A consortium composed of Airbus Defence and Space and Belgacom has been awarded a major renewal contract for the Belgian nationwide TETRA network. It aims to strengthen crucial components of the core network and will provide more efficient system management and additional security.
The network, called Astrid, currently serves about 56,000 users from all public safety and security services (police, fire, health and ambulance services), and several utility and transport companies in Belgium.
To guarantee its users uninterrupted network performance and quality service, the network operator, also called Astrid, has drawn up the renewal plan, which will start with the replacement of the core network infrastructure and monitoring systems.
The contract covers the exchange of eleven provincial switches (DXT), the optimisation of the architecture, and the evolution of the technology to IP (Internet Protocol). As the brain of the radio network, the switches handle the routing of all radio communications and identify the radio position.
Daniel Haché, director of external relations at Astrid, highlighted the importance of the contract: “Belgian emergency and security services rely heavily on the communications systems provided by Astrid. For us, TETRA remains the very best technology for mobile voice communications in the public safety sector. This renewal contract clearly shows that besides the launch of the 3G data service via Blue Light Mobile, Belgium will continue to work with TETRA and is still investing in this technology.”
Nicole Lecca, head of secure land communications at Airbus Defence and Space, said: “This new contract with our longstanding customer Astrid illustrates that TETRA will remain an essential asset for mission-critical voice communications in the next decade. We are continuing our development efforts in this technology as an integral part of our solutions portfolio for secure communications.”