NSW Telco Authority scopes market for next phase of PSMB

NSW Telco Authority scopes market for next phase of PSMB

Comes as proof-of-concept trial ends in August.

Credit: Dreamstime

The NSW Telco Authority is scouring the telecommunications market to help roll out the national mobile broadband network for emergency services. 

Known as the Public Safety Mobile Broadband (PSMB), the new program is intended to deliver a mobile broadband capability to help emergency service organisations (ESOs) communicate more easily with one another across Australia. 

Led by the NSW Telco Authority, the PSMB is currently in a proof-of-concept trial phase that is due to end in August 2022. The findings of this trial will help shape the design of the national PSMB. 

Now the authority has issued a request for information (RFI) with the intention of informing the market on the latest status of the PSMB and seek further market intelligence to inform NSW and the National PSMB program. 

Areas intended to glean market intelligence include foundational infrastructure for PSMB; multi-carrier roaming; deployable assets; prioritised site hardening and coverage expansion and vehicle-as-a-node, among others. 

“This RFI is an information gathering process in which the National PSMB Program seeks to collect information and opinions from the telecommunications industry with deep experience in operational and critical communications,” the RFI document stated. 

“The intent is to gather further market intelligence and inform NSW and National PSMB Program to add to the knowledge available. The RFI is not a precursor to procurement but intended to develop our understanding of the inputs, challenges and opportunities in implementing a nation-wide PSMB.” 

The federal government first set up a committee of commonwealth, state and territory officials to discuss a nationwide, interoperable PSMB capability using existing telco mobile networks back in 2016. 

A year later, the NSW Telco Authority began scoping the telecommunications market participants for information and ideas to influence the direction of the project with the aim of trailing service delivery in January 2018. 

Last year it announced TPG Telecom and Optus would trial the PSMB network, teaming up with network builder Nokia to create the proof-of-concept. 

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