The HIT‑GATE project defines the following general objectives that can be treated as baseline requirements.
1. HIT-GATE shall enable communications between First Responders’ heterogeneous networks used at European Level
- Gateways are a short-term solution for technical interoperability between already existing First Responders’ heterogeneous networks.
- HIT-GATE shall have embedded support to and services from each network and shall be able to translate them across networks. For example, it implies (i) making voice-calls between TETRA, TETRAPOL and WiMAX broadband networks, (ii) sending an emergency broadcast over heterogeneous networks to a given geographical area, and/or (iii) exchanging high priority data.
2. HIT-GATE shall provide set of services required to meet First Responders’ needs across First Responders’ heterogeneous networks
- HIT-GATE shall provide set of services across heterogeneous networks, including voice and data.
- HIT-GATE shall support from legacy to current to next-generation broadband networks used today by First Responders.
3. HIT-GATE shall provide cross-network services to First Responders in a seamless way
- Access to cross-network services shall be enabled in a seamless and transparent way with HIT-GATE. It means that, from the user side, it is irrelevant whether services involve one or more networks.
- This requirement, related with usability, shields end-users (and applications) from the underlying complexity of HIT-GATE and facilitates use (and adoption) of the gateway services.
4. HIT-GATE shall be secure and shall comply with pre-established security policies
- HIT-GATE shall be developed adopting methodologies defined for critical security systems, shall use secure technology and shall use proven security techniques for comprehensive end-to-end security across all networks.
- HIT-GATE shall also comply with pre-established processes and security policies. This means that although HIT-GATE technology may allow communications across different First Responders’ networks, but, if security policies prohibit it, access is denied.
- This is a critical aspect for First Responders interoperability that surpasses the technological domain.
5. HIT-GATE shall be transportable, rapidly deployable and autonomous
- HIT-GATE shall be easily transportable by vehicle in the case of emergencies and crisis events.
6. HIT-GATE shall comply with mission critical requirements
- HIT-GATE shall meet high-availability (no less than 99.9%), dependability, low-latency, security and safety
7. HIT-GATE shall automatically integrate new networks of known type
- In order to ensure continuous operation of the gateway, when a network of a known type becomes connected to the HIT-GATE, this occurrence shall be detected and HIT-GATE shall automatically build supported cross-network services according to the respective network characteristics and security policies.
- These properties are: (i) ‘plug’n’play’, being the ability for new networks (of known type) to be connected to HIT-GATE and become ready to use and (ii) ‘on-the-fly’, being the HIT-GATE ability to automatically adapt and work with newly connected networks (of known type) without need to temporarily stop services.
- Required services to implement in HIT-GATE include self-configuration, self management and network/service discovery.
8. HIT-GATE shall require minimal or no changes to existing public safety communication infrastructures
- HIT-GATE will enable communications to first responders during operations across heterogeneous networks, using their current receiver equipments and with no impact on currently used public-safety communications base-stations and infrastructures other than providing a connection-point to HIT-GATE.
- Connection with HIT-GATE may be achieved in a variety of ways, ranging form PSTN/ISDN/PABX link to radio-patch.
9. HIT-GATE shall provide a modular architecture allowing incorporation of future network types
- HIT-GATE shall be developed in a way that allows adding new network (of known type) in a modular way, therefore ensuring an always up-to-date gateway.
- HITGATE will ensure interoperability between the ‘old’ and the ‘new’, according to cross-network services supported by each network.
10. HIT-GATE shall provide open-interfaces and will provide recommendations for standards
- HIT-GATE shall provide open-interfaces and a wide range of services across networks, based on widely adopted standards. These include IP as basis protocol (for level 3 OSI interoperability), IPTV, VoIP, and SIP/SDP for signaling (including core components S-CSCF, P-CSCF, I-CSCF and HSS).
- For operational data exchange, the format defined by the TSO (Tactical Situation Object) will be used as reference.
- ISI for interoperability between PSC networks may be used for countrywide or regional networks for the purpose of roaming.
11. HIT-GATE shall address recommendations for interoperability dealing with operational, organizational and legal aspects
- Need for a set of standards for public safety services
- Need to establish standard operating procedures
- Need to preserve First Responders’ habits
- Need to establish security policies at European Level
- Need to regulate PSC spectrum bands
- Need to agree on a common language.