Public Protection and Disaster Relief (PPDR)

This page provides information on the background and definitions for PPDR, the main CEPT deliverables for PPDR as well as on PPDR and national contact points from CEPT administrations.

The spectrum needs for Public Protection and Disaster Relief have been raised during the last few years and the ECC is investigating various solutions to meet such requirements. In particular, the safety and security community needs access to wideband and broadband services such as video, and has specific requirements in terms of priority, availability or security. Adequate levels of harmonisation will require a long term effort from the ECC and relevant CEPT Administrations at national level.

In its strategic plan for the period 2015-2020, the ECC identified at the time, the need to seek an appropriate response to spectrum requirement and harmonisation needs for PPDR.

This page contains information on:


1 Background and Definitions

European agencies are working together in the Electronic Communications Committee to establish harmonised frequency bands for Public Protection and disaster Relief (PPDR) services and applications.  Definitions for PPDR are included in ITU-R Resolution 646 (REV.WRC 15)  ECC Report 102 and ITU-R Report M.2377.

Further ITU-R Recommendations which apply:

  • Recommendations ITU-R M.1637, Global cross-border circulation of radiocommunication equipment in emergency and disaster relief situations
  • Recommendations ITU-R M.1746, Harmonized frequency channel plans for the protection of property using data communication, and
  • Recommendations ITU-R M.2009, Radio interface standards for use by public protection and disaster relief operations in accordance with Resolution 646 (Rev.WRC-15).
  • Recommendations ITU-R M.2015, Frequency arrangements for public protection and disaster relief radiocommunication systems in accordance with Resolution 646 (Rev.WRC-15)

PPDR services are provided by a service or agency, recognised as such by the national administrations, that provides immediate and rapid assistance in situations where there is a direct risk to life or limb, individual or public health or safety, to private or public property, or the environment but not necessarily limited to these situations (Source: Commission Recommendation C(2003)2657).

The ITU-R Resolution 646 (REV.WRC 15) on PPDR encourages administrations, for the purposes of achieving regionally harmonised frequency bands/ranges for advanced PPDR solutions, to identify spectrum in the frequency bands/ranges or parts thereof when undertaking their national planning in 380-470 MHz as the frequency range within which the band 380 385/ 390 395 MHz is a preferred core harmonised band for permanent public protection activities; and parts of these frequency bands are most commonly identified in Europe nowadays for PPDR, also based on the Lisbon Treaty Article 196 between NATO. It further encouraged administrations to consider parts of the frequency range 694-894 MHz when undertaking their national planning for their PPDR applications, in particular broadband, in order to achieve harmonization.

The Radio Spectrum Policy Group published in 2013 an RSPG Report on Sectorial Needs including a strategy how to deal in future with PPDR spectrum requests. The Radio Spectrum Policy Programme includes Article 8.3 on PPDR. In addition, there is an European Council Recommendation on improving radio communication between operational units in border areas.

To find an appropriate response to spectrum requirement and harmonisation needs for PPDR was one of the strategic topics for the period 2015-2020 identified by the ECC in its strategic plan of that time.

2 Main ECC deliverables on PPDR

  • ECC Decision (08)05 (amended in March 2019) on the harmonisation of frequency bands for the implementation of digital Public Protection and Disaster Relief (PPDR) radio applications in bands within the 380-470 MHz range
  • ECC Decision (16)02 (amended in March 2019) on harmonised technical conditions and frequency bands for the implementation of Broadband Public Protection and Disaster Relief (BB-PPDR) systems
  • ERC Decision (01)19 on harmonised frequency bands to be designated for the Direct Mode Operation (DMO) of the Digital Land Mobile Systems for the Emergency Services
  • ECC Decision (06)05 on the harmonised frequency bands to be designated for Air-Ground-Air operation (AGA) of the Digital Land Mobile Systems for the Emergency Services
  • ECC Recommendation (08)04 The identification of frequency bands for the implementation of Broad Band Disaster Relief (BBDR) radio applications in the 5 GHz frequency range
  • Recommendation T/R 25-08 on planning criteria and coordination of frequencies in the land mobile service in the range 29.7-470 MHz. A revision was published in September 2018. The revision includes new recommendations for the cross-border coordination of land mobile systems having different channel bandwidths on both sides of the border for the 400 MHz ranges. BB-PPDR, among others, can also be considered as a subset of "land mobile systems"
  • ECC Recommendation (16)03 on cross-border coordination for Broadband Public Protection and Disaster Relief (BB-PPDR) systems in the frequency band 698 to 791 MHz
  • ECC Report 102 on public protection and disaster relief spectrum requirements
  • ECC Report 110 on the compatibility studies between Broad-Band Disaster Relief (BBDR) and other systems
  • ECC Report 199 on user requirements and spectrum needs for future European broadband PPDR systems
  • ECC Recommendation (11)10 on a location tracking application for emergency and disaster situations (LAES)
  • ECC Report 218 on Harmonised conditions and spectrum bands for the implementation of future European Broadband Public Protection and Disaster Relief (BB-PPDR) systems
  • ECC Report 239 on Compatibility and sharing studies for BB PPDR systems operating in the 700 MHz range
  • ECC Report 240 on Compatibility and sharing studies for BB PPDR systems operating in the 400 MHz range
  • ECC Report 283 on Compatibility and sharing studies related to the introduction of broadband and narrowband systems in the bands 410-430 MHz and 450-470 MHz completed public consultation and was published in September 2018.


3 Activities in recent years in the ECC on PPDR

  • Project Team FM49 was established to focus on medium term and long term (before year 2025) spectrum identification and develop a roadmap on the timeframes and necessary steps needed. The evaluation of suitable bands for European-wide harmonisation of spectrum (both below and above 1 GHz), took into account cross-border-communication issues and PPDR application requirements including issues such as inter-operability needs.
  • The formation of the PT FM49 followed a series of events where the WG FM of Electronic Communications Committee of CEPT organised a workshop on spectrum needs for the public protection and disaster relief (PPDR) communication systems in March 2010, click here for the workshop webpage. Public safety broadband requirements from industry and public safety users were described in the ETSI System Reference Document TR 102 628. Other previous ETSI descriptions included spectrum requirements for wideband PPDR and AGA applications in ETSI TR 102 491 (TETRA TEDS system reference document), ETSI TR 102 485 (BBDR system reference document), and ETSI TR 102 496 (LAES).
  • Another action in 2010 taken was to send out a questionnaire on the radio spectrum demand for PPDR by the ECO, which had been developed by the WGFM. Based on the responses received, WGFM identified some main conclusions based on these responses to the questionnaire.
  • PT FM49 aimed at bringing together the regulatory authorities as well as the array of stakeholders and experts in telecommunications used for public protection and disaster relief purposes. This facilitated the collection of further information and exchange of views and ideas concerning the future PPDR systems, especially the broadband systems and is a unique opportunity to discuss some key issues related to PPDR and the frequency bands to be used for these systems in the future. The creation of the ECC Decision (16)02 for BB-PPDR (amended March 2019) was the main final result of the work in PT FM49.

After the finalisation of work in PT FM49, this project team was closed in May 2016. The webpage of Project Team FM49 can be found here.

The main focus in PT FM49 was the creation of a new ECC harmonisation deliverable (ECC Decision (16)02) on the frequency options for broadband PPDR. This ECC Decision for broadband PPDR followed ECC Report 218. The main concept is that it is not required to designate identical (harmonised) frequency bands for broadband PPDR. This concept for BB-PPDR foresees that the required level of interoperability is to be realised through the availability of multi-band broadband PPDR user equipment (several 400 MHz and 700 MHz options) and adoption of common technical standard (i.e. LTE and its evolutions). Synergies with other applications having similar requirements as well as on the network level will also be considered and further studied in the future.

The ECC Decision (16)02 covers the flexible harmonisation concept according to ECC Report 218 and the technical conditions to be defined for dedicated BB-PPDR spectrum in the 700 MHz and 400 MHz ranges. The ECC#42 in June 2016 finally approved ECC Decision (16)02 for publication. However, additional technical studies regarding BB-PPDR in the range 410-430 MHz resulted in the its revision in March 2019. 

 Figure: 700 MHz Options for BB-PPDR

The ECC will monitor the evolution of the BB-PPDR terminal design, also in relation with a liaison statement that was sent to standardisation bodies (ETSI/3GPP).

Technical spectrum compatibility and sharing studies for BB-PPDR applications were conducted in Project Team SE7 leading to ECC Reports 239, 240 and 283.

CEPT Report 53 considered alternative options (M2M, SDL, PMSE, BB-PPDR) for the 700 MHz duplex gap and these have been listed in ECC//DEC/(15(01). BB-PPDR can be accommodated within the 700 MHz range by either designating spectrum for dedicated BB-PPDR, use of commercial mobile fixed communication network (MFCN) or a combination of both to fulfil national PPDR requirements. Harmonised technical requirements for the use of MFCN in the 700 MHz band (703-733 MHz and 758-788 MHz) already exist in ECC Decision (15)01.

Concerning the 700 MHz options for broadband PPDR, ECC Decision (15)01 includes block edge mask elements for the protection of PPDR. These requirements are applicable when PPDR and M2M options are implemented in the MFCN guard bands or the duplex gap at a national level.

The March 2019 revision of ECC/DEC/(16)02, includes band options within the range 410-430 MHz for BB-PPDR, based on the outcome of the technical studies (ECC Report 283). The added frequency range can offer national flexibility, e.g. in the context of additional spectrum beside the 700 MHz and 450 MHz ranges. Now also channeling arrangements of 1.4 MHz, 3 MHz, and 5 MHz LTE FDD could be implemented in the paired frequency bands in 410.0-415.0 MHz / 420.0-425.0 MHz, 411.0-416.0 MHz / 421.0-426.0 MHz and 412.0-417.0 MHz / 422.0-427.0 MHz.

The WGFM (FM54) activities were not just focused on BB-PPDR. The outcome of ECC Report 283 had also been used for the development of ECC Decision (19)02 for land mobile systems and which replaced the regulations previously in force for narrowband and wideband PMR/PAMR (ECC Decisions (06)06 and (04)06). This ECC Decision also takes into account the ECC Report 292 (on the current use, future opportunities and guidance to administrations for the 400 MHz PMR/PAMR frequencies.

ECC also approved the March 2019 revision of ECC Decision (08)05 on The harmonisation of frequency bands for the implementation of digital Public Protection and Disaster Relief (PPDR) narrow band and wide band radio applications in bands within the 380-470 MHz range.

Furthermore, ECC approved the ECC Decision (19)01 on The withdrawal of ECC Decision (11)04 of 9 December 2011 on exemption from individual licensing of digital terminals of narrowband and wideband PMR/PAMR/PPDR systems and free circulation and use of digital terminals of narrowband and wideband PPDR systems operating in the 80 MHz, 160 MHz, 380-470 MHz and 800/900 MHz bands.

Final approval of these revised and new ECC Decisions occurred in March 2019. See the ECC Newsletter article: Broadband and IoT: Introduction and Opportunities for Land Mobile Systems in the 400 MHz ranges (about the revision of ECC Decision (16)02 to include 410-430 MHz)

4 Additional information on PPDR

During the last years, the ECC has published within its newsletters various articles related to PPDR:

- Flexible Harmonisation of Radio Frequencies for Broadband Public Protection and Disaster Relief, Nov. 2015;

- Public Protection and Disaster Relief: emergency communications live from the scene, August 2013;

- Europe's Broadband Spectrum Strategy for Public Safety, October 2011

The ECC decided at its 41st meeting in March 2016 to have a Joint ETSI-CEPT Workshop on Public Protection and Disaster Relief - Regulatory Changes and New Opportunities for Broadband PPDR.

The event took place on 29 September 2016, in ETSI Headquarters, Sophia Antipolis, France.

This one-day workshop on Broadband Public Protection and Disaster Relief (BB-PPDR) provided a platform for all relevant parties, especially standardization and manufacturing industry, PPDR organisations (authorities, service providers), spectrum regulators, PPDR users (police fire brigade, ambulance services), Ministries of Interior. The workshop informed the audience about the up-to-date situation on BB-PPDR, identifying required future activities in various areas (standardisation, national implementation, regulation) and fostering the interrelation between those areas. See the workshop webpage here

Updated: 08 February 2023, 10:23