The vision of Sweden having a single radio system for all public safety authorities has become a reality as the RAKEL system rolls out in the Stage 1 zone, encompassing the counties of Skåne, Blekinge and Kalmar in southern Sweden. Stage 1 has been officially approved and the transition to full operational use is under way. The system was delivered to the Swedish Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) by its developers, a consortium comprised of Saab, EADS and Eltel Networks.

SEMA expects the whole of Stage 1 of the system to be in full operational use after the summer. Stage 2 is now under way, encompassing the Gävleborg, Kronoberg, Stockholm, Södermanland, Uppsala and Västmanland counties in eastern central Sweden. The system will then be expanded in five further stages across Sweden, to be up and running nationwide by around 2010.

Thomas Eriksson, managing director of Saab Communication — a new Saab business unit focusing on robust communication — stated, "We are very pleased and proud to have made this delivery from the Saab, EADS and Eltel Networks consortium, and that SEMA can now bring the system into live operation. Roll-out is now continuing in Gävleborg, Kronoberg, Stockholm, Södermanland, Uppsala and Västmanland, and we plan to be able to hand over that stage to SEMA in late 2006/early 2007."