Tetra | Lte | 2021-12-15

Elisa to Deliver 4G, 5G Connectivity for Virve

Source: Techniikka & Talous | MIKKO PULLIAINEN

Finnish operator Elisa said it will supply mobile connectivity for Erillisverkot’s upgraded Virve public safety network until 2030. Virve is moving to broadband technology and will use Elisa's nationwide 4G and 5G mobile networks in the future. The new service will be phased in starting in 2022 with the aim for authorities and other security organisations to switch to it in 2023-2025

The new Virve service will give authorities access to privileged subscriptions and new functions that will improve the efficiency of situation management. Virve is shifting away from a Tetra-based network. Elisa's mobile network will be expanded to meet the requirements of the Virve service, for example by improving geographical coverage by the end of 2024.

The upgrade moves Virve away from the traditional speech-based service by enabling efficiency through data connections and operational management, for example by using spatial data, video and speech recognition. It will support the stringent requirements for security and reliability.

Ari Toivonen, development manager of Erillisverkot, said; "Virve will be implemented using Elisa's 4G and 5G networks to ensure the authorities and security organisations have modern telecommunications connections well into the future."

Toivonen said expanding the network's service area to match the current Virve network will benefit other users of Elisa's network, as well as the authorities.

The upgraded version of Virve means that authorities obtain priority access in order to support critical communication, ensuring them available bandwidth and faster connections when needed. This privilege is always situation-specific and does not affect the quality of normal mobile service to members of the public and businesses.

As a by-product, the development of Laajakaistainen Virve will supply a nationwide mobile network and more reliable connections to the public and businesses. In the event of an alarm, a bandwidth is released to the mobile network for authorities to communicate on a case-by-case basis, just as an ambulance is avoided on the road. Once the congestion situation is over, network traffic will continue as normal for all users, said Ville Syrjanen, business director for Elisa's private networks.

One of the most interesting service extensions is speech recognition, said Elisa and Erillisverkot. This converts speech into text instantly for analysis by computer, enabling situations to be summarised in order to speed up the activities of the authority.

Elisa CTO Ville Rautio said; "speech recognition makes it possible to extract what is relevant to the task. As well as recognising keywords, a computer can draw a picture of a person based on the characteristics extracted from the speech. Speech recognition and analytics will help the authority get help faster and more efficiently."