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Communication technologies and interoperability topic 1: interoperable next generation of broadband radio communication system for public safety and security

Specific challenge:

The users/potential buyers participating in the action should agree on specifications, and set standards for the next generation of an EU interoperable radio communication system considering at least three markets: one for broadband network system technology/setup/operation, one for end-user devices and one for applications, taking into account previously EU funded R&D project on the same issues.


Different organisation schemes, such as a dedicated EU Mobile Virtual Network Operator for law enforcement agencies, a European Economic Interest Group, national interoperable networks, or any other way will have to be studied.

The participants will propose the best suitable architecture/solution in order to establish the desired EU-interoperable system.

The action will develop the core set of specifications, roadmap for research or tender documents to be used as a basis for national procurements, or the legal setting of alternate organisational solutions taking into account the above-mentioned requirements for interoperable next generation PPDR broadband communication systems.

The action will provide plans for validating the future EU-interoperable system. Further to ongoing standardization efforts the users/potential buyers will have to ensure that manufacturers actually implement the PPDR-specific interoperability functions, and that users and operators test the first version of the systems as well as for their evolutions. Therefore the participants should tackle the issue of managing the interoperability after the end of the action.

The participants will establish a global transition roadmap from their actual system to the desired EU-interoperable system.

The EU may contribute to subsequent action to bootstrap the new architecture/solution if the CSA is successful and the new architecture/solution fulfils the conditions for receiving an EU contribution under the applicable rules.

Expected impact:

To create an EU-interoperable broadband radio communication system for public safety and security, providing better services to first responders and police agencies and allowing shorter reaction times to prevent from more casualties or victims, deployed by 2025.

It is expected that by delivering a European solution, the project should contribute to overcome the fragmentation of national markets and help maintaining global competitiveness of the European companies.

For the impact of the action to be above threshold the proposal must necessarily state:

  1. the participants' commitment to make the standards, specifications, and all other relevant documents generated in the action available at actual cost of reproduction to any law enforcement or first responder organization established in an EU or EEA country.
  2. the participants' agreement to negotiate, in good faith and on a case by case basis, licenses to the background necessary for the implementation and use of the contents of the standards, specifications, design, research roadmaps, tender packages or other tender documents generated in the action.
  3. the participants' commitment that all such licenses shall be according to Fair, Reasonable and Non-Discriminatory (“FRAND”) terms.”

Type of action: Coordination and Support Action (CSA).

Indicative budget: The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU of between €1m and €2m would allow for this topic to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

Timeframe: The action is expected to last between 6 and 12 months, and be completed on time for providing input to the 2017 work-programme of the Horizon 2020 ""Secure societies …"" challenge.

Additional condition: Proposals should involve a potential buyers group composed of first responders and police agencies from at least eight Member States or Associated Countries in a cross-border operational set-up. Justification for the additional condition: The aim of this topic is to create a new EU-wide system for public safety and security. The action is expected to proactively target the needs and requirements of public bodies and law enforcement. For this to be achieved it is indispensable that a significant number of police forces and/or emergency services from many Member States or Associated Countries participate in achieving a broad commonality of needs.