Public Safety Network
The Public Safety Network is the new communications service for New Zealand’s frontline emergency services responders being rolled-out from mid-2023. Fire and Emergency, Police, St John and Wellington Free Ambulance will be the network’s first users and there is scope for other government agencies to join in the future.
Next Generation Critical Communications is responsible for developing the Public Safety Network on behalf of emergency services. The Network will be delivered by Hourua and Tait Kordia Joint Venture.
The goal in creating a new secure digital communications network is to support the operational capability of New Zealand’s emergency services staff and volunteers, and to keep them and the public, safer.
A network of three complementary elements
Existing analogue radio networks are being replaced with a single nationwide secure digital radio service, and multi-network priority cellular broadband capability - including voice, video, messaging and data - in urban, state highway and rural areas commonly accessed by frontline emergency services. Secure digital radio will provide voice and messaging services in many areas where cellular service is not available.
The Public Safety Network is made up of:
|Digital Land Mobile Radio: a digital radio network built with sufficient resilience to enable emergency services to communicate even in the event of a significant natural disaster. Land Mobile Radio supports push to talk communications which are used extensively by emergency services, and provides location services, is encrypted and secure.|
|Priority Cellular and Roaming Services: improves existing cellular network coverage resilience through a multi-network solution and allows sharing of information via apps. Emergency communications will take priority over other mobile users on cellular networks when the networks are congested or degraded.|
|Personal Alerting: personal alerting service for FENZ, Wellington Free Ambulance and St John provided over a stabilised paging network which is critical for emergency responses in remote communities supported by volunteers.|
The Public Safety Network Programme is aiming to start transitioning agencies to Priority Cellular services in mid-2023 and Digital Land Mobile Radio in early 2024.
Significant communications investment to keep emergency responders and the public safe – media release from Minister Hipkins (11 November 2022)