French company Detracom is the inventor of extended-DMR (e-DMR) which adds a third slot to DMR’s traditional two-slot technology. This innovation provides a 50% higher spectral efficiency than DMR, but remains within the 12.5KHz channel spacing.
The advantage of the third slot is that the customer can keep two voice communication slots open and use the third slot for short data transmissions such as GPS, SMS, signalling and network registration.
The company’s Detranet range consists of base stations, mobile and hand-portable radios designed to be easily integrated into existing networks or for the deployment of new single or multi-site digital networks. It operates in all PMR frequency bands including 30-50MHz, 68-88MHz, 146-174MHz and 410-470MHz.
When Wireless met up with Detracom back at PMR Summit 2011, the company had embarked on a pilot project for energy provider EDF in France and was talking to a number of other customers. A year later – what progress has been made?
Serge Huc, directeur général at Detracom (pictured), reports that progress has been made both in developing additional functionality for the technology and on securing more customers.
‘End users want to know more about the evolution of the market, but we have found that e-DMR is really meeting customer expectations a lot more than we expected,’ says Huc. ‘We have other EDF networks coming soon, on Reunion Island, for example. We have also made progress in the Middle East and with the Ministry of Forestry in Turkey. We currently have projects that we have almost signed elsewhere in Europe and in Africa.’
Huc says when it comes to the technology itself, Phase 1 – the single channel, one site deployment – is reaching maturity. Phase two, the trunking phase with different channels on one site, will be available by the end of 2013.
‘All the aspect of the radio network system are under control and will be launched very soon. As for the technology we don’t want to keep it just for us – we are very open to partners. It is open source and we want to grow the ecosystem,’ invites Huc. ‘We are going more into the application layer now and we are definitely open to integrators interested in using our networks to transmit information.’
He adds: ‘By the end of this year we will issue what we call the ATTS (automatic terminal tracking system). The ATTS is not only about control, it also allows us to manage voice calls and the flow of data on the network at the same time. It is an automatic system that handles the volume of traffic and ensures the network does not get saturated.
‘It also allows you to know the status of a terminal and change its personalisation,’ he continues.
‘We can do GPS and remote control of in-field terminals and systems. For example, we can handle machine-to-machine data applications for the electricity industry.’
Huc adds that Detracom is developing a second generation of products built around the Linux Node, so that they are open to the IP world. ‘All our products can be connected through IP. It is very important for users – even if the application is not within the radio network you can remotely access it from anywhere in the world on the radio equipment, as long as you have an IP connection,’ says Huc.
Having an IP connection means Detracom can provide remote software updates, terminal reconfiguration or even put the radio into transmitting mode to do tests. ‘You must remember that our equipment can support the GSM model,’ he says. ‘You can take the SIM out of your phone, plug it into the radio and use it as a GSM device for voice calls.’
Huc reports that Detracom has some ‘very interesting projects’ in the works and in two years time he believes the company will secure more than 50% of its turnover from outside of Europe.