Galileo Public Regulated Service (PRS)

Navigation services are becoming a critical element of a properly functioning society. Emergency and police operations, for example, depend on accurate location information. The Public Regulated Service (PRS), which is protected against interferences, jamming and spoofing, aims to provide secure and reliable timing and geolocation information to public authorities and operators critical for the security of supply.

Photo: © ESA–Pierre Carril

FICORA manages the Public Regulated Service (PRS) provided by the Galileo navigation satellite system in Finland. The service is intended for public authorities, including emergency and security authorities, as well as companies critical for the security of supply. Finland will be one of the first countries to start utilising the service around 2020.

Making full use of the service requires a sufficient number of Galileo navigation satellites. At the moment, there are 18 satellites in the sky. Of them 11 are fully operational and 4 are prepared to be deployed. The final constellation foresees a total of 24–30 satellites. In December 2016, the European Commission announced that the Galileo Initial Services are available. These services, which are still limited in performance, include the PRS.

Increasingly advanced satellite navigation systems provide a more comprehensive and accurate positioning and time signal as well as enable new services based on such signals. FICORA also supports the development of navigation systems and related applications, as well as promotes the creation of new business opportunities for Finnish companies.

Satellite navigation is vulnerable to interference

Jamming of satellite navigation means intentional radio transmission that masks the navigation satellite system signal in the navigation receiver. Even a relatively small and inexpensive jammer can disrupt the reception of a conventional satellite signal.

Spoofing means transmission of counterfeit time and location signals that causes the navigation receiver to compute erroneous geolocation or timing information. In such case the user believes to be somewhere other than he or she actually is, or it may cause a system using time signals to operate incorrectly.

The Galileo PRS signal occupies a wide bandwidth, offers an increased performance compared to open navigation signals and is encrypted, which means that it is resistant to jamming and spoofing.

PRS is part of the society's preparedness

Authorities must be able to guarantee the safety of the citizens in all circumstances. By using the PRS, authorities can strengthen the strategic and critical systems of the society, such as systems for data and energy transfer as well as financial systems, even in crisis and emergency situations.

The basic idea of the PRS is to support European public security and emergency services, internal security, and the operations of customs authorities in tasks where the continuity of services is especially critical. The use of the PRS is limited to authorised users by means of the PRS encryption keys.

The PRS is based on Decision 1104/2011/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council and Regulation (EU) No 1285/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council.

FICORA is the competent PRS authority in Finland as provided in the Information Society Code. The NCSC-FI is responsible for the PRS duties.

FICORA's role as the PRS authority includes

  • promoting the introduction of the PRS in Finland;
  • ensuring that Finnish authorities and businesses can receive time and
  • location signals emitted by European navigation satellites without interference;
  • providing authorised users with the keys necessary for interpreting the encrypted signals;
  • setting the conditions for Finnish businesses to manufacture PRS equipment and applications;
  • supervising, e.g., the compliance of the operations and the fulfillment of the minimum requirements set for the information security of PRS receivers and technology in the research, development, and production phases.

Users other than public authorities may also apply for an authorisation to use the PRS. In Finland, such applications are submitted to FICORA.

Concrete PRS applications

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More secure positioning with the PRS satellite service

EMAIL: prs (at) ficora (dot) fi

Key words: Information security , Coverage , Coverage area , Cyber security , Emergency traffic , Faults and disturbances , Public regulated service , PRS , Satellite positioning , Targeted attack

Updated 16.11.2017

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The Finnish Communications Regulatory Authority (FICORA)

The National Cyber Security Centre Finland (NCSC-FI)

Itämerenkatu 3 A

P.O. Box 313


Media contacts by telephone +358 295 390 248