The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India has issued the new consultation paper on "Next Generation Public Protection and Disaster Relief (PPDR) communication networks".
The PPDR communications support a wide range of services related to day to day life of public such as maintenance of law and order, protection of life and property, disaster relief and emergency responses.
In India, primary PPDR communication systems are designed and run by many independent state agencies. Currently, PPDR communication infrastructure in India is either old Analog Systems or it uses narrowband radios3. These radios employ narrowband channels and are operated on spot frequencies that are assigned to different public safety entities on a case-by-case basis. The narrowband nature of these radios limits them to only 2-way voice communications with no inherent support for high-bandwidth transmission requirements such as interactive video communication, remote video surveillance of security or disaster sites, TRAI said in its consultation paper.
Such systems suffer from problems like interoperability failures, inefficient use of spectrum, and higher costs. Such systems do not provide the level of secure communication required by India's security forces resulting in the easy leak of information to unwanted entities.
The paper said that high speed mobile data capabilities that can be relied upon in adverse situations are becoming increasingly necessary in the public safety community for increasing the situational awareness of first responders as well as resource allocation by operational centers.
It asked the stakeholders: "Do you consider the existing fragmented model of PPDR communication network in the country adequate to meet the present day challenges?" "Should PSUs be earmarked for providing nationwide broadband PPDR communication network?" "If wideband/broadband PPDR is to be implemented in India, what quantum of the spectrum will be needed for such solution for PPDR?" the paper asked.