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EU’s Project BroadWay conducts interoperable public safety network prototype demos

The European Union’s BroadWay project, which paves a technological path for interoperable, cross-border public safety broadband, has taken another step toward reality, with the project recently demonstrating the results of its prototyping phase for buyers in EU member countries.

According to a Project BroadWay release, it held a prototype demonstration on June 7 with suppliers Airbus, Leonardo and Frequentis.

Project BroadWay already has 11 EU member states involved as procurers, led by ASTRID, which provides emergency and security communication services in Belgium. The prototype demo gathered interest from an additional seven member states and three associated countries, Project BroadWay said.

“The project has presented its promising results to practitioners who participated in the evaluation sessions of the prototypes developed by the three winning industrial consortiums and to various interested EU agencies like Europol, Frontex and EU-Lisa during the Prototype Phase 2,” according to the release.

BroadWay, which is funded under the Horizon 2020 Research Program and coordinated by Public Safety Communications Europe (PSCE) is not a procurement project in and of itself; it is a “pre-commercial procurement” vehicle meant to bring the buyer representatives of multiple countries to the table, along with vendors, carriers and research money, to align conversations around expectations, mission-critical features and implementations of interoperable public safety networks, and solve the technical and operational mobility issues that will ultimately enable individual countries to choose their own systems that can interoperate. The vendors who participate must have either a mobile network operator or a satellite provider on their BroadWay team.

“The results reached so far by the innovation procurement project at the end of the prototype phase are promising and make the development of a technical solution very close to the market by mid-2022 realistic,” the organization said in a recent release.

Project BroadWay has run since 2018 and will continue into 2022 and has three phases: The design phase, the prototype phase and then a pilot network phase. After that, the next step is the BroadNet project, which builds on BroadWay’s technological focus and shifts to figuring out how cross-border systems will be operated.

“Knowing that the technical solutions will be available, efforts should focus on the governance features of BroadNet which will realize the outcome of BroadWay as a live capability of Operational Mobility for European Responders,” according to BroadWay.

The release also noted that on the same day as the prototype demonstrations, the EU’s Council on Justice and Home Affairs, as part of its conclusions on protection of public spaces, called out “the importance of secure operational and EU interoperable communication for law enforcement agencies and other security practitioners to be able to properly protect and respond in case of cross-border cooperation in the area of public spaces and major events” and encouraged member countries to support interoperable public safety communications, with BroadWay mentioned specifically.

“For BroadWay and our efforts towards sustainability, this is a very welcome support,” the organization said. “It shows that the aim for which we are working towards is endorsed not only on technical and expert level, but has also reached the highest decision makers. It should be noted, that these conclusions are addressing all the EU Member States, thus giving an additional incentive for our potential partners that are not yet part of the project or the discussions around strategic sustainability.”

ABOUT AUTHOR

Kelly Hill
Kelly Hill
Kelly reports on network test and measurement, as well as the use of big data and analytics. She first covered the wireless industry for RCR Wireless News in 2005, focusing on carriers and mobile virtual network operators, then took a few years’ hiatus and returned to RCR Wireless News to write about heterogeneous networks and network infrastructure. Kelly is an Ohio native with a masters degree in journalism from the University of California, Berkeley, where she focused on science writing and multimedia. She has written for the San Francisco Chronicle, The Oregonian and The Canton Repository. Follow her on Twitter: @khillrcr

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