In the first of a new series highlighting some of the key sessions from last year's Critical Communications Week, the DSB’s Knut Baltzersen discusses the different potential models available for deployment of emergency services broadband in Norway.

Norway is currently one of several countries in the process of replacing its incumbent TETRA system (named Nødnett) with broadband-based critical communications. It’s an interesting programme, albeit one at a relatively early stage, having only recently finished a network concept study.

Like its near neighbour Finland - which is currently in the process of deploying its own broadband replacement system - Norway is hoping that increased data capacity will revolutionise emergency services response. Like Finland meanwhile, it also has a variety of hurdles to jump over before roll-out can be achieved, not least convincing emergency services users to let go of TETRA before the current contract comes to an end in 2026.

At CCWeek, DSB (Norwegian Directorate for Civil Protection) specialist director Knut Baltzersen gave an overview of the project during his session taking place on the first day. Discussing the challenges posed by the project - and in particular the different business models for roll-out - he said: “Our government must soon decide upon the future for our critical communications in Norway.

"Technically speaking, it is possible to maintain our [current] network for several years past 2026, but it will probably mean an increase in running costs. [That being the case] a replacement for TETRA will have to be based around commercial networks in some way.

"But, are the mobile networks and their market players ready for mission-critical users? And, will the state have to pay for network hardening and increased coverage that will benefit only one of the operators? [These questions are] of great concern to the government.”

To view the full presentation, register for CCWeek here.

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Author: Philip Mason