Nokia and SK Telecom customise Ultra Compact Network to create a portable public safety LTE system

Nokia has developed a mission-critical LTE System for first responders with SK Telecom by customising Nokia's all-in-one Ultra Compact Network to create a portable all-in-one 'Public Safety-LTE' (PS-LTE) network system - an advanced public safety network based on the LTE network

160802SKLTE3.jpgNokia has developed a mission-critical LTE System for first responders with SK Telecom by customising Nokia’s all-in-one, backpack-fitting, Ultra Compact Network to create a portable all-in-one ‘Public Safety-LTE’ (PS-LTE) network system.

The Ultra Compact Network is a micro/pico eNodeB with embedded evolved packet core (EPC) and provides push-to-talk (PTT) technologies to create an independent communications network to be used by emergency services.

The network deployed with the system provides coverage of five kilometres and accommodates up to 400 users – with a set-up time of less than three minutes.

The system offers scalability as it can add other communication solutions, such as user management program and group messaging, needed by public service agencies. SK Telecom plans to conduct a trial for the portable LTE system within this year and to actively utilise the system to expand the national disaster safety wireless network and the ‘LTE for Maritime Wireless Communications (LTE-Maritime)’ project in 2017.

150803SKConceptMapofLTEM.jpgLed by the Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries (MOF), the LTE-Maritime project will deploy a test network by May 2016 in the East Sea of Korea. Radio signals transmitted from a high-gain antenna located at high altitude in the eastern coast will be received by LTE-M router installed on a ship to be converted to Wi-Fi.

The company then plans to develop a high-gain antenna that covers up to 100 kilometres offshore as well as an LTE-M router that can receive LTE signals in a stable manner in the maritime environment by withstanding high humidity, strong wind and salt-laden atmosphere.

LTE-M supports high-speed wireless telecommunications on ships located approximately 100 kilometres from shore. It is expected to significantly enhance navigation safety of small ships that have relatively poor inbuilt communication and safety system than large vessels.

160802SKLTE4.jpgSince signing an agreement for joint development of disaster communication technologies in October 2015, SK Telecom and Nokia have been working closely to develop diverse disaster communication technologies, including portable LTE system and real-time Group Communication System Enabler (GCSE) based on mobile evolved Multimedia Broadcast Multicast Service (eMBMS). An eMBMS is capable of simultaneously transmitting heavy multimedia content to massive users.

“The portable all-in-one PS-LTE system is a ground-breaking solution that enables communication among first responders by setting up an independent LTE network when regular communication networks are disrupted by disasters,” said Lee Jong-bong, executive VP and head of Infra Division of SK Telecom. “SK Telecom will not only utilise the innovative system to build disaster safety wireless networks in Korea, but also plans to share its expertise and know-how with many other countries around the world.”

“This world’s-first portable LTE solution will be invaluable when critical services are needed to respond to all kinds of disasters and emergencies,” commented Andrew Cope, head of Korea at Nokia. “We are very pleased to customise our all-in-one Ultra Compact Network in cooperation with SK Telecom and local small and medium-sized enterprises to suit their individual needs. Nokia will continue to take the lead in PS-LTE related standardisation activities by collaborating with Korean companies and offering advanced PS-LTE solutions to our customers.”

This article was revised on 12/8/16 as the original version could be interpreted in such a way to suggest that the UCN required extra hardware to run EPC functions.