Tetra | Lte | 2018-01-09

Next Generation Nødnett in Commercial Mobile Networks

Source: Nødnett

With a RFI, DSB (Directorate for civil protection and emergency planning) queries if it is realistic to run the next generation Nødnett on a commercial mobile network.

In 8th December 2017, the Norwegian Government decided that the 700 MHz spectrum shall be awarded to commercial mobile network operators.

According to Nødnett on its website, this is good for the development of the mobile market, and enables the mobile operators to offer better services, the Government stresses in their press release. The 700MHz frequencies compared to the 2.4 Ghz frequecies, offer good coverage, and will therefore be important in ensuring wide availability of advanced mobile services in the whole country. In addition, the 700 MHz band is one of the resources pointed out for the roll-out of 5G, which is the next generation mobile networkand it is the freqency that has been appointed by the ITU as the frequency to support PPDR communications. The 700Mhz frequency is also considered as the core frequency range for enabling interoperability.

PPDR communication
The Norwegian Government underlines that the frequency resources shall cover the needs of both the authorities and the market.

- Future communication solutions for emergency and preparedness agencies as well as Defence can be delivered by commercial operators, the Government writes, and points out that these user groups solve critical tasks in the society. Therefore, measures will be taken to enable these critical users' needs to be covered through a combination of regulations and commercial procurements.

Nkom, the Norwegian telecommunications regulator, states in an article on their internet pages that the 700 MHz auction will take place about a year from now.

DSB solicits the market
On 14th December 2017, DSB sent a RFI to get information on how the Norwegian mobile network operators envisage Next Generation Nødnett. Several questions on security, robustness and other topics are raised such as: 

  • What are the most important issues to solve in order for the country to obtain a Next Generation Nødnett that is a trusted successor of today's Nødnett?
  • Can security be maintained well enough in a network that is shared with commercial users?
  • How far into the crisis spectrum (peace – crisis – war) is it realistic to expect a commercially based solution to endure? 
  • Which tasks must or should the state take on, and which responsibility must or should lie with the operator(s)?

Business models
It may seem attractive to base a Next Generation Nødnett on several mobile networks. It has been claimed that this will provide increased robustness.

DSB queries if this is realistic and realisable, or if there are hurdles with such a solution. Which business model do the operators hold as the best one?

Responses are due within 9th February 2018 and more information can be found on the website of Notnett.