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Project details

Overview

Nowadays there is a growing uncertainty about the near future evolution of classical PMR solutions due to spectrum scarcity, digital dividend issues and economic crisis. GERYON aims at facing this situation by seizing the existing window of opportunity due to the convergence of the IMS as a predominant enabler for future multimedia networks and the imminent deployment of commercial LTE networks.

GERYON proposes an innovative emergency inter-networking system capable of connecting existing first responder communication systems and enabling the integration of next generation mobile networks by defining technology independent standardized interfaces and autonomic configuration and adaptation techniques under the umbrella of IMS.

Therefore, GERYON will unify common technical and operational logic of first responder communications networks in a technology independent manner. This unification will offload interconnection gateways from duplicated technology dependent details by providing a neutral interconnection interface. Proposed system will ensure seamless operation regardless the access technology and take advantage of coverage and responsiveness of existing PMRs and broadband data services of 4G networks.

GERYON will demonstrate both classical (i.e. PTT, MTP and preemptive calls) and enhanced emergency services (i.e. multimedia streaming and data services) over an across-frontier testbed. Furthermore, its capability for including general purpose IMS terminals and GERYON enhanced ones will allow an easy access to first responder networks to different groups of unprotected users such as elderly people, people with special needs and battered women that will take advantage of enhanced services such as the Red Button over general purpose devices.

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Concepts

In the current digital world, the users of first responder communication systems are aware of the benefits that the interconnection between different Professional Mobile Radio (PMR) and the integration of new advanced data services could bring to their professional sectors. Considering the current multimedia capabilities of both emergency and general purpose mobile terminals, it is just a matter of time that we see police or fire-fighter units transmitting image-based vital information in real time to central stations or to other mobile units in order to assure quick and expert responses to critical incidents.

In order to satisfy this need for broadband data services, different PMR technologies have tried toimprove data transmission capabilities. For example, TETRA Enhanced Data Service (TEDS), standardized with TETRA Relase 2 at the end of 2005, has been considered as a suitable alternative for advanced security services, such as video surveillance and extensive image sharing or positioning services. Nearly 5 years later, in May 2010, the world's first big scale TEDS pilot delivered to a customer’s network (VIRVE, Finland's nationwide TETRA network) was launched. However, TEDS technology is getting obsolete for the requirements of new security applications and the need for upgrading to broadband is a recognized fact. In fact, despite its potential capabilities, the first wave of TEDS gear coming out will not meet the broadband requirements, due to limited spectrum availability for existing TETRA systems resulting in 50-100 kbps data services (far from theoretical maximum of 540 kbps). Thus, the discussion in the TRA Association has been lately focused on which kind broadband of broadband solution should be adopted: integration of other broadband technologies or evolution of TEDS technology.

At the same time, commercial wireless technologies have been evolving from traditional GSM/GPRS/UMTS services towards more advanced wideband solutions such as WiMAX or LTE, trying to support wider coverage and higher data rates (up to 50-100Mbps). The future of mobile communications seems to be directed towards an all-IP world, which has raised considerable discussion regarding the provision of multimedia services. During 2010, the GSM Association (GSMA) adopted IP Multimedia Subsystem (IMS) as the key driver technology to support voice services over LTE. Thus, IMS can be considered as the candidate for the provision and management of multimedia services of future 4G networks.

On the other hand, in order to incorporate new advanced multimedia services to first responder communication systems, it is compulsory to assure no saturation of the critical communications infrastructure. In such scenario the convergence of both high capacity general purpose mobile systems and PMR systems is emerging as a relevant topic. In fact, several PMR organizations have initiated the use of both technologies providing their professionals with dual terminals, although the use remains separated between critical and non-critical transmissions. A converged scenario will enable those professionals to make the most of both worlds, while assuring an accurate use of critical resources.

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Objectives

Specific objectives of the project are:

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Overall strategy

In order to achieve the objectives pursued by GERYON the following logical phases have been planned:

Some of these phases are very closely interrelated. They are therefore grouped in the same workpackage. This simplifies the communication between the partners within the project.

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Work Packages

The project is divided into 7 Work Packages (WPs), with clearly defined deliverables for each, which follow the logical phases of the project during its full duration - according to the following three types of activities: the research, technological development and innovation related activities, the demonstration activities and the management activities.

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