The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India via Press Release No. 61/2018 dated 4th June, 2018 released recommendations on “Next Generation Public Protection and Disaster Relief (PPDR) communication networks”. PPDR supports a wide range of services such as maintenance of law and order, protection of life and property, disaster relief and emergency responses. Broadband PPDR supports wide range of applications such as sending live images, videos and texts apart from voice communication. In order to keep a robust policy framework for broadband PPDR communication systems in the country, the Authority under section 11(1)(a)(ii) and (vii) of the TRAI Act, 1997 (as amended), had Sou-moto on 9th October, 2017 issued a consultation paper (CP) on “Next Generation Public Protection and Disaster Relief (PPDR) communication networks’ Written comments and counter comments on Consultation Paper were invited from the stakeholders by 4th December, 2017 and 18th December 2017 respectively. An open house discussion was also convened on 15th February, 2018. The Authority has formulated its recommendations based on inputs received from shareholders and have placed the recommendations on TRAI website. The salient features of the recommendations are:
- Government to set up pan-India integrated Broadband PPDR (BB-PPDR) to be called as ‘National BB-PPDR Network’ based on 3GPP PS-LTE technology.
- Dedicated network for BB-PPDR communication funded by government be created in metro cities, border districts, disaster prone areas and sensitive areas like J&K and North East by PSU like BSNL/MTNL.
- Setting up a Special purpose Vehicle (SPV) under Ministry of Home affairs to plan and coordinate the nationwide BB-PPDR communication facilities for PPDR agencies.
- SPV to coordinate with DoT for allocation of spectrum and other issues.
- Pilot testing of BB-PPDR dedicated network at five zones identified as disaster prone/ sensitive areas to evaluate the efficacy of the proposed network.
- 2x10 MHz of dedicated spectrum should be allocated nationwide to the SPV on no-cost basis for LTE based broadband PPDR networks.
- 814-824/859-869 MHz should be assigned for nationwide BB-PPDR services as per APT Frequency Arrangement number G 3-1-4.
- 20 MHz of spectrum in the frequency range 440-470 MHz (preferably 450-470 MHz) should be allocated for future evolution of broadband PPDR.