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DSB and Nkom publish a joint memorandum on the next-generation emergency communications network

The Directorate for Civil Protection (DSB) and the Norwegian Communications Authority (Nkom) have joined forces to provide a set of recommendations on the decision-making processes relating to the realisation of the next-generation emergency communications network.

Today's Nødnett, which is owned and managed by DSB, provides its users with critical public communications services. The government's operating contract for Nødnett will be in place until the end of 2026. In addition to voice services, the emergency agencies experience a growing need for mobile broadband services for emergency use, which cannot be provided by the current Nødnett. A solution must therefore be found that will enable the Next Generation Nødnett (NGN) to provide mobile broadband services.

In the Digital Agenda for Norway, the government has stated that the electronic communications authority and relevant ministries must facilitate good communications services for the emergency agencies, and that the government will work to ensure that, as far as possible, the commercial mobile networks will be capable of supporting future services for the parties involved in public protection and disaster relief.

As part of the process leading up to a decision on how to allocate the 700 MHz band for mobile services, Nkom has recommended to the Ministry of Transport and Communications (SD) that the frequency band be made available to the commercial mobile networks and that the NGN be implemented in the mobile networks because this will provide the best socioeconomic utilisation of frequency resources. This approach would also allow emergency services and preparedness agencies to benefit from developments in technology and services in the commercial mobile networks.

If the NGN is to be realised in the commercial mobile networks, these networks will have to provide the necessary functionality, coverage, security and robustness. DSB and Nkom believe that the authorities have the relevant means to achieve this through the combination of official instructions and commercial procurements, but emphasise that there is still work to do in order to identify these specific means. The implementation of such measures requires the allocation of sufficient funds, but the measures will benefit the entire population, in that they will make the mobile networks we all use safer and more robust.

DSB and Nkom believe that a conceptual decision on how to implement the Next Generation Nødnett should be made at the same time as the decision on the use of the 700 MHz band. The decision regarding a choice of solution must be accompanied by an intention for implementing the solution financially.

Read the memorandum “Next generation Nødnett in commercial networks”