Seven ways to make savings on your TETRA network

Many TETRA network users are facing the prospect of funding cuts. Motorola Solutions argues that there are a wide range of savings available to customers right now that will reduce their operating costs while enhancing their networks

Seven ways to make savings on your TETRA network

Many public safety organisations are currently trying to balance a requirement to find savings with the need to protect their frontline service. There are, however, a range of initiatives that can provide cost and efficiency savings for organisations using TETRA networks.

Existing operators can work on optimising the efficiency of their network and reducing their operating costs. New users, who may be hesitant to deploy TETRA networks, need to look at the overall cost of ownership and see the benefits of migrating to the latest TETRA equipment.

Motorola can point to a number of ways to make savings including reducing transmission costs, minimising power consumption and rental space and by making a greater use of advanced applications.

Save up to 70% on transmission costs

Backhaul costs are a major factor in the overall expense of using a TETRA network. The use of the latest transmission technologies can bring considerable long-term savings to operational expenditure. Some customers are rolling out MPLS (Multi-Protocol Label Switching) networks at a price that is significantly lower than traditional E1 or X21 networks.

Savings of up to 70% on transmission costs are possible. Furthermore, a number of transmission providers in Europe have started to announce end-of-life plans for E1 circuit-based transmission networks in order to prepare customers for the transition from 2012 onwards. Beyond this period, customers remaining on E1 transmission may be required to pay a premium to continue with these services, or indeed be forced to migrate to newer transmission technologies such as Ethernet and MPLS.

Up to 70% power consumption savings

Motorola’s latest generation of TETRA systems leverage best-of-breed developments from a number of interrelated technologies, such as virtualisation and multiple OS support used by the IT industry, to create one of the leanest, most efficient and yet most powerful TETRA system offerings ever.

These systems are delivering real and tangible benefits through a 70% reduction in power consumption and up to 70% reduction in the physical footprint that will go straight into the pockets of its customers.

Another advantage of providing powerful servers is that they provide additional headroom capacity, enabling Motorola to offer customers even greater levels of redundancy and the ability to scale up their networks to meet ever rising demand.

The latest generation of Motorola base stations have also been optimised for minimising power consumption and operate at lower temperatures with industry-leading performance.

Another savings innovation is Motorola’s recently launched single carrier base station, MTS1, aimed at customers who require indoor or outdoor coverage in a compact unit. Units can be rack mounted or attached to a wall or mast, potentially avoiding any rental charge. MTS1 marks the arrival of our most efficient base station ever, utilising the same power as that of a single light bulb, compared to other base stations on the market operating at several kilowatts!

Many networks are designed with spare capacity to cope with emergencies by using extra base radios (or carriers). These consume power 24 hours-a-day, 7 days-a-week, and result in wasted energy costs and a higher carbon footprint. Motorola is introducing a novel way to power down these carriers while they are not being used, but the instant users require the extra capacity the site automatically reactivates. End users experience no disruption to their service, and the network can make even further savings, while also benefiting the environment.

Rental savings

Motorola has made considerable efforts to simplify and reduce the physical footprint of its latest system offerings by up to 70% compared with previous generations. This is good news for those customers seeking to find alternative uses for the freed-up space, such as enabling more operator positions, installing additional peripheral equipment, e.g. location services, or even consolidating site facilities, thereby minimising overhead costs such as rental, air conditioning and staff re-deployment.  

Maximising existing networks

Many organisations have more functionality available to them from today’s networks than they are aware of, so they need help to realise the potential of what they have. Some examples of solutions already available from Motorola include:

• Greater utilisation of personnel with Call Out

Motorola’s Call Out solution is similar to a pager, but has the advantage of running on a priority TETRA data channel. It allows customers to send a message and relay a response back. Customers can organise their resources on the TETRA network without having to rely on a separately run analogue paging network.

The Call Out system enables dispatchers to quickly and efficiently organise resources in an emergency situation, as they can immediately identify who is where and send a message to personnel in the right area. In turn, those personnel have to respond by either accepting or declining. That way the dispatcher knows who is available and can swiftly assemble a group to progress to an incident.

Send images and visual information immediately with WAP Push

WAP Push is another data feature that can be sent over the TETRA network. Critical data such as images, photos and maps can be sent to selected users or groups; for example, a picture of a missing child combined with a text description. Messages can be sent either as ‘normal’ – in which case they can be accessed with just one button push – or as ‘priority’, when the message will be downloaded automatically.

Alternative funding methods

Organisations needing new equipment, but who are hampered by funding cuts, may need to consider alternative procurement solutions. Suppliers and operators will have to find new ways to invest in new equipment and solutions to help end user organisations to save money. For example, suppliers could provide equipment under a leaseback arrangement over a number of years. End users thus avoid a large one-off investment at a time when funding may be hard to come by.

Upgrade improvements – investing to save

When networks are well-maintained and kept current with the latest updates they are far less likely to suffer problems that could impact on vital services to users. In Motorola’s latest system offerings, a comprehensive suite of functionality has been developed that uses the latest advances in technology to help eliminate the risk that system upgrades/enhancements could pose to existing operations, and furthermore significantly reduce the incremental staffing levels and support effort required during these periods.

90,000 minutes in productivity gained over five years by using Integrated Terminal Management

Most terminals receive a number of updates in a year – it might be something like changing audio level settings to comply with new health and safety legislation. In addition, terminals usually undergo a full firmware upgrade once a year. This can be a time consuming and expensive process for organisations with large numbers of radio terminals.

The traditional way of organising upgrades was to have perhaps five specialists to upgrade each handset manually. This can take up to two months given the number of handsets, the difficulties of arranging shifts so terminals are available and the need to cope with carrying out upgrades at multiple locations. A county police

Written by Wireless magazine
Wireless magazine

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