Resolution of the Council of Ministers no. 88/99, of 12 of August

Presidência do Conselho de Ministros (Presidency of the Council of Ministers)


As it is vitally important to guarantee the inter-operation between emergency and security communications, it is advisable to install and use a single infrastructure which will serve as a support for the radio-communications of the various entities in these fields, to the detriment of the multiplicity of currently existing networks. The European Telecommunications Standardisation Institute (ETSI), under the auspices of the European Union, has developed the European digital trunking norm TETRA, which has already been adopted by various European countries.

As this norm best complies with the operational needs of the emergency and security forces, it is also important that it be adopted in Portugal upon establishing the future emergency and security mobile network. Systems such as digital trunking are the most advanced mobile radio-communication means for establishing communications among closed user groups involved in the security and emergency areas, simultaneously allowing for inter-operation among the entities which share the same infrastructure.

The existence of a single network for communications of this nature is an appropriate manner of ensuring a more rationalised management of financial resources and optimal use of the radio-electric spectrum. Furthermore, it also makes it possible to efficiently meet the operational requisites of security and emergency services, namely with regard to levels of communication quality, reliability and security.

It is also important to emphasise that Law nr. 91/97, of 1 August, which defines the general bases for establishing, managing and exploring networks and telecommunication services, indicates that regulations in the area encompassed by the present resolution are to be developed. Thus, in terms of paragraph g) of article 199 of the Constitution, the Cabinet resolved:

1. The future mobile emergency and security network must be based on a single infrastructure, which shall serve as a medium for most of the radio-communications established by the entities participating in this area.

2. For the purposes of the provisions in the previous point, a technological migration process of the present emergency and security networks to digital trunking must be initiated. Said process must be carried out in phases and adapted to the technological and operational specifications of the various existing networks, with a view to modernising communications and guaranteeing inter-operation among the various entities in the previously mentioned areas.

3. The following entities must be integrated into the future mobile emergency and security network, without prejudice to others that may come to be identified: the Judicial Police, Public Safety Police, the National Republican Guard, the Information and Security Service, the Foreigners and Border Service, the Nature Conservation Institute, the Directorate-General of Forests, the National Civil Protection Service, the National Fire-fighters Service, the associations for voluntary fire-fighters, the National Medical Emergency Institute and the Portuguese Red Cross.

4. Up until the constitution of the mobile network referred to in point 1, there shall be guaranteed access to the frequency bands related to emergency and security communications, reserved for this purpose by the Instituto das Comunicações de Portugal (ICP), for the entities referred to in point 3 which request it and which also use TETRA technology and undertake to transfer the management and use of stations and equipment, under the terms which come to be agreed upon between the parties, to the entity which comes to hold the single infrastructure related to emergency and security communications.

5. It shall fall upon the Ministry of Internal Administration (MAI) to co-ordinate the process leading to the establishment and supply of the future national mobile emergency and security network, to be implemented in accordance with TETRA technology, on frequency band 380-400 MHz, in function of the system s technical and operation specifications defined by ICP.

6. It shall fall upon ICP to propose to the Member of Government responsible for the communications sector, the legislative and regulatory instruments necessary for the tender to select the support network operator, as well as to consign frequencies to the radio-communication stations constituting it, in co-ordination with General Staff of the Armed Forces (EMGFA).

7. The Ministry of Internal Administration must contact the many central administration State departments that guard entities with attributions in the emergency and security area, be it with a view to identifying the respective communication needs, global and individual, or to gathering data to draw up a book of specifications necessary for the realisation of the tender.

Presidency of the Cabinet, 22 July 1999. The Prime Minister, António Manuel de Oliveira Guterres.