France implementing the 'radio network of the future'

Wednesday, 13 September, 2023 | Supplied by: Airbus/Secure Land Communications

France implementing the 'radio network of the future'

Airbus is one of the major contributors to the Réseau Radio du Futur (RRF) project, which will set the scene for the future of critical communications in the domain of public safety and emergency.

This pioneering project, led by France, is key to modernising domestic security forces. It represents a major advance as it was designed for a large country and many users (at least 300,000). This includes several communities, each with its own particular needs, which will come together on a single system. The project will therefore offer added flexibility for all users and new requirements in terms of security.

The RRF will be a national, seamless, secure and high-speed (4G and 5G) priority mobile communication system, with a high level of resilience in order to guarantee the continuum of security and emergency rescue missions on a daily basis, including in the event of a crisis or major event. The system intends to equip over 300,000 users in the security and emergency rescue forces, such as the national gendarmerie, the national police force, firefighters and other civil security forces. It will allow the latter to benefit from an array of new data-centred services, such as video, geo positioning and group communication, amongst others.

Compared to the current solution, the range of services proposed as part of the RRF is designed to be very innovative. Today, most public security forces operate using voice-based, narrowband technologies. By contrast, the RRF will take advantage of high-speed (broadband) networks to transmit voice, video and large volumes of data. This is a move towards a multimedia solution with new uses.

The RRF also allows for greater pooling of resources, in accordance with international standards. The various security and operational forces will thus share the same tool, which greatly simplifies interoperability issues. These interoperability possibilities also extend beyond borders; this was the purpose of the ‘BroadWay’ project that Airbus carried out on behalf of the European Commission on the topic of interoperability of RRF systems between bordering countries.

The authorities of each country necessarily have specific constraints and specificities. Therefore, the solutions provided by Airbus in the context of the RRF are highly scalable and are tailored to fit the needs of each customer, with no compromise on security and resilience. They will allow the various stakeholders to communicate via this new network, with support from a variety of partners including Econocom, Prescom, Samsung and Streamwide. As part of its collaboration with Airbus, Capgemini will integrate the many sets of expertise provided by all the project partners. This includes cloud infrastructure provided by Dell Technologies and 5G telecommunications services from Ericsson.

The contract reinforces Airbus’s position as a European leader of critical communications, as well as that of Capgemini as a trusted partner in the modernisation of emergency rescue and security forces, and supply of sovereign services. Considering the importance of the project, many other countries are following in France’s footsteps and considering the implementation of such a system on a nationwide scale.

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