TETRA show review

This year’s TETRA World Congress, held in Singapore on 26-27 May, brought together more than 2,300 attendees, over 80 exhibitors and 150 speakers to learn about, discuss and explore the TETRA market as it enters its second decade. Wireless reports fr

TETRA show review

The Congress opened with a series of announcements regarding TETRA Enhanced Data Services (TEDS) solutions. TEDS capable radios and infrastructure enable users to enjoy a far richer TETRA experience and have the potential to provide TETRA experiences similar to that of cellular smartphones, while simultaneously offering the advantages of TETRA.

Motorola announced its range of TEDS capable equipment, which is spearheaded by its MTM5400 radio. That device, the first TETRA mobile with voice and TEDS capability, offers advanced networking capabilities and over-the-air programming to enable more efficient fleet management. The company also launched what it claims is the world’s smallest TEDS capable base station, the MTS1.

Meanwhile, EADS confirmed that its TEDS offering is currently being tested in the field by State Security Networks, which operates the VIVRE network in Finland. The company has also announced its TEDS data radio, which is designed for vehicle or integrated applications. The device provides direct IP connectivity via Ethernet or standard USB. Features include GPS to enable high-speed location based services such as transmission of maps with real-time updated position information.

Phil Godfrey, chairman of The TETRA Association, who opened the event along with Phil Kidner, CEO of the Association, said the availability of TEDS demonstrates how effectively the standard continues to develop. He went on to say that such development is important in maintaining TETRA as a vital and advancing technology.

Much of TETRA’s strength is its applicability to vertical industries that often operate in hostile or hazardous environments. Vendors at the show made a raft of announcements demonstrating the widespread appeal of TETRA.

On the rails

In the rail sector, wireless coverage specialist Axell Wireless announced that its equipment will be used to support communications and public safety systems on Chinese underground train networks in Beijing, Guangzhou and Nanjing. Axell Wireless will deploy TETRA repeaters to ensure high quality wireless coverage on Metro Line 15 in Beijing, Guanzhou’s Metro Line 3 extension and its APM line, and Nanjing’s Metro Line 1 extension.

Finnish vendor Creowave also unveiled its expanded range of TETRA repeaters at the show. The new product, the TETRA Highpower Repeater, has higher RF output power than previous repeaters in the company’s portfolio. The company said the repeater is particularly suited to large indoor or outdoor environments and long transport tunnels.

Fuel for thought

In the oil and gas sector, Damm announced that its TetraFlex solution has been chosen by Chevron Australia to provide the secure, mission critical wireless voice and data communications for its Gorgon Liquified Natural Gas (LNG) Project in Western Australia. The project is one of the world’s largest natural gas projects and, with more than 50 carriers involved, it is the largest private TETRA network in Australia. It also encompasses the telecommunications on the Barrow Island with links to the mainland, including a link to the city of Perth. The TetraFlex system will integrate to on-site AVL/APL, dispatch consoles, IP telephony and alarm monitoring systems.

EADS also said it is involved in a project to deploy TETRA along the 5,700km oil pipeline that runs from eastern Siberia to the Pacific Ocean. The pipeline project, called VSTO, is the longest in the world and traverses some of the most remote regions in the world. In such a harsh climate, reliable communications are critical and the TETRA system will enable operators to arrange conference calls at the touch of a button. More than 100 base stations are to be deployed along the pipeline, and the handheld terminals used in the field will be compliant with oil industry specifications for working in potentially hazardous environments. Intrinsically safe THR880i Ex units have been selected.

Olympian challenges

In the large events sector, SELEX Communications, a Finmeccanica company, and TETRASVYAZ presented the TETRA network for the Winter Olympic Games 2014 in Sochi, Russian Federation. The networking project will be developed within the framework of the agreements signed by the Italian and the Russian Governments in 2009.

The Olympic Games network – which will be one of the largest professional radio communication networks using the TETRA standard in the Eastern Europe – will cover a significant part of Krasnodar, the region in which Sochi is located. It will cover the area of the Olympic facilities, settlements, airports and transport means of the Black sea coast of Russia.

The network will be failsafe, designed for equipment operation in unattended mode. It will be composed of 90 base stations and two switching and control nodes. It will include a communications control centre, dispatching centre, antenna feeders, commutation units, base stations and subscribers equipment as well as connection to a general telephone network. The network will also provide data transfer from GLONASS satellites and monitoring services for mobile facilities, in the interest of state and commercial users.

Also on the Olympian theme, Airwave announced that it is ahead of schedule for its delivery of communications solutions for the London 2012 Olympics and Paralympics. The company is designing and building the Apollo PMR network for the event. The network will deliver secure coverage for 12,500 organisers. Delivery reached the halfway point in April and the company now has nine months in which to complete construction and testing before the system is trialled by the organisers in 2011.

Leisure time

In the leisure sector, Motorola revealed it has deployed TETRA technology across the 6 million sq.ft. Marina Bay Sands business, leisure and hotel complex in Singapore. The company’s TEDS ready Dimetra IP switch solution is being installed.

See you in Budapest

Next year’s TETRA World Congress will be held in Budapest, Hungary on 24-27 May 2011. Budapest is an appropriate venue. With 40,000 connected terminals, the Hungarian TETRA network is one of the largest in the region.

Written by Wireless magazine
Wireless magazine

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