Chris Cant, product and solution specialist at Tait Communications, tells Wireless at PMR Expo 2012 in Cologne: ‘There is a lot of interest in DMR here in Europe. The high end of the market is well served by P25 and TETRA, but there is nothing in the middle digital radio range. The big driver for change is the migration from analogue to digital radio and with our solution users can roam across DMR and existing analogue MPT1327 networks.’
Tait offers a full solution from base stations (the DMR TB9300 base station/repeater is based on its TB180 analogue base station), node switching, TP9300 portable radios and TM9300 mobile radios. It also provides an easy migration path from analogue to digital, as DMR uses the same 12.5kHz channels, while antennas, combiners and other site equipment can be re-used, thereby reducing the customer’s CapEx investment.
‘DMR Tier III doubles the channel capacity as each base station has two physical channels – so that’s four time slots with TDMA. You only need to change a couple of elements, the resister and the front panel – nothing else changes on migration from analogue to digital,’ points out Cant.
The DMR network is scalable from single sites up to wide area networks with multiple nodes and up to 1,000 base stations and 100 network gateways. One node will support up to 200 voice paths and a network can have up to 20 nodes.
Tait’s DMR system offers integrated GPS and AVL for workforce and vehicle location, integrated Bluetooth technology, while Wi-Fi can be used to connect to smartphones and DMR portables, undertake workforce management applications, remote configuration, updates and data collection.
Security is provided with an end-to-end DES and 128 and 256 bit AES encryption across the DMR network. The Tait Key Management Facility supports this and allows for instant distribution of fresh encryption keys. While Tait believes DMR Tier III will be attractive to public safety users, it also sees network security as a key feature for other sectors. ‘Anything using IP must be protected. We don’t want utilities being hacked into, for example,’ says Cant.
The Tait Enable suite, including EnableMonitor, provides the real-time reporting tools necessary to monitor the health of a Tait DMR network, while EnableReport gives users the ability to generate and circulate network performance data to ensure network optimisation and measurement against KPIs and service level agreements.
Cant says Tait is committed to ensuring DMR remains an open standard so that customers are not locked into one vendor. ‘We have undertaken 12 DMR Association interoperability tests so far,’ she reports. ‘What happens is that the infrastructure vendor invites the terminal vendor to their premises. So, Tait invited Hytera to New Zealand to test its terminals and we went to China to test ours with Hytera. Next up for us is Selex Elsag and Simoco.’
Tait has opted to work with partners when it comes to offering most applications. ‘Our big selling point is that the DMR standard is open so it is much easier to add applications and provide solutions,’ says Cant. ‘We have our own network management solutions; it’s an off the shelf solution, but it can be customised to suit the client’s needs.’