Mission Critical Communications Alliance now established
The fourth most powerful earthquake, known as the Tohoku earthquake and tsunami, in the world since modern record-keeping began in 1900 took place in Japan just a few years ago in 2011. It was the most powerful earthquake ever recorded to have hit Japan. The earthquake triggered powerful tsunami waves, which then resulted in nuclear accidents, where at least three nuclear reactors suffered explosions. Five years later, about 7% of Fukushima prefecture is still uninhabitable because of high radiation levels, according to government data.
So why did I start with such a vivid description of this natural disaster? Because we all need to know that technology can and will play a pivotal role to ensure that should such a disaster happen again; we are better set up to preserve public safety and provide faster, better and safer response time to help the victims. It is therefore the responsibility of both government and industry service and technology providers to push for urgency to strengthen our mission critical networks.
On September 14th, Nokia launched the Mission Critical Communications Alliance, an industry leading initiative that serves as a platform for mobile operators, public authorities and first response agencies to collaborate and formalize standards in the use of LTE for public safety globally. The global alliance will be a collective voice on essential mission critical communication issues and topics; working groups on topics such as standardization and new technologies; fostering and promoting an ecosystem driven approach to accelerate the development of applications and terminals and providing a committed platform for all to engage through workshops, working groups and events.
In Asia Pacific, Korea has been one of the first movers, where service providers have partnered with Nokia to build a secure LTE trial network for public safety in the Gangwon province. Providing mission-critical communications over LTE means that emergency service workers and decision makers across agencies, such as police, fire services and coast guards, can remove communications barriers, make better-informed decisions and plan resources in an optimal manner. The network is part of the first phase in the deployment that will become a nation-wide, dedicated solution for mission-critical communications during 2017.
This week in Seoul, Nokia hosted several key customers representing government and services providers such as the Federal Ministry of the Interior of both Austria and France, Mobile Radio Center, O2 Czech Republic, the Public Safety Command and Control Center of Rio de Janeiro, SK Telecom, StarHub, State Security Networks Ltd and Telkomsel. The initiative aims to support the transformation towards the use of modern LTE- and eventual 5G-based networks. The broadband capability, interoperability, and economies of scale, which these technologies can deliver are key requirements of governments for mission critical communications. The time to invest and set up the mission-critical infrastructure is now.
I invite all relevant organizations to join this initiative and be at the forefront of innovation for public safety.
Share your thoughts on this topic by replying below – or join the Twitter discussion with @nokiaCritComms using #publicsafety #LTE
 “New USGS number puts Japan quake at 4th largest”. CBS News. Associated Press. 14 March 2011. Archived from the original on 5 April 2011. Retrieved 15 March 2011.