State Security Networks Group Finland (Erillisverkot) has been selected to operate the mobile broadband service that will be used by the Finnish authorities. The service, Virve 2.0, will be based on commercial mobile services, which will be selected by Erillisverkot through a tendering process.

Virve 2.0 will be implemented in stages until 2025 as part of a development programme (MoVi), that has been launched by the Finnish Ministry of Finance, and seeks to satisfy mission-critical users’ need for broadband data services along with their requirements in terms of its functionality, availability and management, which are not currently satisfied by Finland’s commercial mobile networks.

Erillisverkot was selected as the Virve 2.0 operator through its group member company, Suomen Virveverkko Oy, which has provided Virve network services to Finnish PPDR authorities and other critical operators for nearly 20 years. The transition from the current TETRA-based Virve services to the next-generation broadband services will take place in stages in parallel with technological development and standardisation.

Erillisverkot is developing its mission-critical broadband solution in cooperation with other security network operators in the EU, with the aim of building a harmonious pan-European mobile broadband solution and creating a market for ongoing technological development. Through Virve 2.0, Finland is seeking to become a front-runner in the use of mission-critical broadband, influence the standardisation policy of future 3GPP broadband technologies and have an active role in TCCA.

“Cooperation and communication between Finnish authorities is exceptionally efficient, as is the ecosystem that supports critical communications. These new information-driven services enable us to expand the cooperation between authorities and use more efficient practices. We are committed to our special duty of guaranteeing mission-critical services under all circumstances. Virve 2.0 will be built in close cooperation between all the parties. Its key elements are the continuity of mission-critical services and efficient solutions that can also be developed further in the future”, said Timo Lehtimäki, CEO of State Security Networks Group Finland (Erillisverkot).

Author: Sam Fenwick