Norway hosted the 2018 PSRG spring meeting
The group is formed by European public safety network operators and users.
Reaching a new attendance record, over 50 delegates from 21 countries gathered in Tønsberg to exchange best practices and ideas, and discuss further development of public safety radio communication. Challenges with cyber security, funding and the increasing need of maintenance in aging infrastructures were some of the recurring themes among the presentations.
The program also allowed for more in-depth presentations of technical features, such as air-to-ground and extended coverage, cross-border usage and the development of broadband network solutions.
Air-to-ground coverage allows helicopters to have contact with personnel or equipment on the ground, and vice-versa. Norway and the Netherlands presented their implementations and usage of solutions for this type of coverage.
Extended coverage is achieved by placing mobile base stations (MBS) where coverage is insufficient, inexistent or temporarily out of service. "When we first brought this topic as a possibility for the agenda, we had no idea there would be this much interest", said PSRG chairman Manfred Blaha. Use of mobile base stations is common in TETRA networks. Norway, Estonia, Belgium, Germany and Romania demonstrated their solutions.
Norway and Sweden put forward the first experiences after making cross-border communication available to end users in both countries last year. They are now broadening the cooperation to include Finland in their inter-system interface (ISI) project. Their goal is that all three networks are interconnected by 2019.
Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxemburg are also cooperating their efforts to facilitate cross border communication services across their borders.
The last, but not less hot, topic in the technical part of the program was broadband. All member countries are working hard to meet users' demands for broadband connections while performing their duties with their current public safety radio networks. United Kingdom, the Czech Republic, Norway, Slovenia and Finland presented their status in this work.
Next meeting: Czech Republic
Naturally, a great deal of the two-day long agenda was dedicated to productive discussions, brainstorming and reporting from other international forums. Blaha closed the gathering by informing that the fall meeting is scheduled to take place in Prague on October 17 and 18, 2018.