as the Market Representation Partner, 3GPP standards are
progressing well. With Release 15, we consider the majority of
TETRA functionality to be standardised for broadband. The
advantages are that many standard elements of broadband
networks can be used also for critical communications; the
ecosystem is larger, there are more producers, application
developers, and operators.
The introduction of critical broadband doesn’t mean that
all of the standardised features will be available immediately.
If equipment released is standards-compliant, that may mean
that only the subset of features and characteristics, that are
standardised, will be implemented. There may be a danger
that users will have to wait for additional features to be
developed, but open standards increase competition, and the
support and promotion of all standardisation and research
work is the basis for TCCA’s existence.
Due to spectrum and funding constraints, the
most popular approach so far seems to be to
expand and harden a commercial mobile network
operator’s network, adding priority and preemption
for public safety users and a dedicated
core to handle their traffic. However, this could
be argued to create issues around control and
responsibility. How can these be minimised?
The most important considerations are to have appropriate
and solid regulatory and contractual policies in place,
with ownership, responsibilities, service level agreements
and quality levels clearly defined. The essential service
characteristics that must be agreed are availability, resilience
and security. The physical redundancy of core elements may
also be requested. Access to metadata about users, such as
user identities, their locations and traffic patterns must be
protected and in general made unavailable within an operator.
Only a limited group of certified persons should have such
access, based on a need-to-know basis.
What can governments do to ensure that their
procurement processes result in good value for
money together with high levels of accountability
and cost control?
It is all about good and timely planning, and of course open
Mladen Vratonjić CV Mladen Vratonjić is chairman of the board at TCCA.
He has more than 35 years’ experience in
telecommunications, including 15 years in public safety. He
was responsible for all telecommunication systems for the
Serbian police and fire brigades including the emergency call
centres and Serbia’s public safety TETRA network.
Vratonjiić is vice-president at the EENA (European Emergency
Number Association). He has worked as an expert for Geneva
DCAF (Democratic Control of Armed Forces), as public
safety specialist at Motorola Solutions, and served as chair
of the Western Balkans Telecommunications Committee for
improvement of cross-border co-operation.
standards enabling a competitive market. Government
organisations will have to go through a full procurement
process including consultation, planning, testing and learning,
tender creation and issuing, contract negotiations, possible
legal challenges, implementation, testing and validation and
introduction to operational use. This can typically take four to
six years. The introduction of Release 15-compliant products
by vendors and operators is expected by 2022, although that
does not mean a mission-critical service will be immediately
available on a commercial network requiring extra coverage,
resilience and security to meet the most demanding missioncritical
requirements. So our advice is, better get started now!
Is TCCA looking to become involved in new tech
such as body-worn video cameras, drones, AI/
machine learning and facial recognition?
TCCA is reaching out to and building relationships with
key players in emerging technology segments for critical
communications such as AR, VR, AI, IoT and drones, and
connecting them with TCCA members to proactively drive
a rich broadband application ecosystem of complementary
technologies. The target is to build critical mass, momentum
and knowledge across the end-user, operator, research and
vendor community, and to grow the overall solution space for
users. For example, there was huge interest in the AI sessions
at CCW19 in Kuala Lumpur earlier this year, and we will
build on that going forward.
What are you currently focusing on?
TCCA will always focus on what is important to its
members. These activities include promoting the benefits of
TETRA, driving the standardisation of critical features in
3GPP, and developing centres of information and expertise
for new technologies. We are also planning and organising
CCW2020 in Madrid in June next year. When we choose the
location for CCW, we aim to give a boost to the local critical
communications market and, at the same time, to find an
attractive location where participants would like to come. For
CCW in Madrid we will as always work hard to ensure it is
a dynamic, engaging and memorable event for visitors and
exhibitors, showcasing that TCCA’s perception of present and
future critical communications is a perfect ‘20/20 vision’.
October 2019 @CritCommsToday 15