Feeds

ENISA wants mobes to wander freely between carriers in emergencies

If your network's crocked, another one picks up the load in the national interest

Application security programs and practises

The European Union Agency for Network and Information Security (ENISA) has floated the idea that all mobile phones should be able to roam to another network within their country of residence, in order to enhance the resilience of mobile networks.

The idea is outlined in a new report, titled ”National Roaming for Resilience: National roaming for mitigating mobile network outages (PDF).

The thinking behind the report is simple: “Every day millions of European citizens rely on mobile telephony for work, social life, but also to contact emergency services. Hence outages of a mobile network can have a severe impact on the economy and on society.”

ENISA's remit is to keep Europe's communications lines open and secure, which makes mobile resilience of interest. The document also says Article 13a of the European Union's (EU's) “legislative framework for electronic communications ... asks EU Member States to ensure security and resilience of electronic communication services and networks”, making a look at resilience for Europe's mobile phones a natural for the organisation.

The document's central idea is that it would be lovely if all EU members had at least some form of roaming, so that subscribers hit by outages could still connect their phones to a network. Roaming could be be regulatory fiat, as is the case in The Netherlands where telcos experiencing a three-day outage have to make other arrangements for customers, or could be as simple as allowing roaming onto whichever carrier can be bothered providing service in remote areas.

The report's nine recommendations also suggest mutual aid agreements so that all of a nation's telcos sign up to the same rules. Prioritising voice and SMS traffic over data is also suggested.

Another recommendation calls for EU members to consider which organisations rely on mobile phone networks for critical communications and get them to the table to consider how to plan for outages. Even machine-to-machine communications sector gets a mention, with a nod to the increasing prevalence of such interaction and a suggestion of fresh risk assessments that model network outages.

This being a pan-European effort, there's a lot more talking to be done before anything gets done. And in some countries nothing needs to be done – they already have intra-country roaming in place. For the rest of the EU, however, it is hoped the document is a conversation-starter. And perhaps one day a conversation-sustainer-at-vital-moments, too. ®

HP ProLiant Gen8: Integrated lifecycle automation

More from The Register

next story
Adam Afriyie MP: Smart meters are NOT so smart
Mega-costly gas 'n' 'leccy totting-up tech not worth it - Tory MP
Just TWO climate committee MPs contradict IPCC: The two with SCIENCE degrees
'Greenhouse effect is real, but as for the rest of it ...'
'Blow it up': Plods pop round for chat with Commonwealth Games tweeter
You'd better not be talking about the council's housing plans
Arrr: Freetard-bothering Digital Economy Act tied up, thrown in the hold
Ministry of Fun confirms: Yes, we're busy doing nothing
ONE EMAIL costs mining company $300 MEEELION
Environmental activist walks free after hoax sent share price over a cliff
Help yourself to anyone's photos FOR FREE, suggests UK.gov
Copyright law reforms will keep m'learned friends busy
Apple smacked with privacy sueball over Location Services
Class action launched on behalf of 100 million iPhone owners
UK government officially adopts Open Document Format
Microsoft insurgency fails, earns snarky remark from UK digital services head
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable
Learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.