ETELM, the radio communications infrastructure specialist, has entered the third and final phase of its work with the BroadPort consortium to develop a pan-European interoperable mobile broadband system for Public Protection & Disaster Relief (PPDR) users.
Having successfully completed the Prototype Phase, ETELM is part of the Frequentis-led consortium that is among just two consortia left in this European Pre-Commercial Procurement (PCP) Project, BroadWay. They have now been invited to move onto the next phase, which will be to develop the prototype solution into a live, useable pilot system.
The BroadWay initiative was created by the public safety agencies from 11 European countries and is operating under the framework of Horizon 2020, a flagship EU research and innovation programme. Collectively, these agencies provide mobile communication services to around 1.4 million responders and deal with an array of crimes and disasters throughout the continent.
Where currently each country possesses its own separate system to handle mission-critical communications, the objective of BroadWay is to develop a unified solution that will allow European first responders to communicate, share and access information regardless of the country in which they intervene. This will provide operational mobility for public safety responders across Europe by linking national mission-critical mobile broadband networks to act as one.
Now at its pilot stage, the consortium is required to develop a solution that reaches Technology Readiness Level 8, a system originally developed by NASA to provide uniformity of technical maturity across different technologies. Level 8 will require a complete and fully operational system that achieves the best possible performance across each of the project’s 11 objectives.
A primary goal will be to ensure that the pilot system succeeds in being interconnected and provided as-a-service to offer the widest operational mobility. In particular, it must provide secure operational and EU interoperable communication for law enforcement agencies and other PPDR practitioners so that they are able to protect and respond in cross-border cooperation. Operational mobility of this standard will allow practitioners to operate wherever they are, whenever they need to, and with whomever they are tasked to cooperate.
Nicolas Hauswald, CEO at ETELM, said: “The impact of this innovation-led project will be felt by all police, firefighters and other emergency units when dealing with any cross-border incident or disaster as it unfolds. It will also become an essential tool in managing public safety, enabling enhanced security and more effective emergency responses.
“ETELM has been developing professional radio communications infrastructure for over 40 years, working with critical communications organisations around the globe, and we are very proud to bring our expertise to this important project.
“The demands of critical communications require not only robust and reliable solutions that can operate in any situation, no matter the environment, but also the capacity to transmit increasingly rich data without delay. Add to this the need to seamlessly integrate across numerous different jurisdictions and our challenge here is to demonstrate a single, future-proofed system that will enable emergency services, first responders and critical national infrastructure operators across Europe to complete their essential duties not only unhindered but also significantly enhanced by the technology that we are developing. It’s an exciting prospect, and we are fully committed to its success.”
The BroadWay Pilot Phase (Phase 3) begins in October 2021 and will last until September 2022.
The full BroadPort consortium, led by Frequentis, consists of the following partners: ETELM, Crosscall, Halys, Municipality of Málaga, Nemergent Solutions SL, and Universidad de Málaga. The subcontractors are: Arico Technologies, Control Center Apps GmbH, Comfone, Eutelsat SA, Lyfo, PrioCom B.V., Telefónica I+D, T-Mobile Netherlands B.V., and Virtual Fort Knox AG.