CCWeek: Into the future


Senior principle analyst at Omdia - and CCWeek presenter - Ken Rehbehn discusses the importance of the show to the sector.

What are the biggest issues currently facing the critical communications sector?

Years of progress in standards development and product innovation have yielded capable mission-critical LTE technology solutions for government and industry. With that in mind, as we approach 2021, the sector's largest challenges arise from classic institutional hurdles, as complex, mission-focused, organisations grapple with the risk that comes with change.

To be sure, LTE network technology is ready, and some early devices are now on the market. However, end-user organisations must understand the impact of these changes to the operational toolkit.

The sessions organised for Critical Communications Week 2020 bring practical insights to help end-user organisations throughout this challenging process.

What will be the most transformative technology over the next five years and why?

Over the next five years, the most transformative technology will be pervasive, high-performance, mission-critical mobile broadband. This will empower applications, tapping into the cloud's computational and storage power. 

This technology cocktail provides the basis for mission support, ranging from mundane office applications such as email, to exotic AI-driven video processing. The key to this future is establishing secure, national mobile broadband networks, built by public/private collaboration between government and mobile network operators.

What are you most looking forward to at CCWeek?

Scanning the jam-packed programme for Critical Communications Week, I am drawn to presentations delivering the latest thinking behind plans for mission-critical broadband network deployment. As the UK begins to roll-out its Emergency Services Network to early adopters, many nations are firming-up their own plans for mission-critical LTE functionality. Critical Communications Week provides a unique open venue to understand the vision and strategy behind these national programmes.

I am especially eager to hear updates from Finland, where a fast-moving government initiative has secured a landmark MC-LTE contract with one of the nation's leading operators. Finland's Erillisverkot team will also provide an update on the mission-critical LTE device 'request for information' [RFI] that was recently completed. In these early days of MC-LTE, device diversity remains limited, and Erillisverkot's RFI may hint at how the ecosystem will evolve over the next 12 to 24 months.

I will also be eager to hear from influential and innovative national network operators from Belgium, Germany, Norway, Spain, and Switzerland. These presentations will help us learn more about national network legal frameworks, deployment approaches, benefits, and challenges.

Why is the event important to the sector?

As 2021 takes shape as a pivotal year for mission-critical communications evolution, CCWeek becomes an essential venue for government network operators, end-user agencies, and industry innovators to exchange information.

On the mission-critical LTE front, change is accelerating as nations move to ensure public safety can access ubiquitous high-performance mobile broadband that withstands capacity pressure during a crisis. Narrowband voice advancements also continue to unfold meanwhile, with TETRA evolving to meet the demanding security requirements of its user community.

By providing a focal point for dialogue between hard-working stakeholders who drive this evolution forward, Critical Communications Week provides vital interconnections for education and collaboration. This year's event may be virtual, but its programme promises an impact that will be concrete and long-lasting.

Register for CCWeek for free here

Media contact

Philip Mason
Managing Editor, Critical Communications Portfolio
Tel: +44 (0)20 3874 9216