Public Safety Communications Europe (PSCE) is making progress on the EC-funded BroadMap project to define the future of interoperable broadband radio applications, services, networks and devices for use by public protection and disaster relief (PPDR) agencies.
The first stage of the project has been to collect views from PPDR organisations on what they think an EU-wide interoperable broadband radio solution should look like. BroadMap project partners have therefore been busy organising workshops throughout this summer to gather together a set of opinions from PPDR end users with regard to the future of their mobile technologies.
Overall, BroadMap workshops have involved 242 PPDR organisations from 17 countries across Europe cumulatively gathering more than 600 participants, including practitioners from national police forces, fire brigades, emergency services and customs authorities.
Various militaries, traffic agencies, post and telecom operators, mountain rescue services, port authorities, coast guards, as well as several national ministries of interior and defence, also contributed their views. Further discussion with PPDR end users will continue in the coming months.
PSCE reports that feedback from the workshops has been a success with practitioners taking a strong interest and expressing their thanks for the opportunity to contribute their opinions. The BroadMap consortium has obtained a comprehensive insight into the viewpoints of different PPDR representatives.
The workshops have gathered a diverse set of opinions which will be used to validate requirements for EU interoperable broadband for PPDR from the largest community of PPDR end users ever consulted.
The next step for the project will be to analyse the gathered opinions and determine associated solutions and roadmaps, to inform an EC co-funded pre-commercial procurement (PCP) activity.
Broadmap is a 12 month project, which is due to end on 30 April 2017. There will then be another round of bidding for the right to operate the PCP. That proposal will be delivered at end of August 2017 and the PCP Project is due to start in May 2018.
PSCE has been leading and co-ordinating the BroadMap project. The Chair of the PSCE User Committee, Manfred Blaha, recently presented BroadMap at the APCO (Association of Chief Police Officers) conference, which took place in Orlando, Florida, from 13-16 August 2016. The Conference featured a number of discussions to learn and mutually benefit from activities of the FirstNet first responder broadband project in the US.
BroadMap project coordinator, David Lund, will join the next 3GPP SA1 meeting where requirements for mobile standards will be discussed including mission critical broadband functionalities.
BroadMap intends to inform the standardisation community of its key outcomes and where priorities may lie for the PPDR community and those considering the procurement of new broadband mobile applications, networks and devices for PPDR.
In November 2016, BroadMap will organise a Stakeholder Workshop, where the outcomes of the national workshops will be presented. The event will be open to PPDR practitioners, as well as the participants of the BroadMap workshops held this summer.
The Stakeholder Workshop will present the latest developments of the BroadMap project, including the results of the workshops, and invite participants to submit feedback. More details about the stakeholder workshop will become available soon on the BroadMap website www.broadmap.eu.
BroadMap will also be presented at the next PSCE Conference, to be held in Athens, Greece, from 22-24 November 2016. FirstNet, the USA authority managing the nationwide wireless broadband network for public safety, will also participate in the Conference.
The PSCE Conferences take place biannually and gather around a hundred experts from the public safety community, including end users, researchers, and industry.
This will be the 15th edition of the PSCE Conferences and will address issues related to next generation broadband, border security, natural disasters, and security by telecommunications in transport. The draft agenda and registration for the Conference is accessible on the PSCE website - http://www.psc-europe.eu/.
For more details on BroadMap see: BroadMap project to shape PPDR future communications in Europe