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Overview: International TETRA Awards 2015

TETRA_Awards_2015_009.jpgWinners 2015

The TETRA Awards, now in its fourth year, is judged by: David Chapiro, chairman, Intema Communications SA, Argentina; Roger Dowling, former director of Sepura and TCCA, now an independent industry consultant; Robin Davis chair, TCCA Transport Group and civil business development director, Actica Consulting; Tony Gray, TETRA advocate currently working for P3 in Germany; Adrian Grilli, managing director, JRC UK and board member of EUTC (European Utilities Telecom Council);  Jolly Wong, Hong Kong Police and the TETRA Association’s ambassador in China; Kevin Graham, managing director, Global Digital Solutions; and Richard Lambley, consulting editor, TETRA Today Magazine.

Best use of TETRA for Public safety – sponsored by Airbus Defence and Space

Winner: Motorola Solutions - nationwide public safety network in Norway - Nodnett

Norway’s Nødnett – a multi-agency communication system owned by DNK – is a TETRA-based voice and data network supporting emergency services in a variety of urban and rural environments in Norway and is subordinated to the Ministry of Justice. In 2006, Motorola Solutions was selected as the project’s TETRA technology supplier, and became prime contractor in early 2012.

In Oslo the digital TETRA system connects more than 600,000 calls per month. TEDS improve fieldwork and interoperation across national borders, particularly with the neighbouring Swedish TETRA network. Nødnett has more than 2,100 base stations covering Norway’s 324,000 km2 of land. Motorola Solutions is involved in the construction, maintenance and operations of the system, currently relied on by 25,000 public safety and rescue users.

“TETRA is a vital communications technology that continues to evolve capability to support voice and data for mission-critical operations,” says Derek Phipps, vice president of solutions and services for Europe & Africa, Motorola Solutions. “These awards reflect excellence in this field and highlight the close working partnership we have with our customers, bringing further innovation to TETRA and the way it is used by public safety in the moments that matter.”

One judge says: “TEDS is still regrettably rare globally – excellent to see an operator actually leveraging the power of wideband.”

Highly Commended: Airwave for their work at the NATO 2014 Summit


TETRA_Awards_2015_007.jpgBest TETRA Innovation

Joint Winner: Radlink Communications - BVR5000 Controller

Radlink Communications has developed SCADA telemetry transmission by adapting SDS to fit-for-purpose TETRA radios. This means that relevant packages of data (up to 140 bytes) can be sent between the asset and the control centre on the TETRA radio network per TDMA slot at six times per second.

The BVR5000 features a dual processor, Linux-enabled industrial computer base with HDMI, quad USB 2.0 ports, and dual Gigabit LAN ports. It has self-test and self-diagnostics capabilities, which enable Radlink to track a board’s performance over the TETRA network.

The BVR5000 is a protocol converter: it takes MODBUS TCP packets from the SCADA master and converts them to proprietary SDS packets. SDS is transmitted to a slave, which then converts it to MODBUS RTU protocol.

The judge’s said this is an ‘Excellent product that has been missing from the TETRA vendor community for opening up SCADA opportunities’

Joint Winner: Suomen Virveverkko Oy for Finland’s Hybrid Approach to LTE

Agencies ranging from social services to defence use Finland’s national authority TETRA network (VIRVE) for critical voice and messaging services. To provide these services using broadband technology, the authority has identified five technology evolution steps:

  • The first step is to create a data mobile virtual network operator for the increased data requirements
  • Second step is to own and control subscribers in the LTE core.
  • Step three is to expand the LTE core to dedicated broadband radio access in a chosen location, provided that a critical grade data service exists.
  • Step four is to connect the two networks together.
  • The final step is dismantling the TETRA radio access once broadband service availability and reliability meets all requirements.

Jarmo Vinkvist, CEO of Suomen Virveverkko says: “We are very proud of being the winner of this year’s Tetra Awards. The Finnish emergency and security services rely heavily on the communications systems provided through VIRVE. Tetra will remain our technology for mobile voice communications in the public safety sector for years to come. At the same time we are looking to the future and planning how to get the most benefit from our network that will increasingly provide high speed data facilities to our users. Based on five steps, our plan looks ahead to the hybrid network that covers user needs all the way until 2035.”

Zoltan Wirth, head of global programme delivery and operations at secure land communications at Airbus Defence and Space says: “We are delighted that VIRVE, one of our main customers, has received this innovation award, which also recognises the leading edge of our technology. A hybrid solution consisting of a secure combination of dedicated networks owned by the authorities and commercial networks is proving to be an efficient answer for a country like Finland. It points the way for other critical users to examine how they can best use radio communication and broadband data."

One judge says: “VIRVE has developed a good and sound approach to evolving from TETRA to mission-critical broadband and LTE. This should be a benchmark process for other agencies globally.”

Highly Commended: Motorola Solutions for RTVi over TEDS


TETRA_Awards_2015_060.jpgThe Green TETRA Award – sponsored by Rohill      

Winner: Motorola Solutions - utilising green power solutions to deploy TETRA in remote areas

With the responsibility for long-term operation and maintenance of Norway’s public safety network until 2026, Motorola Solutions has focused on using sustainable solutions in order to support optimised performance over the coming years.

Renewable power from solar panels has been an answer to many problems, with two main benefits being a reduction in the purchase and transport cost of fuel, and an extended life for fuel cells and diesel generators, which reduces the frequency of maintenance visits.

As a partner to Motorola Solutions, PowerControls has designed, manufactured and installed the first alternative power solutions for Nødnett. A hybrid system collects energy from solar panels through a diesel generator and fuel cells, which have been approved for use in national parks.

One judge says: “This is great – very novel and innovative. Good use of methane to hydrogen conversion and solar panels. Wow!”

Highly Commended: Airwave - The Airwave Network


Best Use of TETRA for Transport - sponsored by Huawei

Winner: PowerTrunk - The work with New Jersey’s Super Bowl Transit TETRA Network expansion

In January 2014, the New Jersey Transit statewide TETRA network was expanded by PowerTrunk to directly support NJT’s bus and light rail operations, and the underlying communications networks, for one of the largest sporting events in the world – Super Bowl XLVIII.

While augmenting and reinforcing the TETRA network capacity in the areas surrounding Newark and New York City, attention was given to assuring indoor TETRA coverage for the major transit hubs in the area. These included NJ Transit's Secaucus Junction Station, New York Penn Station, and the Port Authority Bus Terminal in New York City.

The Academy Bus Company, which provides service for NJT in the New Jersey and New York areas, acquired and installed a TETRA site base station in central Manhattan primarily for their own use, which was integrated into the NJT network. It proved to be one of the busiest sites in the entire TETRA network during the Super Bowl.

One judges says: “Excellent example of a TETRA project expansion to support a transport operator during a major event.”

Highly Commended: Motorola Solutions - Avinor Oslo Airport


TETRA_Awards_2015_085.jpgBest Use of TETRA in Utilities

Winner: Sepura - Improved optimisation of resources and energy demand management for CREOS

CREOS Luxembourg, the main owner and operator of electricity and natural gas networks in Luxembourg, is moving towards a smart grid infrastructure and more advanced electricity demand management applications, in order to monitor and control the electricity supply.

CREOS decided to develop a telecoms backbone network based on surface and underground optical fibre to connect 50 high voltage substations to a variety of key locations.

Sepura has started delivering a complete communication solution, comprising a TETRA infrastructure covering 2,586 km², TETRA radio terminals for voice communications, and 2,850 TETRA remote terminal unit (RTU) modems for SCADA control to be deployed in the MV substations.

On accepting the award Jonathan Hamill, VP government and public safety for Sepura comments: "We are proud for the official global recognition awarded to this prestigious project by the International TETRA Awards' judging committee. On behalf of Sepura, I would like to thank all the teams involved in every stage of this large scale project whose dedication and commitment has made tonight's success possible."

Chris D'Aguiar, VP commercial at Sepura concludes: "This outstanding achievement is also a reward for CREOS whose forward thinking and fast decision processes really complemented our flexibility, responsiveness, design and planning capabilities.  This is another important milestone for Sepura as it demonstrates our versatility and our expertise in addressing successfully the requirements of the utilities sector."

One judge comments: “An excellent example of a utility application where TETRA’s data capability is demonstrated, being more significant than the voice component.”

Highly Commended: Suomen Virveverkko Oy - HelenNet merger to VIRVE


Outstanding Single Site TETRA Installation

Winner: Rohill Engineering B.V. - Rapid deployable TETRA for the Nuclear Security Summit

The Netherlands hosted the 2014 Nuclear Security Summit (NSS) on March 24 and 25. In attendance were 58 world leaders, including US president Barack Obama and president Xi Jinping of the People’s Republic of China. Additional security measures were needed to ensure the safety of 5,000 delegates and 3,000 international journalists.

Security was arranged by the Dutch police, who worked alongside the respective leaders’ own security services. In total 13,000 police officers were on duty to guide and protect citizens and delegates during the conference. Special forces relied on four private TetraNode mobile systems to cover the region. Security carried out inspections of the surrounding areas, and monitored the route to the convention centre before and during the event.

For NSS 2014, the solution was selected to provide full equipment redundancy within one cabinet, but without antenna redundancy. The interoperability was limited to a centralised command and control, with a dispatcher solution to a network and control room.

One judges comments: “Perfect application of TETRA flexibility at a critical international world event.”


TETRA_Awards_2015_054.jpgBest Integration of Future Broadband with TETRA

Winner: Huawei - the Huawei eLTE Solution

Huawei created an LTE-based dedicated broadband trunking network for Nanjing Municipal Government by combining a TETRA-based voice trunking system with LTE, in order to meet a growing data demand from Nanjing’s public safety sector.

The existing TETRA system was overlaid with enterprise LTE (eLTE) to enable extended data services. To ensure operational continuity between TETRA and eLTE personnel, an eLTE-TETRA gateway interconnection was implemented, allowing the support of group and P2P voice calls. Priority and pre-emption functionalities are operated on both sides of the eLTE and TETRA networks.

Huawei’s integrated eLTE-TETRA solution has improved the operational efficiency at large-scale public events, such as the 2013 Asian Youth Games and the 2014 Youth Olympic Games. The system was also used to support video transmission from an octocopter drone providing footage of the Olympic flame relay.

The judges said ‘Huawei’s eLTE scheme employs a software-configured gateway to link the LTE and TETRA worlds; delivering reliability, high capacity and advanced services’

Highly Commended: Motorola Solutions - WAVE Work Group Communications – Connecting TETRA with Broadband Networks

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