Philippe Agard, Nokia's global public safety and defence segment leader, will chair the BIG, supported by Jason Johur, Ericsson's market development director, mission-critical communications, as vice-chair. They were elected at the BIG inaugural meeting, hosted on 1 September by Finland’s State Security Networks, the national public safety operator.
“Nokia is very pleased to have Philippe Agard elected to chair the BIG, and looks forward to supporting Philippe in working with the broader industry ecosystem to accelerate the adoption of broadband critical communications based on latest 3GPP LTE standards. Organisations across key vertical markets such as public safety, transportation, utilities, and mining have been expressing the need for an evolution from narrowband PMR towards broadband. As the first networks are rolled out, BIG will help open up a broader worldwide ecosystem,” said a Nokia representative.
“Building on the accomplishments of the TCCA and its Critical Communications Broadband Group, and without any loss of momentum, the Broadband Industry Group will focus its attention on ensuring 3GPP-compliant products and services meet the evolving needs of all critical communication users,” said Johur.
The BIG will drive market adoption of standardised critical communications LTE and subsequent 5G technologies for the benefit of critical communications users and organisations, and promote an evolutionary approach towards future solutions. This work will build on the achievements of the TCCA, which includes driving and supporting open standards and interoperability, and ongoing research into professional users’ requirements to protect customer investments for the long term.
Tony Gray, the TCCA’s chief executive, said: “With the formation of the BIG, the TCCA has provided industry a home to advance critical service based on broadband, including migration to 3GPP LTE and 5G standard technologies. “We are delighted to see the industry's high level of interest in participating in the work of this new group. With representatives from such established and respected companies in the lead we can expect the BIG to develop and promote the various benefits that broadband solutions can offer to critical communications customers, while at all times keeping the market for critical broadband solutions agile, open, innovative and competitive.
“In parallel, we will continue to recognise the importance of narrowband PMR, and model our broadband activities on the success of those technologies in supporting professional users worldwide. This success will be further strengthened by the evolution of interworking between critical narrowband and broadband technologies.”
The BIG will work closely with the TCCA’s Critical Communications BroadbandGroup (CCBG). CCBG Chairman Tero Pesonen said: “This new initiative will help the co-ordination of critical communications standardisation efforts in 3GPP together with those of public safety agencies and operators, in line with the CCBG goals and TCCA’s Market Representation Partner role in 3GPP.”