MSB proposes replacement for the Rakel radio communication system
Today, the Swedish Civil Contingencies Agency (MSB) is submitting its response to a Government assignment regarding the collective need for a new, developed and secure communication system for critical civil services. In the response, MSB describes the background of the collective need for a new communication system and proposals of technical solutions and the division of roles.
The Swedish Rescue Services, police, ambulance services and other critical civil services need access to communication that is robust and secure in order to fulfil their missions. Communication that must function on a daily basis, as well as in emergencies and on high alert. The Rakel radio communication system used today is a very important tool for these actors and for Swedish civil contingency planning.
Rakel has been used for more than 15 years and is mainly built for speech. The system does not support the increased needs that today’s Rakel users have, considering digitalisation and technical development. The needs primarily comprise greater data capacity, for example, for film and image transmission during an on-going operation, sharing of situation report images or the use of drones at accident sites. MSB is therefore proposing a replacement for the Rakel radio communication system.
“Increased digitalisation and changed security policy circumstances demand a society-wide and secure system for mobile data communication. Rakel needs to be replaced with a more modern system that, besides speech, can also handle, for example, real-time transmission of data and moving pictures from an operation or accident site,” says Camilla Asp, Acting Director General of MSB.
Broader mission for MSB
The new communication system has the working name of Rakel G2. In the response to the Government, it is proposed that MSB be charged with a broader mission and increased overall responsibility for the work on the future communication system. The response also presents an account of the estimated effects for various civil contingency actors and for Swedish society at large. MSB also recommends compulsory deployment for the actors in rescue services and medical care, among others. According to a preliminary assessment, the current Rakel is proposed to be decommissioned in 2027.
The budgeting requirement to build up the new communication solution is extensive and is estimated at SEK 7.3 billion. It is now up to the Government to make a decision in order for MSB to be able to continue with the proposal.
Many user organisations have been involved in the work
This effort has been conducted in close dialogue with, for example, the Swedish Police Authority, the Swedish Association of Local Authorities (SALAR), the Swedish Transport Administration and the Swedish national power grid operator Svenska kraftnät. They were able to be involved and influence the direction of the proposal now being presented.
“The users’ comments are very important. The proposal now being presented uses the national infrastructure resources that already exist and utilises the market’s innovation and technology,” says Camilla Asp.
Last June, MSB was tasked to form an investigative commission (Ju2020/02485/SSK) where the assignment was to analyse and submit proposals on how a developed and secure communication system can best be achieved and who or which actors should be given the responsibility to implement the proposal.