Hytera launched its PTTconnect LTE application at Critical Communications World 2015, which enables voice and data communications to extend beyond a TETRA system to connect with 3G HSDPA or 4G LTE networks. At present it is only available for Android-based devices, but an Apple iOS version is in the pipeline.
A gateway and the PTTconnect app combine to enhance a radio communications system, leveraging the wide availability of broadband networks and delivering secure, immediate and direct communication. PTTconnect represents the fusion of Hytera’s ACCESSNET-T IP TETRA network infrastructure and the broadband world.
Marcus Oltmanns, director of sales support at Hytera Mobilfunk, told Wireless: ‘The PTTconnect server, which comes with a web-based management console, is attached to the TETRA network and provides the connection to the PTTconnect app on the smartphone.’
The PTTconnect app as well as the gateway to the TETRA system are designed to withstand eavesdropping and to facilitate secure communications between the subscribers in both worlds.
The app supports the usual key TETRA functionality including: iIndividual calls; group calls; prioritisation; and emergency calls. The app is designed to be easy to operate and user friendly. Users press and hold down the PTT button on the smartphone’s touchscreen to make and receive calls.
‘One of the main use cases for this product is where a user needs to leave the TETRA coverage area. He can still connect into the TETRA network via his smartphone using cellular coverage. We are looking to develop this further to include applications like mobile despatch in the not too far future,’ revealed Oltmanns.
Radio terminals, DMO and TEDS modem
Oltmanns said that Hytera’s Z1p TETRA handheld radio now has a manufacturer license for TEA 2 level security, so it can now be used by public safety organisations. The ultra-slim radio (only 23 mm) has a transmitting power of 3 Watts, a large 1.8-inch colour display, MIL-STD-810 C/D/E/F/G and IP67 protection and a full keypad.
Hytera has also provided its MT680 mobile radio with DMO (direct mode operation) gateway functionality. This allows an end user to take a handheld radio out of the vehicle and still connect to the network via the DMO capability of the mobile radio in the vehicle, thereby extending the coverage range.
Also on show for the first time at CCW 2015 was a prototype TEDS (TETRA Enhanced Data Service) modem, likely to be commercially available in 2016. Oltmanns said it is really aimed at vehicles to enable police, for example, to send and receive images or access back office systems and databases, such as for vehicle license plates.
Hytera’s latest ATEX intrinsically safe DMR radio, the PD715 Ex was also on show. It is a simplified version of the existing full keypad and display screen PD795 Ex. The PD715 Ex has no keypad or display screen.
Hytera APD Intelligent Patrol Vehicle
In addition to presenting its own capabilities, Hytera presented products from some of its partners such as Poland’s TranzTel (mining and indoor positioning); Ervocom (rail solutions) and ESS (SCADA solutions).
The most eye catching product was the Intelligent Patrol Vehicle from Spanish partner APD. APD is using the features of the MT680 TETRA mobile radio from Hytera in its patrol vehicle, including using the radio to send telemetry data. A police control centre can use the data to observe speed, tank capacity, fuel consumption and the odometer of their patrol fleet.
The MT680 also provides GPS based positioning data, which can be used for AVL (Automatic Vehicle Location) applications. The radio can also be installed with a remote head unit, which provides all control elements of the radio.
Oltmanns said that 100 vehicles have been supplied to the Peruvian Police. He pointed to the back of vehicle, which houses the power supply, HSPA router, the storage system for the video cameras and the AVL database, which at the moment has to be updated each day in the vehicle depot.
The car has two cameras devoted to constantly scanning license number plates and another facing inside the car to photograph suspects. It also has a fingerprint sensor installed and a Wi-Fi hotspot. ‘Everything can also be seen and controlled by the command and control centre,’ said Oltmanns.