It has been one of the important discussions lately about interoperability of mission-critical communications in Europe: what are the future approaches and technologies to advance the interconnection of national networks in Europe? How can governments, operators and the Professional Mobile Radio (PMR) industry overcome obstacles to facilitate the very necessary radio communication between the police, fire brigades and ambulance on European borders?
To discuss these questions, Airbus and the Tetra and Critical Communications Association have organised a panel discussion within the framework of the Critical Communications Europe in Copenhagen last Thursday (9 February). The six speakers made clear that interconnecting Tetra and Tetrapol networks in Europe takes much time. However, project managers do not need it for a proper technical set-up. “The successful interoperability project on the Swedish-Norwegian border showed clearly that a reliable technological solution with appropriate interfaces between two different networks was finalized in a matter of months”, said Eric Davalo, Head of Strategy, Solution Portfolio and Engineering of Secure Land Communications at Airbus. These projects extend over a period of several years due to the diverse structures of the nation states’ government authorities as well as legal procedures. To find ways to accelerate the multilateral coordination, which is necessary to succeed interoperability projects, European politicians in responsibility have to present innovative ideas, the panelists pointed out.
Paradoxically, the recent massive influx of migrants into Europe and the terror threats might be the turning point for politicians to work more closely together on a European scale. This situation could increase their willingness to take decisions for new investments in cross-border PMR projects. Phil Kidner, CEO of the Tetra Critical Communications Association, and Claudio Becchetti, coordinator of the European interoperability project ISITEP, agreed that governments are under pressure to act quickly and make Public Safety agencies work together more efficiently through digital radio communications. Arguably, there would be no other way than to support and simplify the nation states’ efforts to implement cross-border radio communication. “Generally, a central hub or reference point to get technical advice would be advantageous”, says Barbara Held, Head of Operations of BDBOS. Finally, Phil Kidner made an appeal to operators and manufacturers: “What we need is standard solutions!”
See the entire panel discussion on the web: