TETRA scores major breakthrough in the US after FCC approval

Successful lobbying by the TETRA Association clears the way for TETRA equipment to compete in the 450-470MHz and 817-824/862-869MHz bands

TETRA scores major breakthrough in the US after FCC approval

Successful lobbying by the TETRA Association clears the way for TETRA equipment to compete in the 450-470MHz and 817-824/862-869MHz bands

The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has granted approval for products conforming to the TETRA voice and data communications standard to be available in the US for business, industrial and transport sectors. Users requiring mission-critical communications can now consider TETRA as a potential option.

The TETRA Association and its members have been working for the last 18 months to ensure TETRA technology meets the requirements of the FCC. As a result of these efforts, the FCC has granted a waiver of its part 90 rules to allow equipment conforming to the ETSI TETRA standard to be type accepted in the US.

The waiver covers equipment operating in the 450-470MHz and 817-824/862-869MHz bands. The FCC announcement also proposes to follow the waiver with a rulemaking process that will allow TETRA and similar equipment to be permissible on a permanent basis.

The FCC has granted the waiver for all of the 450-470 and part of the 800MHz band originally requested by the TETRA Association. Further work will be required if additional spectrum in the 800MHz bands is required by users.

The waiver means there are now no technical or spectrum-related issues preventing the use of TETRA in the US. TETRA operates in 25kHz channels, but offers 6.25kHz efficiency by providing four voice channels in a 25kHz carrier. In its notice, the FCC made reference to the narrowbanding requirements that will apply to new systems operating in the 150-174MHz and 421-512MHz bands from 2011 and existing systems from 2013.

The FCC commented: ‘Because TETRA equipment operates with the required efficiency, we believe it is in the public interest to authorise this option [TETRA] for licensees that are subject to these narrowbanding deadlines.’ Currently, TETRA is not available in the VHF bands.

‘We applaud the FCC’s decision to allow the use of existing, internationally accepted TETRA technology in North America,’ said William R. Moroney, President/CEO of the US-based Utilities Telecom Council global trade association, adding that ‘it’s an opportunity that is long overdue’.

TETRA Association CEO Phil Kidner said: ‘Choice brings healthy competition, drives innovation and ensures competitive pricing. Members of the TETRA Association are ready to ensure that US users have the opportunity to enjoy these benefits.

‘The Association is delighted by the FCC’s decision, and grateful to PowerTrunk and Sepura for providing the technical advice and information to assist the FCC in its consideration of our waiver application. We would also like to thank RCC Consultants for providing their expertise and knowledge of the US market and its procedures,’ he added.

Written by Wireless magazine
Wireless magazine

1Comment

  1. Guest
    Guest9th Jun 2011

    Its spooky how clever some ppl are Thakns

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