeppe’ Jepsen is a board member of the TETRA + Critical Communications Association. Based in Brussels, he is employed by Motorola Solutions


conference was that a potential second digital dividend would be discussed after the next WRC in 2015. But to the surprise of most delegates, a request originating from the Middle East and Africa sub-region resulted at the end of the conference in a resolution “to allocate the frequency band 694–790 MHz in Region 1 to the mobile, except aeronautical mobile, service on a co-primary basis with other services to which this band is allocated on a primary basis

and to identify it for IMT; and – that the allocation is effective immediately after WRC-15.” Furthermore an agreement was made to

review and revise Resolution 646 (Rev.WRC 12) for broadband PPDR.

Working on broadband Te TETRA + Critical Communications Association (TCCA) has held the first meetings of a new working group looking at broadband for critical communications. Its work is intended to take the concept of the Government Radio Network (GRN) one step further by attempting to create a common platform for all organizations involved in critical infrastructure service delivery. Today’s PPDR networks predominantly

provide service to ‘blue light’ organizations. Tere are parallel networks serving the international railway networks (GSM-R) and there are networks serving the utilities. All these organizations have a future need for mission- critical data service. Sufficient broadband spectrum for all these

separate networks will not be available. But the obvious solution would be to join forces and build one highly reliable broadband network controlled by governments. Tis makes good financial sense for the taxpayers too.

1. The European Commission is the executive body of the European Union. The body is responsible for proposing legislation, implementing decisions, upholding the Union’s treaties and the general day-to-day running of the Union.

2. The European Parliament is the directly elected parliamentary institution of the European Union. This assembly is currently composed of 754 Members of the European Parliament, who serve the second largest democratic electorate in the world and the largest trans-national democratic electorate in the world.

3. The European Council is an institution of the European Union. It comprises the heads of state or government of the EU member states, along with the President of the European Commission and the President of the European Council, currently Herman Van Rompuy. The High Representative for Foreign Affairs, currently Catherine Ashton, takes part in its meetings.

TE TRA TODAY Issue 7 2012

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