3GPP Mission-Critical Services (MCS)
3GPP-compliant Mission-Critical Services (MCS) is a suite of services specified by 3GPP —the 3rd-Generation Partnership Project which develops the specifications for the commercial cellular networks— and pertaining to the mobile communications over these networks for use by the Mission-Critical (i.e., the Public-Safety) Organizations whereas other State Agencies, corporate entities, and professionals or even non-professionals, with demanding one-to-many mobile communication needs, may also utilize and benefit from these services.
So far, these users have been relying on legacy PMR (Professional Mobile Radio) solutions, initially analog V/UHF, later, digital narrowband in direct mode or via repeaters, and, most lately, in trunked mode, e.g., TETRA (TErrestrial Trunked RAdio, formerly Trans-European Trunked RAdio) in Europe and elsewhere and P25 (Project 25, APCO-25) in North America whereas DMR (Digital Mobile Radio, per ETSI TS 102 361) has been developed in Europe primarily for non-Mission-Critical use.
The evolution of broadband cellular technologies (4G LTE, 5G) has made it possible for Mission-Critical users to be provided with voice PTT, video, and data mobile countrywide group communications, and indeed, prioritized over other traffic, without the need for them to build, maintain and keep up-to-date their own networks.
Mission-Critical Services (MCS) comprise MCPTT (Mission-Critical Press-To-Talk) Service, MCVideo (Mission-Critical Video) Service, and MCData (Mission-Critical Data) Service, else, MCX Services, X standing for PTT, Video or Data.
SecureNet is a 3GPP-compliant MCX Services System, operating in Greece.
Radio Coverage of Commercial Cellular Networks, hence of prospective MCX Services
Migrating to MCX Services, the users will enjoy the area coverage provided by the three commercial cellular networks currently operating in Greece:
For comparison reasons, the coverage of the sole commercial TETRA network in Greece which is operated by COSMOTE and is utilized by, among others, the EMS (Emergency Medical Services) run in Greece by the Hellenic National Center for Immediate Assistance, “mainly extends to population concentration points and the national road network, consequently, covering 75% of the Greek population” (COSMOTE TETRA Services GR – EN), whereas the Hellenic Police’s own-deployed and operated TETRA network is not known at what extent it covers the Attica region and whether it provides for any coverage beyond the Attica region.
MCX Services Priority and QoS (Quality of Service) over the Cellular Networks
Four controls have been specified, at the transport layer, i.e., at the network level, to provide Mission Critical Organizations’ MCX Services with preferential treatment over other contenders, namely:
- 3GPP System Access Controls;
- UE (User Equipment) Access Controls;
- 3GPP System Admission Controls; and
- 3GPP System Scheduling Controls.
3GPP System Access Controls are used to allow preferential treatment of MCX Services UE in situations of access congestion. The 3GPP system shall, subject to the operator’s policy, provide a means for the MCX Service to influence the modification of the access parameters used by the network to admit MCX UE within a defined area. The existing UE network access mechanisms can be utilized to meet the above requirement.
UE Access Controls are also used to allow preferential treatment of MCX Services UE in situations of access congestion. The MCX Service shall allow the MCX UE to temporarily modify selected 3GPP System access parameters, according to the configuration established by an MCX Service Administrator in agreement with the operator's policy. The existing network access mechanisms can be utilized to meet the above requirement.
3GPP System Admission Controls are used for the establishment and maintenance of the priority levels and of the pre-emption vulnerability and capability of bearers associated with transmissions and calls. At the start of an MCX Services call, the MCX Services require bearers with proper ARP (Allocation and Retention Priority) and pre-emption characteristics to be in place prior to the call proceeding. The 3GPP system shall, subject to the operator’s policy, provide a means for the MCX Service to influence the selection and/or modification of admission and retention controls for the bearers assigned or about to be assigned to an MCX UE based on the MCX User's and MCX Service Group attributes used for the priority determination. The existing 3GPP mechanisms for network priority and QoS (Quality of Service) can be utilized to meet the above requirement.
3GPP system Scheduling Controls are used to assuring the appropriate QoS necessary for meeting the Participants' expectations in the perceived quality of the delivered information, primarily in terms of when the service starts and the real-time characteristics of the delivered traffic (e.g., perceived delay, choppiness, clarity). The 3GPP system shall, subject to the operator’s policy, provide a means for the MCX Service to influence the selection and/or modification of the bearer scheduling controls for the bearers assigned or about to be assigned to an MCX UE based on the MCX User's and MCX Service Group attributes used for the priority determination. The existing 3GPP mechanisms for network priority and QoS can be utilized to meet the above requirement.
Note 1: All of the above controls are subject to the MNO (Mobile Network Operator)’s policy, i.e., most likely, special regulatory provisions have to be set in place prior to that policy getting applied, as it is already the case for, e.g., Belgium, Finland, New Zealand, Norway, and Switzerland.
E.g., in Belgium, a royal decree has been issued in August 2018 by the Minister of Telecommunication and the Minister of Interior which means MNOs must implement network availability and prioritization for first responders. And Blue Light Mobile mobile voice and data communication service —although not 3GPP-compliant— governed by ASTRID (the operator of the national radio communications, paging, and dispatching network, designed for emergency and security services in Belgium), offers priority over other subscribers does the network become congested.
Also, Finland has adopted the “Virve 2.0” law that ensures the legal base for future broadband mission-critical communications. It is now legal to prioritize Public Safety users over consumers.
In Norway, qualified users with a role or function of vital interest to society, already have the ability to pre-empt 3G and 2G voice traffic.
Note 2: Above requirements apply both to EPS (Evolved Packet System) (4G LTE) and to 5GS (5G System).
Audio MCPTT Call Performance
The following Audio MCPTT Call Performance KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) are defined; Meeting them is based on a number of factors, including the selection of appropriate protocols, minimizing messaging, the backhaul technology used, and appropriate configuration of the deployed network. The corresponding requirements are intended to convey the resulting KPIs when all of those factors are taken into account. For example, where there is a significant backhaul delay, that delay is expected to be added to the KPIs.
The architecture and protocols providing the MCPTT Service shall be designed in a way to eventually allow a deployed network to meet the KPIs specified hereafter.
KPI 1 (MCPTT Access Time): the time between when an MCPTT User requests to speak (normally by pressing the MCPTT control on the MCPTT UE) and when this user gets a signal to start speaking): < 300 ms for 95% of all MCPTT Requests for group calls where no acknowledgement is requested from affiliated MCPTT group members or for group and private calls where the call is already established AND for 99% of all MCPTT Requests for MCPTT Emergency Group Calls and Imminent Peril Calls.
KPI 2 (End-to-end MCPTT Access Time): the time between when an MCPTT User requests to speak (normally by pressing the MCPTT control on the MCPTT UE) and when this user gets a signal to start speaking, including MCPTT call establishment (if applicable) and possibly acknowledgement from first receiving user before voice can be transmitted): < 1000 ms for users under coverage of the same network for group calls where automatic acknowledgement is requested from the UEs of the affiliated MCPTT group members OR ≤ 1000 ms for users under coverage of the same network when the MCPTT private call is setup either in the Manual Commencement mode or in the Automatic Commencement mode.
KPI 3 (Mouth-To-Ear Latency): the time between an utterance by the transmitting user, and the playback of the utterance at the receiving user's speaker): < 300 ms for 95% of all voice bursts.
KPI 4 (Late Call Entry Time): the time to enter an ongoing MCPTT Group call measured from the time that a user decides to monitor such an MCPTT Group Call, to the time when the MCPTT UE's speaker starts to play the audio).
KPI 4ᵃ (Late Call Entry Time without Application Layer Encryption): < 150 ms for 95% of all Late Call Entry requests.
KPI 4ᵇ (Late Call Entry time with Application Layer Encryption): < 300 ms for 95% of all Late Call Entries into encrypted calls.
MCVideo Performance and Quality Requirements
Motion affects the length of time a desired target is shown in the video frame and can cause the target to blur. Also, it poses a challenge to the performance of a video encoder. More, the loss or interruption or any significant delay in the delivery of the video stream might be unacceptable for processing by a video decoder.
The MCVideo Service shall support one-to-one and group video communications when transmitting and/or receiving MCVideo UEs are moving at different speeds, from 0 km/h to 160km/h.
More, the MCVideo Service shall ensure that:
- for urgent real-time video transmissions:
- the transmission shall be started within 2 seconds after the request, and
- the end-to-end delay from the transmitting MCVideo UE to the receiving MCVideo UE or console shall be no more than 1 s plus the commencement delay (up to 2 s),
- for non-urgent real-time priority video transmissions: the end-to-end delay shall be no more than 10 s.
Synchronization between video and audio, when played at the MCVideo receiving UE or console, shall be within 50 ms.
How Mission-Critical and non-Mission-Critical users benefit from the use of Mission-Critical Services
MCX Services Radio Coverage: Mission-Critical users benefit from the countrywide coverage of the commercial cellular networks. Mission Critical Organizations do not have to build, maintain and keep up-to-date their own networks. More
MCX Services National Roaming: To improve the area coverage and to enhance the redundancy thus the resilience of the mobile network for Mission-Critical Systems addressed to Mission-Critical Users, national roaming may be legislated. More
MCX Services Deployable Cell Sites: To set up a network in a remote area with inadequate coverage or to bypass access congestion in case of an emergency, deployable cell sites on ground vehicles or on seaborne/airborne platforms can be used. More
MCX Services Priority and QoS (Quality of Service) over the Cellular Networks: For dealing with congestion and delays across the commercial cellular networks and for achieving a specified performance, Mission-Critical Services, purposed to serve Mission-Critical users, have been provided with Priority including QoS (Quality of Service) control mechanisms. More
MCX Services Prioritization by use of 5G Network Slicing: 5GS Network Slicing enables a customizable level of connectivity and priority for a plethora of MC applications, each with widely differing service characteristics, yet carried over the same physical network. More
MCX Services Emergency & Imminent Peril Communications: Based on priorities, these communication types are intended to signal respectively an emergency situation involving the user or a need for assistance to other persons. More
MCPTT & MCVideo Performance & Quality Requirements: Mission-Critical and non-Mission-Critical users benefit from the definition of Mission-Critical Services performance requirements, particularly audio MCPTT call performance (More) and MCVideo performance and quality requirements (More).
MCX Services Additional Services: Mission-Critical Organizations and other Security Services Entities shall benefit from the Ambient Listening, Remotely Initiated Transmission, and Discreet Listening features. More
MCX Services Operational Functionality Definition: MCX Services incorporate, for the first time in the history of defining Public-Safety mobile communications requirements, specific provisions for operational aspects of that sort of communications, group communications including broadcast group communications, and private communications as well. The MCX Services user benefits from being provided with specific standardized requirements to demand and from the market competition to serving that demand. More
MCX Services Security: For dealing with security issues due to their operation over commercial cellular networks, MCX Services have been provided with specific security arrangements. More
MCX Services Control and Management by Mission-Critical Organizations: It is far more convenient for Organizations to collaborate when they all operate on a standardized platform —the MCX Services System— than operating on different ones, e.g., on commercial TETRA, private TETRA, DMR, V/UHF analog or digital, or utilizing unspecified proprietary applications over the commercial cellular networks. In the case of the use of an MCX Services System, provision has been defined for the control and management by each Organization of the MCX Services delivered to that Organization. More
MCX Services Security
MCX Services Security covers areas designed to protect the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of information which is processed, stored, and transmitted. The security requirements cover the areas of cryptographic protocols, authentication, access control, regulatory issues and storage control.
MCX Services support:
Confidentiality and integrity of all user traffic and signalling at the application layer;
End-to-end security for all media traffic transmitted between MCX UEs;
End-to-end confidentiality and integrity protection to the MCX User Profile when transferred to and/or from and while stored on an MCX Server, an MCX UE or both;
Cryptographic key management, particularly over-the-air provisioning of cryptographic keys, ensuring that cryptographic keys are confidentiality protected, integrity protected and authenticated when delivered over-the-air;
MCX Services Communication Types Based On Priorities
MCX Service Emergency Group Communications and MCX Service Imminent Peril Group Communications are MCX Service Group Communications that provide the MCX User elevated priority towards obtaining resources of the MCX Service system.
MCX Service Emergency Group Communications are differentiated from MCX Service Imminent Peril Group Communications based on for whom the assistance is required.
The MCX Service Emergency Group Communication is initiated by an MCX User for assistance with the MCX Service Emergency condition involving that user.
An MCX Service Imminent Peril Group Communication is initiated by an MCX User for assistance to other MCX Users or persons of the general public observed to be in trouble and may soon need assistance.
The MCX Service Emergency Private Communication similarly provides elevated priority to resources of the MCX Service system, specifically, it provides the highest priority over all other Private Communications.
The MCX Service Emergency Alert provides a notification of an MCX Service Emergency situation from an MCX UE, regardless if the MCX User is signed in with the MCX Service or not. The MCX Service Emergency Alert is initiated from an MCX UE to inform the MCX Service of the MCX User's immediate need for assistance due to the MCX User's personal, life-threatening situation. The MCX User initiates this notification by actuating an MCX User interface on the MCX UE. The notification to the MCX Service includes the MCX User's ID, potentially an MCX Service Group ID, the user's Mission Critical Organization name, and the most current location available for the user's MCX UE.
After the MCX User has initiated an MCX Service Emergency Alert, MCX Service Emergency Private Communication, or MCX Service Emergency Group Communication, the MCX User is considered to be in the MCX Service Emergency State. The user remains in the MCX Service Emergency State until the MCX User cancels the MCX Service Emergency State.
MCX Services Additional Services
Ambient Listening is a feature that allows an authorized MCX Services User, typically a dispatcher, to cause a remote MCX UE to initiate an MCX private communication with no indication on the MCX UE that it is transmitting. Ambient Listening can also be initiated by the remote MCX Services User provided that user possesses the relevant authorization. If someone attempts to turn off an MCX UE that is being listened to, it shall appear to be turned off even while Ambient Listening continues to be active. The purpose of this feature allows a dispatcher to "listen" to activities at the Location of the remote MCX UE to find out what is happening around that MCX UE without providing an indication to the MCX User or people around the user (whom the MCX User does not want to make aware of this action) that this is happening.
Remotely Initiated MCX Service Communication
Remotely Initiated MCX Service Communication is a feature that allows an authorized MCX User, typically a dispatcher, to cause a remote MCX UE to initiate an MCX communication by itself, without its user explicitly initiating the communication manually. The communication that is set up is either a Private Communication or a Group Communication, and the communication could optionally be visible to the remote MCX UE's user. The purpose of this feature allows the dispatcher to "listen" to activities at the Location of the remote MCX UE to find out what is happening around that MCX UE.
There are two typical use cases for this feature.
The first one is the case where a user has been incapacitated, either accidentally or due to a violent attack, then it is necessary a remotely initiated communication from that MCX UE in order to allow another user or a group of users to "listen" to what is happening and prepare assistance.
The second one is the case of a stolen MCX UE, in which case it is necessary for a dispatcher to activate the MCX UE, typically in a Private Communication, not visible by that MCX UE's user, for that dispatcher to "listen" to any background communication in order to make an analysis of the situation.
Other use cases, such as undercover operations, discreet surveillance of users, or investigations, could exist depending on the missions of the critical communications users and on legislation.
Discreet Listening is a feature that allows an authorized MCX User to receive communication transmissions to and from a specific target MCX Services User or from a specific MCX Services Group without noticeable impact on or knowledge of that target MCX Services User, or the members of the target MCX Services Group including Ad hoc groups, and all other unauthorized MCX Services Users.
MCX Services Operational Functionality Definition
MCX Services Operational Functionality Definition - General
MCX Services incorporate, for the first time in the history of defining Public-Safety mobile communications requirements, specific provisions for operational aspects of that sort of communications, group communications including broadcast group communications, and private communications as well. The MCX Services user benefits from being provided with specific standardized requirements to demand and from the market competition to serving that demand. Neither TETRA nor of course DMR have been provided with that kind of requirements. Migrating from TETRA to MCX Services, the user migrates from a non-standardized proprietary operational functionality environment to the world of explicitly defined operational requirements. And, unlike TETRA, where the user is locked to a particular manufacturer’s SwMI (Switching and Management Infrastructure) hardware and software, and to a particular manufacturer’s terminal equipment firmware, in the case of MCX Services the MCX Server software can be installed at whatever data center of user’s choice and the MCX Client software can be installed at whatever smart device of user’s choice, allowing thus the user to enjoy the benefits from the free competition. Due to the MCX Services not providing for interoperability testing and certification, as TETRA had been doing, the MCX Services potential user should, prior to proceeding with the MCX Services of one's choice, confirm that the MCX Server software and the MCX Client software have both undergone interoperability testing with ETSI MCX Plugtests.
MCX Services Group Communications
Regarding MCX Services Group Communications, specific provisions have been defined for the administrator’s authorities, general aspects, notification and acknowledgement, commencement modes, group-status information, group membership/affiliation, multiple communications receiving, and dynamic group management (dynamic regrouping) (more on dynamic regrouping, below).
MCX Services Broadcast Group Communications
Broadcast Group Communication is a group communication within a dynamically defined geographic area, with the initiating MCX Services User expecting no response from the other MCX Services Users, so that when the user’s transmission is complete, so is the communication.
With regard to MCX Services Broadcast Group Communications, specific provisions have been defined for general broadcast group communication, group-broadcast group (e.g., announcement group), and user-broadcast group (e.g., system communication).
MCX Services Private Communications
Pertaining to MCX Services Private Communications, i.e., between two users, specific provisions have been defined for overview (use of floor control or not in case of a full voice duplex call), general requirements, administrative, prioritization, commencement requirements and termination, call-back request requirements and multiple communications receiving.
MCX Services Priorities
MCX Services Priorities incorporate specific requirements on the priority at the transport layer, i.e., over the cellular networks, priority for the floor control and priority for private calls, prioritization, application layer priorities, and handling of transmission requests.
MCX Services Dynamic Group Management (Dynamic Regrouping)
Dynamic Regrouping aims at addressing the group formulation flexibility needed when one or, most likely, more Organizations face rapidly and unpredictably expanding incidents and there is an immediate need for the combination of existing MCX Services Groups / Group Members into a new Temporary/Ad-Hoc/Dedicated MCX Services Group.
Dynamic Regrouping or Regroup Operation consists of:
Dynamic Group Regrouping; and
Dynamic User Regrouping.
Dynamic Group Regrouping or Group Regroup Operation provides for the dispatchers or other authorized users to dynamically combine a multiplicity of MCX Services Groups into a new Temporary MCX Services Group or a new Temporary MCX Services Group-Broadcast Group.
Dynamic User Regrouping or User Regroup Operation provides for the dispatchers or other authorized users to dynamically combine a multiplicity of MCX Services Users into a new Temporary MCX Services Group or a new Temporary MCX Services User-Broadcast Group.
The dynamic combination of a multiplicity of MCX Services Groups and a multiplicity of MCX Services Users into a new Temporary MCX Services Broadcast Group is also provided.
Automatic User Regrouping, i.e., based on one or a combination of parameters, is provided, too.
MCX Services Control and Management by Mission-Critical Organizations
It is far more convenient for Organizations to collaborate when they all operate on a standardized platform —the MCX Services System— than operating on different ones, e.g., on commercial TETRA, private TETRA, DMR, V/UHF analog or digital, or utilizing unspecified proprietary applications over the commercial cellular networks.
In the case of the use of an MCX Services System, provision has been defined for the control and management by each Organization of the MCX Services delivered to that Organization, specifically, for the management controls and operational visibility, and for the management of security services.
Particularly, each Organization:
Designates and manages (i.e., adds, deletes, changes authorizations, etc.) MCX Service Administrators with authority to manage users, groups, other MCX Service Administrators, security controls, and other mission-affecting parameters (e.g., authorizations and priorities) of the MCX Service;
Is protected with regard to its operational privacy, by being provided with effective separation between the administrative and security management (e.g., key) parameters of the Organizations except as authorized by the Organizations involved;
Is protected with regard to its administrative and security management parameters, from viewing and manipulation by individuals (both within and outside of the Organization) not explicitly authorized by the Organization, although the Organization may share subsets of its administrative and security parameters with other Organizations.
MCX Services National Roaming
To improve the area coverage and to enhance the redundancy thus the resilience of the mobile network for Mission-Critical Systems addressed to Mission-Critical Users, national roaming may be applied. Most likely, respective legislation has to be introduced first.
An example of legislation supporting national roaming for Public Safety users is Finland, which has adopted the “Virve 2.0” law that ensures the legal base for future broadband mission-critical communications. It will be mandatory for the carriers to give national roaming to Public Safety users.
Another example of national roaming is Blue Light Mobile mobile voice and data communication service —although not 3GPP-compliant— in Belgium, governed by ASTRID (the operator of the national radio communications, paging, and dispatching network, designed for emergency and security services in Belgium), which offers advanced availability thanks to its national roaming; does the assigned network (by carrier Proximus) get unavailable, the user is automatically switched to another network (by carriers BASE or Orange).
MCX Services Deployable Cell Sites
To set up a network in a remote area with inadequate coverage or to bypass access congestion in case of an emergency, deployable cell sites on ground vehicles or on seaborne/airborne platforms can be used.
For instance, the US FirstNet reported in June 2021 that it has 100+ deployables located at sites around the US and US territories that can be sent to emergencies in a matter of hours. The FirstNet-dedicated fleet includes:
• More than 90 ground-based Satellite Cells on Light Trucks (SatCOLTs) – SatCOLTs are vehicles with mobile cell sites that connect via satellite and do not rely on commercial power supply – and Compact Rapid Deployables (CRDs) – CRDs are small portable cell sites that can be brought into an area for coverage.
• Three Communications Vehicles – A command and communications vehicle for emergency deployments, planned events, and training exercises with space for two communications personnel with multiple monitors, televisions, and charging stations, as well as a large exterior screen and speakers for briefings. It provides connectivity via LTE (Band 14) and/or Wi-Fi and is able to leverage a variety of backhaul options. Equipped with a generator that can run for multiple days before refueling and includes a lavatory, microwave, mini refrigerator, and sleeping bunk.
• Three airborne Flying COWs (Cell on Wings) – tethered drones with larger propellers, increased payload capacity, and specialized LTE radios and power systems. Flying COWs can withstand light rain and wind speeds up to 25 miles per hour and reach heights of up to 400 feet, making them ideal for wildfires, mountain rescues, and other missions where terrain previously made it difficult to maintain connectivity.
• One aerostat – a 55-foot blimp that gives wide-scale portable connectivity over an extended period of time. The aerostat can stay in the air for up to two weeks and reach heights up to 1,000 feet, making it ideal for large disaster areas like a hurricane’s aftermath when sustained connectivity is required for response and recovery.
MCX Services Systems Implementations Globally
Various MCX Services Systems are at various stages of implementation globally, from operational or under-deployment phases to designing or planning.
In the US, FirstNet, the Nationwide Public-Safety Broadband Network (NPSBN), was awarded on March 30, 2017, by the First Responder Network Authority else FirstNet Authority, in a 25-year agreement, to the carrier AT&T and the buildout launched in March 2018. Two competing MCX Services Systems have been implemented by AT&T, FirstNet PTT, and FirstNet Rapid Response, by separate manufacturers. By the end of 2022, more than 24,000 Public-Safety Agencies with “about” 4.4 million connections were supported by FirstNet, as AT&T reported late January 2023.
Also in the US, the carrier Verizon also has launched two competing MCX Services Systems, namely, the MCPTT/MCData Services Push-to-Talk Responder and the MCPTT/MCVideo Services Group First Response, also being built by two different manufacturers.
In the US, too, EPTT (Enhanced-Push-To-Talk) is offered by AT&T Business as an MCX Services business-critical solution in Standard or Advanced plans.
In the US finally, Southern Linc, the southeast U.S. regional carrier that also provides communications for the Southern Company electric utility of which it is a subsidiary, was nearing (June 2022) completion of its internal migration to LTE-only MCPTT.
In Australia, LANES (LTE Advanced Network for Enterprise Services) Emergency offered by the carrier Telstra has been operating since 2016 providing prioritized access to Telstra’s commercial LTE network, added MCPTT in 2017.
In Korea (the Republic of), Safe-Net has been contracted, with regard to two districts, A and B, the network first Core and the Operation Center as part of district A, to KT (Korea Telecom), and, with regard to the remaining one district, C, to SK Telecom. In April 2021, Safe-Net was announced to be completed.In the UK, ESN (Emergency Services Network) was awarded by the UK Home Office (the lead government department for immigration and passports, drugs policy, crime, fire, counter-terrorism, and police) in 2015 to the carrier EE, part of the British Telecom group.
In Finland, Virve 2.0 (Virve being the respective TETRA network) was awarded to the carrier Elisa in 2020, the operator of the Service being the Erillisverkot, a wholly state-owned special-purpose company, with anticipated operation beginning at the end of 2025.
In France, RRF (Réseau Radio du Futur - Radio Network of the Future) is anticipated to start being deployed at the end of 2023 and completed by the end of 2026. The French Ministry of the Interior and Overseas Territories awarded the Core Network, the MCX and the terminal and vehicle equipment Coordinator (Lot 2) contract, and the Management IT System (Lot 3) contract, in October 2022.
In Australia too, PSMB (Public Safety Mobile Broadband) Strategic Roadmap was agreed upon on 12 December 2018 by the Council of Australian Governments.
In Belgium, Next Generation Communication Broadband Network roadmap is under development by ASTRID (the operator of the national radio communications, paging, and dispatching network, designed for emergency and security services in Belgium). Anticipated (January 2021) operation by 2025.
In Canada, PSBN (Public Safety Broadband Network) is operational in Ontario, and the discussion on its nationwide expansion is coordinated by the Canadian Public Safety Broadband Network Innovation Alliance.
In New Zealand, PSN (Public Safety Network) is under consideration which is coordinated by the NGCC (Next Generation Critical Communications) Lead Entity.
In Norway, NGN (Next Generation Nødnett) is under consideration which is coordinated by DSB (Directorate for Civil Protection and Emergency).
In Sweden, Rakel G2 (Rakel Generation 2) was assigned with regard to further development and establishment to the Swedish Civil Contingencies Agency (MSB) and the Swedish Transport Administration, which finally reported on that assignment on February 1, 2023.
In Switzerland, MSK (Mobiles breitbandiges Sicherheits Kommunikations system - Mobile broadband Secure Communications) project is governed by the Secure Mobile Broadband Communications (MSK) at the Swiss Federal Office for Civil Protection (FOCP) and anticipated (January 2021) to be operational by the second half of the 2020 decade.
MCX Services Smart Devices and Accessories
There exist smart devices adapted to MCX Services operation, i.e., with dedicated physical controls (PTT button, Emergency button, Talkgroup selector, Camera or Other Programmable Operation buttons), environmentally ruggedized, field-swappable battery, powerful loudspeakers and noise-suppression and echo-cancellation dual microphones. More
MCX Services Prioritization by use of 5G Network Slicing
Network slicing allows multiple logical networks to be created on top of a common shared physical infrastructure. Customized connectivity is provided for each network slice, with all slices running on the same shared infrastructure. This is achievable in 5G networks due to the availability of advanced virtualization and orchestration capability, including Virtual Networking Functions (VNF) and Software Defined Networking (SDN) architectures.
Current and future critical communication applications are driving the need for a wide variety of network performance service characteristics. These required characteristics will vary in terms of priority, data rates, error rates, latency, security, availability, coverage, etc. Resources for these network slices can therefore be set up for various applications without one competing with the other, e.g.: Augmented Reality, MCPTT, Massive IoT, etc.
In summary, network slicing enables a customizable level of connectivity and priority for a plethora of critical applications, each with widely differing service characteristics, yet carried over the same physical network.