Learn, Define And Develop The Evolution Of Critical Communications


By Sandra Wendelken, Radio Resource

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Nearly 200 people gathered in New York City for TETRA Congress Americas to learn more about TETRA technology and hear from North American mission-critical communications users who have deployed the technology.

The FCC and Industry Canada both granted approval for the TETRA standard’s use in the United States and Canada, respectively, in 2011.

One theme among the speakers was the use of data applications available with the European Telecommunications and Standards Institute (ETSI) standard. Many users included details on data features, such as a GPS check-in feature for remote workers, CAD control of a radio system, text messaging and others, that allow them to more efficiently run their businesses. In addition, although many vendors are targeting non-public-safety users, public-safety applications were noted in many presentations.

Attendees of the TETRA Congress Americas, held Nov. 14 and 15, heard Adam French, telecommunications manager with Canadian utility BC Hydro, outline that utility’s deployment, which includes 16 sites and 500 users. BC Hydro was the first North American entity to sign a TETRA contract.

Andrew Schwartz, New Jersey Transit director of radio communications, is rolling out a TETRA network to 4,000 users. The system will be put to the test during the Superbowl, which will be held at MetLife Stadium in New Jersey in February. Schwartz said gateways will provide interoperability between the New Jersey Transit radios and public-safety agencies’ radios during the event.

TETRA will replace an iDEN system at Los Angeles International Airport, said John Monto, Arinc director, radio technology solutions. Arinc operates iDEN networks at 23 airports across the country, and TETRA will likely be the replacement technology for all the airports under a five-year plan, he said.

The Toronto Transit Commission is replacing five separate VHF and UHF systems with one TETRA network, said Kent Bayley, senior engineer communications for the transit agency. He discussed the coverage challenges of the subway system and how TETRA is addressing those needs. Francesco Pasquali, with the security and smart systems division of Selex, highlighted the Canadian military’s use of TETRA on its Navy ships. Selex is supplying TETRA technology on 12 Canadian ships

TETRA Congress Americas will return to America in October 2014. To keep up to date with all the latest news visit http://www.tetracongressamericas.com

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