TETRA has arrived in the Americas – Interview with Andy Schwartz, Director of Radio Communications, New Jersey Transit
TETRA has arrived in the Americas, bringing the guarantee of secure voice services alongside data services and applications that offer new efficiencies to Mission Critical Users. This year it has been used to ensure safety and security during the Super Bowl and the FIFA World Cup in Brazil.
IIR recently interviewed, Andy Schwartz, Director of Radio Communications, New Jersey Transit on his experiences of using TETRA during the Superbowl.
IIR: How has the TETRA Network for New Jersey Transit developed in the last year?
AS: Since the past year, we have added over 1500 subscribers to our system and are operating throughout the State of New Jersey along our bus and light rail routes. We continue to add base station sites as part of our initial project and are looking to expand coverage to serve the needs of our radio system users.
IIR: What were the challenges in preparing the network, services and users for the Super Bowl 2014?
AS: The Super Bowl was a large undertaking. For radio coverage, there was significant coordination required between all local, state, and national level agencies participating in event along with the NFL. In addition to developing an incident communications plan, public safety frequencies had to be coordinated with the NFL who handles coordination for all non-public safety users, both domestic and international, who were planning on using radio at event. NJ TRANSIT went to the FCC with a request for Special Temporary Authorization using frequencies identified by our consultant for use at three major transit hubs serving the Super Bowl event. The FCC was very helpful and quickly granted our request for a two-week period centered around the date of the game. The final challenge was securing backhaul to connect our TETRA base stations to the core. We used a variety of methods including in-house fiber, microwave, and leased circuits. (more…)