Representatives of the Norwegian Nødnett and Finnish VIRVE network signed a Letter of Intent at the Critical Communications Europe event in Copenhagen on 8 February to connect their national TETRA public safety networks using the TETRA Inter-System Interface (ISI).
The signing marks an important milestone for cross-border communication between both countries where the two fully independent national public safety networks can be connected.
The project follows the first cross-border TETRA ISI deal established between Norway and Sweden in 2016 with the support of Motorola Solutions (responsible for the Norwegian Nødnett TETRA system) and Airbus Defence & Space, responsible for Sweden’s Rakel TETRA network. Airbus also supplied the infrastructure for the Finnish VIRVE network.
In both countries, public safety group members are now able to communicate across borders and join forces with their colleagues on the other side of the border using their TETRA systems.
Both suppliers have experience of implementing ISI from the Norwegian-Swedish project, as does operator Nødnett, while the Finns will be tackling the initiative for the first time. The key challenges are more in establishing the legal and political framework and, more to the point, working out common operating procedures, terminology, talk groups and fleet mapping.
Both networks use the common TETRA standard, but each country’s network will have its own way of implementing the technology, set of applications and ways of operating. A key task therefore is to work out which services and applications personnel can access from their home network after they have crossed the border and are operating on the neighbouring network.
The initiative for enhanced co-operation between national public safety networks goes back to an EU-funded Inter Systems Interoperability initiative (ISITEP) for improved response in natural disasters and security threats.
As one partner of this project, Motorola Solutions has supported the goal of modernising the ISI standard to ISI over IP connections, based on its vast experience in the implementation of nationwide TETRA systems for mission-critical communications in public safety.
“During our longstanding collaboration with the Norwegian public safety organizations, we have been working closely with the Directorate for Emergency Communication (DNK),” said Michael Kaae, MSSSI vice president Northern Europe, Motorola Solutions.
“Together, we have established a robust connection between the mission-critical communications systems in Norway and Sweden based on ISI. The new cross-border connection between Norway and Finland is a further milestone for us, especially in our role as a member of the ISITEP consortium.”