Critical broadband advanced at CCBG Plenary

Tuesday, 31 October, 2017

Critical broadband advanced at CCBG Plenary

More than 55 organisations came together for the 16th TCCA Critical Communications Broadband Group (CCBG) Plenary.

The event took place over three days in Espoo, Finland, and was hosted by TCCA member Nokia.

Participants included critical communications users, public safety and commercial operators, regulators, broadband equipment vendors, critical applications providers, consultants and representatives of standardisation organisations.

“This CCBG plenary showed on the one hand quite tangibly how advanced complementary broadband solutions can be taken into use today and on the other demonstrated the challenges ahead of us and how we can address them,” said Tero Pesonen, chair at CCBG.

Key outcomes from the meeting were:

  • Critical Communications community and MNOs benefit strongly from closer engagement.
  • Technology, the network environment, laws and regulations governing use of critical broadband and end-user field operations all need to develop in parallel.
  • Many possibilities to harvest broadband benefits are already available today, as demonstrated by the Finnish community.

The first day saw authorities and solution provider companies from the host country Finland demonstrate their success-in-cooperation, based on trust between agencies and critical communications services and applications.

The shared VIRVE network as a continuous critical service has enabled the authorities to also utilise available commercial broadband data services as part of their daily operations. Solutions such as multi-access routers, local control to enable network slicing in 4G networks and connection-aware applications increase the criticality level in today’s business- and consumer-oriented commercial networks.

Best practices in ongoing developments formed the program for the second day, as well as detailed discussion on critical communications standardisation and future priorities in 3GPP. The need for interoperability and conformance testing and certification was acknowledged, likewise the need to address laws and regulations that do not currently recognise mission-critical mobile broadband opportunities.

The final day focused on operator-related critical communications issues. The scene was set by Jarmo Vinkvist, CEO of the Finnish shared authority network VIRVE, and complemented by a focused presentation on the planned UK Emergency Services Network (ESN). The CCBG Mobile Network Operator task force will take the points raised and move forward to further address the requirements of the commercial operator community for serving the critical communications market.

“It is very encouraging to see all the different stakeholders coming together to discuss and move forward matters of common interest. This is the way to achieve standardised interoperable solutions that meet our requirements,” said Vinkvist.

Image courtesy of TCCA.

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