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Public safety spectrum & systems

  • March 2015
  • -
  • -
  • 48 pages

Which pathways to broadband PPDR networks?

PPDR usage worldwide is concentrated on a limited number of frequency bands. Among them, the 400 MHz is the most currently used for narrowband systems.
At the WRC-15 in November 2015, a decision is to be taken on allocation of frequencies for broadband PPDR spectrum. The 700 MHz is the best candidate at world level, with distinct scenarios being considered.

TETRA-like narrowband networks have served PPDR issues well in the last decade.
Major PPDR users and industry associations have defined LTE as the technology for broadband PPDR systems.

This report presents the considered pathways to broadband PPDR spectrum and systems for the next decade.

What is PPDR?

Public protection and disaster relief (PPDR) is a top-priority subject for both citizens and governments. Radio solutions are an essential element in public safety operations. The public safety services, including fire brigades, police forces, ambulance services and maritime and coastguard services, are the primary protector of life and property in cities, towns and beyond, throughout the world. These organisations provide an individual and professional response to incidents and disaster situations. PPDR is the general designation given to a range of public safety services. Informally, they consist primarily of police, fire and emergency medical services. Also included within the ambit of PPDR are search and rescue, border security, event security, protection of VIPs and dignitaries, evacuation of citizens and other aspects of response to natural and man-made disasters.

The formal definitions of PPDR derive from Report ITU-R M.2033 ‘Radiocommunication objectives and requirements for public protection and disaster relief’:
- Public protection (PP) radiocommunications: radiocommunications used by responsible agencies and organisations dealing with the maintenance of law and order, protection of life and property, and emergency situations.
- Disaster relief (DR) adiocommunications: radiocommunications used by agencies and organisations dealing with a serious disruption of the functioning of society, posing a significant, widespread threat to human life, health, property or the environment, whether caused by accident, nature or human activity, and whether developing suddenly or as a result of complex, long-term processes.

The work of the FM49 in ECC Draft Report 199 defines three types of PPDR events:
- Day-to-day operations (category ‘PP1’) encompass the routine operations that PPDR agencies conduct within their jurisdiction. Most public protection spectrum and infrastructure requirements are determined using this scenario.
- Large emergency and/or public events (category ‘PP2’)
The size and nature of the event may require additional PPDR resources from adjacent jurisdictions, cross-border agencies or international organisations. Large fires encompassing three or four blocks in a large city, or a large forest fire, are examples of a large emergency under this scenario. Likewise, a large public event, be it national or international, could include a G8 summit or the Olympics.
- Disaster relief (category ‘DR’) can be those situations caused by either natural or human activity.

Natural disasters include an earthquake, major tropical storm, a major ice storm or floods. Examples of disasters caused by human activity include large-scale criminal incidences or situations of armed conflict.

A PPDR framework should include frequency bands for narrowband, wideband and broadband systems. The ITU-R Report M.2033 defines narrowband, wideband and broadband systems:
- Narrowband: Wide area networks with typical bandwidths up to 25 kHz. Narrowband systems are generally national and permanent networks.
- Wideband: Wideband systems will carry data rates of several hundred kilobits per second (such as in the range 384-500 kbit/s), which will allow the transmission of large blocks of data, video and Internet protocol-based traffic. Wideband systems will complement narrowband systems and will also be national and permanent networks.

- Broadband: Broadband technology will allow new capabilities and functionalities to support higher data speeds and higher resolution images. It is foreseen that these broadband systems will generally be localised at the scene of the incident or accident (also referred to as ‘hot spot’ areas) or at a large-scale event (concert or sport), where PPDR personnel are operating. These systems could provide voice, high-speed data, and high-quality digital real-time video and multimedia applications requiring data rates in the range of 1-100 Mbps. Broadband networks will generally be temporary and localised in nature.

Table Of Contents

Public safety spectrum and systems
1. Executive Summary
1.1. Status of PPDR allocations
1.1.1. Narrowband spectrum
1.1.2. Broadband spectrum
1.2. PPDR over LTE-A
1.3. Business models for PPDR

2. Methodology and definitions
2.1. General methodology of IDATE's reports
2.2. What is PPDR?

3. Status of PPDR allocations
3.1. Narrowband Spectrum
3.1.1. The 400 MHz band is used for narrowband PPDR in all Regions.
3.1.2. The 800 MHz band in Regions 2 and 3 (Asia-Pacific, USA)
3.1.3. The 700 MHz band is also used in Region 2
3.2. Broadband PPDR spectrum
3.2.1. In the USA, the 700 MHz band has already been allocated to PPDR services
3.2.2. In Asia-Pacific, the APT700 MHz plan is likely to be adopted everywhere
3.2.3. In Europe, the 700 MHz is a candidate band alongside the 400 MHz
3.2.4. Alongside the 700 MHz band, the 400 MHz (410-430 MHz and 450-470 MHz) is one of the most propitious candidates for broadband PPDR in Europe
3.2.5. Other bands
3.2.6. Wrap-up: Potential bands for broadband PPDR spectrum

4. PPDR over LTE-A
4.1. Consensus around LTE for PPDR networks
4.2. Current LTE is not suitable
4.2.1. Extended capabilities are expected with LTE-Advanced
4.2.2. Spectrum and radio access sharing capabilities

5. Business models for PPDR
5.1. Narrowband/wideband PPDR network as long as possible
5.2. Narrowband PPDR network + MVNO agreement for broadband services
5.2.1. Description
5.2.2. Advantages
5.2.3. Disadvantages
5.2.4. Spectrum
5.2.5. Case studies
5.3. Narrowband PPDR network + broadband capabilities
5.3.1. Description
5.3.2. Advantages
5.3.3. Disadvantages
5.3.4. Spectrum
5.3.5. Case studies
5.4. Commercial mobile network with commercial spectrum and specific requirements
5.4.1. Description
5.4.2. Advantages
5.4.3. Disadvantages
5.4.4. Spectrum
5.4.5. Case study: BDBOS (Germany)
5.5. Satellite services in combination with commercial LTE networks with specific requirements
5.5.1. Description
5.5.2. Advantages
5.5.3. Disadvantages
5.5.4. Spectrum
5.5.5. Case studies
5.6. Dedicated LTE network with commercial (or shared) spectrum
5.6.1. Description
5.6.2. Advantages
5.6.3. Disadvantages
5.6.4. Spectrum
5.6.5. Case study: the ESMCP in the UK
5.7. Dedicated PPDR network with PPDR spectrum
5.7.1. Description
5.7.2. Advantages
5.7.3. Disadvantages
5.7.4. Spectrum
5.7.5. Case study: FirstNet
5.8. Business models wrap-up
5.8.1. Narrowband PPDR as long as possible
5.8.2. Narrowband PPDR+MVNO
5.8.3. Narrowband PPDR + LTE with specific requirements / Narrowband PPDR + broadband
5.8.4. Narrowband PPDR + LTE + Satellite
5.8.5. Dedicated LTE network with commercial spectrum
5.8.6. Dedicated PPDR network with PPDR spectrum

6. Annexes
6.1. Current PPDR networks
6.2. A complex landscape to deal with PPDR spectrum
6.3. Current LTE bands below 1 GHz

7. Main references

8. List of acronyms


Table 1: Frequency bands below 1 GHz currently used for PPDR applications
Table 2: Business models overview
Table 3: The channeling arrangement proposed by CEPT for WRC-15 in the 700 MHz with options considering Programme Social Making Events (PMSE) and PPDR
Table 4: Potential candidate bands for broadband PPDR by region
Table 5: Overview of European TETRA networks in operation


Figure 1: PPDR systems timeline
Figure 2: Recent developments on the 700 MHz band in Europe
Figure 3: Re-planning of the 400 MHz band for PPDR, using the 700 MHz duplex gap for SDL
Figure 4: PPDR frequency bands, used for public safety
Figure 5: Current narrowband and wideband PPDR spectrum in place at least until 2025/2030
Figure 6: Estimated timeline for device to device and relay features availability
Figure 7: The big PPDR picture
Figure 8: Blue Light Mobile context
Figure 9: Role of ASTRID as an integrator
Figure 10: Potential evolution of the PPDR networks
Figure 11: Basic concept of the pilot
Figure 12: The Emergency Services Mobile Communications Programme (ESMCP)
Figure 13: Current roadmap snapshot
Figure 14: Dedicated public safety spectrum for FirstNet in the band class 14 in the upper 700 MHz
Figure 15: How each US state decides to join FirstNet
Figure 16: Business models overview: Two major routes towards broadband PPDR networks
Figure 17: The TETRA or TEDS 'as long as possible' business model
Figure 18: TETRA PPDR networks and MVNO
Figure 19: Narrowband PPDR + LTE networks with specific PPDR requirements / Narrowband PPDR + broadband capabilities
Figure 20: Mobile LTE networks combined with satellite capabilities
Figure 21: Dedicated LTE network, commercial spectrum
Figure 22: The dedicated PPDR network with PPDR spectrum
Figure 23: Digital PPDR voice networks in Europe
Figure 24: Bodies involved in the PPDR spectrum harmonisation process
Figure 25: CEPT groups dealing with broadband PPDR

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