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PRIORITY – Critical communication solutions

New solutions and technologies for public safety communications.

Branch: Digitalisation

Duration: 01.06.2019 – 31.12.2021

Region: National

Financed by: Business Finland

Further information: Marjo Heikkilä, +358 44 4492507,

Project Manager: Marjo Heikkilä


A major project PRIORITY will research, develop and trial critical communication solutions for authorities and remote businesses. A key target will be to complement existing mission critical voice and messaging services with broadband data capability, using commercial 4G and 5G wireless networks. The objective of the project is to improve the competitiveness of Finnish ecosystem of critical communications and situational awareness solutions.

Research topics will concentrate on four areas:

1) Broadband service availability in extremely remote locations

2) Quality of Service differentiation and provisioning for diverse needs

3) Communication security

4) Interworking of dedicated and commercial networks.

Project have several expected outcomes, where the most significant outcomes are technical solutions to be further developed into products in near future, new and evolved ecosystems in the area of critical communication, resulting in growing international business for the participants and the next capability level in safety authorities’ mission critical communication.

The project creates joint activities with many different actors in the field of critical communication. Project is part of Business Finland Digital Trust Finland program.

Photo: Airbus

The significance of critical communication lies on one hand in the divergence of societal threats: for instance, cyberattacks, asymmetrical warfare and terrorism, as well as the climate change. On the other hand, developments in ICT technology, such as artificial intelligence, internet of things and 5G communication, create opportunities for completely new solutions, businesses and ecosystems in the field of critical communication.

So far public safety mission critical communications have been based on dedicated narrowband technologies, such as TETRA and Tetrapol. In the future, 5G mobile technologies will complement and replace them. This is not only a change of the wireless technology underneath but also a renewal of the whole Mission Critical PPDR Broadband ecosystem.

All topical ICT technologies will be involved in the transition consisting of smart devices and apps, analytics and AI, IoT, drones and many others. As we know, 5G will change societies more than the two previous-generation networks combined. Public Safety users such as police and rescue services have special requirements, which are beyond the requirements of consumers or enterprises.

These include high availability, reliability of services and uncompromised security, including protection against cyber security threats. Even though the solutions for public safety mission critical communications will be based on mainstream technologies, as such these are not enough due to very demanding requirements of reliability, security and high availability. The cooperative nature of the PRIORITY project will create new mission critical communication business ecosystems and support existing ones.

Priority will study future solutions for radio communication services that are critical for public safety and situational awareness. These put an emphasis on reliability and availability of the critical communication networks, in cities as well as in remote locations. Traficom will provide authority support and insights to the project.

PRIORITY consortium consists of 4 research partners as well as 13 companies and authorities. In collaboration with Centria University of Applied Sciences, the research parties include the University of Oulu, Turku University of Applied Sciences and VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland. Five companies of the consortium -Airbus, Bittium, Digita, Exfo, Keysight- have their own parallel industry projects ongoing. Other partners are the Finnish Transport and Communications Authority Traficom, The Finnish Defence Forces, Rescue services in Finland, Elisa, Erillisverkot, Fairspectrum, Verkotan and Central Union of Agricultural Producers and Forest Owners of Finland.

The solutions will be trialed in live network deployments, by applying the 5G-Force platform and scenario-specific technology blocks. Centria University of Applied Sciences test network in Ylivieska is part of 5G-Force platform for verifying the new 5G technology and for developing new features and vertical applications. Centria’s test network has a history since 2009 as a test platform for various enterprise and research-driven applications.


Marjo Heikkilä
Project leader, Centria
+358 44 4492507