ETELM of France, a provider of critical communications infrastructure, has unveiled what it describes as the world’s first gateway-free TETRA base station, designed to operate seamlessly over LTE networks.
The e-TBS is a fully converged TETRA and LTE solution, allowing single or multiple e-TBS TETRA base stations, or a complete TETRA network, to sit on the LTE core without the need for external gateways. e-TBS may be integrated either into a private or into a public LTE network.
‘This is a tremendous breakthrough for the future development of critical communications around the world and it will create new opportunities right across the industry - from LTE operators to equipment vendors, while also giving a migration path for current narrowband operations,’ said ETELM president Pierre Minot.
‘There is much debate at the moment about LTE and critical communications. The e-TBS solves the current spectrum and technical issues that remain and opens up the debate and opportunities, not just for public service networks but for other sectors such as transport networks, airports and other mission critical communication users requiring access to broadband data.
‘There is deliberation surrounding the ability of commercial network operators to fulfil the needs of mission critical users,’ he continued. ‘The e-TBS solution, allows distinct VPNs to be configured to allow users and network operators to define clear demarcation between mission critical voice and data services and LTE broadband data and voice.
‘Combined with the limited frequency spectrum availability for users, this feature is key to providing users access to broadband mobile data, whilst retaining their critical communications needs,’ added Minot.
The launch of the e-TBS follows two years of research and development at the ETELM laboratories in France.
Among the advantages of the e-TBS are that: TETRA voice features can be merged with LTE’s high speed mobile broadband; existing TETRA users can be retained or redeployed; there is easy integration with new LTE applications; narrowband 25KHz frequencies can be retained; and the product has a built in controller capable of multiple cell management.
The benefits that the e-TBS brings to the market include:
- Existing TETRA networks can be expanded and all subscriber equipment retained
- There will be low cost migration and integration of narrowband and broadband technologies
- Low population areas can be serviced through the narrowband network
- There is always a network coverage solution where wideband frequency spectrum is limited
- Existing software applications and control centres can be retained
- Existing backhaul may be integrated and form part of the LTE core.
With the advent of LTE 4G services, one of the big challenges in mission critical communications is that it must not fall behind the commercial sector,’ said Minot.
‘The e-TBS basestation makes sure that this will not happen, and from today has taken the need and desire for a seamless link between the two technologies from being a concept into a reality,’ he added.
ETELM, based in Paris, France develops and manufactures the complete TETRA network including TETRA switch, TETRA base stations and a range of software applications including network management, dispatcher, voice recorders and gateways to other technologies.