The reality of true mission-critical mobile broadband moved a step closer this week with the first full meeting of the Critical Communications Broadband Group (CCBG).
A Working Group of the TETRA + Critical Communications Association (TCCA), the new CCBG will drive the development and adoption of common global mobile broadband standards and solutions for users who operate in a mission critical or business critical environment. The CCBG will also work with the TCCA’s Spectrum Group and PSC-Europe to lobby for appropriate harmonised spectrum in which to deploy critical broadband services and applications.
The first elected Chair of the CCBG is Tony Gray of P3 communications (pictured). An independent consultant, Gray advises users, operators, standards bodies, regulatory authorities and the wider industry. Elected Vice Chair of the CCBG is Emmanuelle Villebrun from the French Ministry of Interior.
The aim of the CCBG is to enable all mission critical and business critical users to access their information systems, intranet and internet at broadband speeds using their professional mobile devices wherever they are and whenever they have the need. This broadband capability should meet the specific needs of the user in the same way that critical voice and narrowband data services are currently delivered by technologies such as TETRA, Tetrapol, P25 and others.
Attendees at the first CCBG meeting included representatives from industry standards and regulatory bodies, manufacturers, user organisations, and governments. All are members of the TCCA. Representatives from the US National Institute of Standards and Technology and the 3GPP Systems Architecture Group attended as guests.
Gray said: ‘By bringing together all interested parties, irrespective of their current chosen technology, the CCBG is taking the lead in gathering the requirements for future critical communications broadband services. We will look to build and strengthen relationships with influential organisations around the world, such as NATO, UIC, EUTC, and NPSTC [The National Public Safety Telecommunications Council is responsible for developing Public Safety Broadband solutions in the USA] and channel the wealth of knowledge that exists within the TCCA into making mission critical broadband a reality.’
Phil Godfrey, Chair of the TCCA, said: ‘The work of the CCBG represents the broader remit of our organisation. Our Members, and all TETRA users around the world, are looking towards the future themselves, and how they can use broadband data to make themselves more efficient. We want to make sure that we encourage the development of standards and solutions that will meet those sorts of needs.’
Examples of mission critical and business critical users include: Public safety/PPDR; government entities; utilities (electricity, gas, water); power generation; petrochemical/extraction ; transport (international and metropolitan rail, metro, ports, airports, buses, trams and taxis); military/paramilitary; security; telcos; sporting and leisure complexes.