Nokia and SK complete portable RAN for public safety LTE

Nokia and SK Telecom have announced the completion of a portable public safety LTE system designed for first responders in the field.

The PS-LTE network system is based on Nokia’s portable mobile basestation solution it announced at Critical Communications World in May. The Ultra Compact Network is intended to be utilised by first responders and emergence services to establish a fully functioning LTE network in remote or disaster-stricken areas.

SK and Nokia’s PS-LTE system builds on the UCN and integrates NFV capabilities so that the portable base station function is supplemented by a complete switching system – including the EPC, home subscriber server, PCRF – as well as push to talk technologies. A single server blade is capable of housing these functions for the dedicated PS-LTE solution. In essence, the combination of the basestation, switching system and push to talk functions allow for a complete independent communications network to be used by public safety workers/emergency services.

“The portable all-in-one PS-LTE system is a ground-breaking solution that enables communication among first responders by setting up an independent LTE network when regular communication networks are disrupted by disasters,” said Lee Jong-bong, Executive Vice President and Head of Infra Division of SK Telecom. “SK Telecom will not only utilize the innovative system to build disaster safety wireless networks in Korea, but also plans to share its expertise and know-how with many other countries around the world.”

According to SK Telecom, the system has a range of 5km and able to accommodate up to 400 users at a time, with a set up time of 3 minutes. SK is planning to trial the system by the end of 2016, and expand into its LTE for Maritime Wireless Communications project next year. This follows Vodafone and Ericsson’s recent project also exploring portable basestation opportunities with its “network in a briefcase”, which is designed to act as a signal booster in dense urban areas.

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