Nokia and Finnish government test LTE for public safety

By:
Alan Burkitt-Gray
Published on:

Nokia, Finland’s State Security Networks Group and Telia trial prioritisation of public safety traffic over LTE networks

Finland’s public security group has carried out a demonstration of running public safety communications voice and data in a trial with Nokia and Telia.

Finland’s Erillisverkot – the State Security Networks Group (SSNG) – worked with Nokia and Telia Finland, formerly Sonera, to show that public safety communications are given priority over any other voice or data traffic in busy 4G/LTE networks.

Sami Orakoski, COO of State Security Networks, said: “Finland has historically been a forerunner in public safety communication, demonstrating leadership in building technical solutions and many other countries have followed our lead. Although the current Tetra-based network will be in use for some time, we have now started working with commercial operators to lay the foundation for delivering public safety communication with LTE and future generation technologies.”

The demonstration comes just weeks after the US awarded AT&T a contract to build a nationwide LTE public safety network. BT’s mobile subsidiary EE is building a similar network in the UK.

Nokia said that LTE can support mission-critical operations securely and cost-effectively, enabling new capabilities for public safety agencies, such as video, in addition to traditional voice communications, to enhance situational awareness, command and control, and the safety of both first responders and the public.

Tommi Uitto, head of global product sales of mobile networks at Nokia, said: “The test results show that we can prioritise public safety communication over an LTE network, even when that network is extremely busy. We can use this insight to accelerate the adoption of LTE-based public safety applications, not only here in Finland, but across the globe.”

Nokia, State Security Networks and Telia Finland began testing the features with public authorities in 2016 to accelerate Finland’s transition to LTE-based public safety communications.

Pasi Mehtonen, head of operator business at Telia Finland, said: “Everyone understands the importance of public safety communication in exceptional circumstances. The successful trials show that by combining advanced technology know-how, together with deep experience of providing mission-critical services we can pave the way for future solutions.”