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  • Date : 13 / 09 / 2013
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  • Comments : Comments Off on Bullets for TETRA’s Role in a Digital, Broadband World

PSP Tetra Overview logo

The boil down result of Tetra for Public safety is simply and demonstrably : “Tetra supplies everything Public Safety has cried to have for the past 20 years”
“Over 140 countries of the World have chosen it over all other protocols for their “Security” or Public Safety radio protocol”
It provides that which P-25 and its variations cannot provide to the “Boots on The Ground”..


a)      There is a “push” for digital broadband radio communications support for Mission Critical First Responders, however it is becoming evident that there is NO single answer, but rather a complementary association of capabilities.

b)       Part 90 25 KHz channels have been “Split” into two 12.5 KHz channels.

c)      Tetra requires 25 KHz channels, and it meets the FCC narrowbanding spectrum efficiency of 4 paths per 25 KHz

d)     Tetra provides un-compromised voice and simultaneous data communications

e)      Tetra provides full duplex hands free operation

f)       Tetra provides robust secure communications at several levels and selectable encryptions.

g)      Broadband digital LTE offers very high data transfer rates (mostly aimed at streaming video or large data base access), presently it does not have provision for voice capabilities, and the physical terminal devices are bulky and fragile.

h)      The lack of voice capability in LTE requires designed and layered into the data transport scheme of LTE as a separate application & function. So far this has been problematic based on issues of latency, session stabilization & lock, and even battery capacity of the terminal devices.


  1. Tetra lead the way towards digital radio communications being successfully deployed in the early 1990’s and presently used in over 125 countries of the World. ref #1
    1. The vocoder was designed from inception to handle the harsh and severe noise environments where communications is most critical.
    2. P-25 was designed as an overlay of Analog and has gone through many variations in order to “get it to work”, and it remains compromised as Civil Fire Ground policy is now to not use P-25, but rather analog.
    3. Tetra has been eagerly accepted and sought after for improved radio communications and additional features, & services. ref #2, 5, 6, 7, 8,
    4. Where P-25 has had to resort to Federal intervention to force its use. (NTIA requirement on Fed frequencies, directions in grant funding documents, and ethereal “Fed Laws”stimulating FUD (Fear, Uncertainty, Doubt) to sway decisions.
    5. Tetra will complement (add to) broadband technologies and communications methods, however it will remain the mainstay of full functional voice and data radio communications for mission critical, enhanced operational, and business radio

communications. ref: 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 16,

  1. LTE will take a long time to provide the same let alone similar services as Tetra which lacks only video ref # 14
    1. LTE Coverage is an issue and serious doubts exist about its capability to provide coverage, let alone basic services before year 2018 – 2020. Ref: #13.
    2. Financial issues abound and the business model is now in question ref: # 15
    3. Part 90 channels need “recapture” of the split-off half channel to create 25 KHz channels for Tetra and other advanced services. FCC has provisions for this in the R&R.
      1. Also, additional spectrum in Part 90 can be freed for 25 KHz channels
      2. Part 22 frequencies associated with Auction 40, 48, and 95 should be:

i.      designated for centralized trunking systems and for

ii.      channel pairs of for repeaters

iii.      maintaining the 20, 25, and 30 KHz channels, to promote technology, never “split” or narrowband

iv.      Removing the FCC synthetic limit of 20 KHz occupied bandwidth for these channels

v.      Cease auction of these frequencies and permanently allocate them to Part 90 type of use

vi.      Facilitate the location and determination of unused channels/spectrum in this group

vii.      Reallocate the “Air Ground” service frequencies for inclusion into this group for repeater or Trunking operation.

  1. Retain 25 – 50 MHz for use in difficult terrain and clutter inhibited propagation situations.

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  • Date : 17 / 08 / 2013
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  • Comments : Comments Off on TETRA Overview


The following information is part of the correspondence, after the meeting, sent to Ray Baum, Senior Policy Advisor to the Sub-Committee, which also included both majority and minority counsel in attendance. The meeting was arranged by PSP for the TETRA to attend.

E & C

PSP continues to work with USACE in the Pacific Northwest in our efforts to find solutions, as the Corps  works to protect our safety.

PSP Tetra Overview logo

  • TETRA is the world leader, by far in proven, resilient mission control First response.
  • TETRA is multi-use worldwide.
  • TETRA continues to be deployed at increasing volumes worldwide.
  • TETRA can operate on multiple bandwidths including 150 MHz which is generally preferred by US First Responders and which they already possess.
  • Technical emission interference issues were raised by TIA (Telecommunications Industry Association) at the FCC in efforts to keep TETRA out of North America. TETRA has never caused interference anywhere in the world
  • Opposition to TETRA is anti-competitive.
  • TETRA deploys as promised consistently while P-25 continues to falter in deploying universally in statewide systems, even as they go way over budget!
  • FirstNet, if deployed with or without P-25 will be effectively a substantial tax increase to the American people. TETRA will not raise taxes – it will provide safety NOW.
  • TETRA will bring large numbers of jobs to the US
  • TETRA will provide safety now from the bottom up – the First Responders need to be listened to, as TETRA has proven worldwide.
  • TETRA will travel vastly greater distances (propagation) than on LTE FirstNet System
  • TETRA will prevail. LTE can provide media based services to secondary responders, and incident command. It would be an add-on.
  • TETRA is the only logical provider with resilient answers.
  • TETRA standards are newer than P-25; ( P-25 was initiated in late 1988).
  • TETRA provides safety NOW and into the Future.
  • TETRA system-sharing allows state and the Federal government to “system share” while maintaining independence for both

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  • Date : 29 / 07 / 2013
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  • Comments : Comments Off on Sepura to deliver first TETRA public transport solution in Canada


Sepura is delighted to announce it has been selected by Toronto Transit Commission (“TTC”) to supply the infrastructure for a TETRA digital communications system covering Toronto’s subway lines and 8 above ground sites.  The system will provide coverage for TTC’s operational area in greater Toronto, and will be the first TETRA network deployed by a transport organization in Canada – enabling TTC to enjoy the benefits TETRA has already brought to the transportation sector around the world.  The initial contract also provides for a limited number of terminals for use during the roll-out of the infrastructure, prior to a tender for the main fleet of terminals expected later in the year.

The new system will replace TTC’s analogue radio infrastructure and will maximize network availability and reliability thanks to the redundancy elements of its design.  In order to enable a seamless migration from TTC’s legacy analogue infrastructure, Sepura’s solution will also be able to provide temporary interconnection and interoperation with the existing communication systems thanks to Sepura Systems’ FR-400 TETRA base station which has over 15 million hours of proven operation in the field.

Steve Cragg, President for Sepura North America said: “Toronto Transit Commission will soon be able to enjoy all the technical and commercial benefits deriving from the adoption of the TETRA open standard.  In addition, Sepura’s knowledge and proven track record in the transport sector make us the ideal supplier and partner for this vertical market.”

Gordon Watling, CEO for Sepura commented: “These are very exciting times for Sepura – now a full TETRA solution provider – and this contract award in a new and important geographic market for us demonstrates the strength of our offering in North America.  We have now secured important reference projects in Canada covering our key commercial verticals of utilities, mining and transport, confirming TETRA has a vital role to play in the analogue to digital migration across North America.”

Toronto Transit Commission is the third largest public transport system in North America after New York and Mexico City.  It’s a multi-modal public transit agency which makes extensive use of radio communications for transit operations, maintenance and incident management.  On a daily basis over 1.6 million passengers are transported over its networks in the greater Toronto area.

Article Source:


For more information regarding Tetra, please contact PSP.

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  • Date : 22 / 07 / 2013
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  • Comments : Comments Off on SMi and PowerTrunk to Implement the First Fully Operational TETRA Network in North America for BC Hydro

Montreal and New York — October 25, 2011 – The S.M. Group International Inc. (SMi), Canada’s foremost engineering, project management and technological and scientific applications firm, and PowerTrunk™, a leader in land mobile radio systems, have been selected by BC Hydro, to implement the first fully operational TETRA network in North America. SMi will provide system integration and PowerTrunk will supply the TETRA land mobile radio infrastructure and terminals to improve safety and communications in the Vancouver Lower Mainland region of British Columbia province.

The BC Hydro PowerTrunk network covering Vancouver and surrounding areas will consist of 25 TETRA 409-430 MHz site base stations, connected via the BC Hydro IP backhaul network, and up to 820 TETRA terminals as 450 mobiles, 350 handhelds, 20 fixed. To support 14 dispatchers, PowerTrunk will provide 3 CeCoCo command and control centers that interface to BC Hydro’s legacy VHF system.

BC Hydro operates and maintains a power system infrastructure that serves more than 1.8 million customers in an area including over 95 percent of British Columbia’s population. For the efficient and safe execution of fieldwork during normal and emergency operating conditions, BC Hydro crews require reliable and convenient mobile voice communications at all substations, dams, and generating stations, and along all distribution and transmission lines. Although the main requirement is for voice, BC Hydro will also use the mobile communications system for data applications such as short data and text messaging.

“SMi stays at the forefront of the latest technology breakthroughs, enabling our clients to have the most advanced solutions, providing high levels of reliability in the execution of the services and noticeable cost efficiency” stated Bernard Poulin, President and CEO of SMi. “SMi has achieved many contracts in the Telecoms and Security fields throughout the world, providing their clients with a wide range of technology solutions, TETRA being one of its most innovative. We are extremely excited to be the first company to validate the reliability and security of TETRA land mobile radio in North America.”

“Utilities, transport and public safety organizations around the world have chosen PowerTrunk/Teltronic TETRA LMR due to our advanced technology and our willingness to deliver customized systems that meet each client’s unique requirements,” said Jose Martin, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of PowerTrunk. “Together with our Canadian partner SMi, we will work closely with BC Hydro to deploy a network that is tailored to the company’s current and future needs while leveraging legacy systems.”

“I congratulate BC Hydro, PowerTrunk and SMi for being the first in North America to recognize the considerable benefits of choosing TETRA technology to deliver critical communications,” said Phil Kidner, CEO, TETRA Association. “We look forward to further TETRA contracts being awarded in the future in Canada as professional users come to appreciate the strengths and operational advantages of an open standard such as TETRA.”

About BC Hydro

BC Hydro is the third largest electrical utility in Canada, operating 30 hydroelectric facilities and 3 natural gas-fueled thermal power plants. About 80 percent of British Columbia’s electricity is produced by major hydroelectric generating stations on the Columbia and Peace rivers. BC Hydro generates between 43,000 and 54,000 gigawatt hours of electricity annually, depending on prevailing water levels. Fifty years ago, British Columbians turned to BC Hydro to build the clean electricity system they count on to power their economy, create jobs, and keep the lights on. BC Hydro continues to grow, building, renewing, and encouraging conservation to meet today’s needs and those of future



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  • Date : 20 / 07 / 2013
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  • Comments : Comments Off on Announcing the formation of the North American Tetra Forum

The Terrestrial Trunked Radio (TETRA) community who support this international open Land Mobile Radio standard have taken another step forward in their presence and commitment to the important growth market which US and Canada represent.

The formation of the North America TETRA Forum (NATF) was announced at the International Wireless Communications Expo in Las Vegas in February and will open up considerable potential for the growing adoption of TETRA as a multi-vendor digital trunking technology in these regions.

TETRA forums are already bringing interested parties together in Australasia, Norway, Sweden, Germany, Hungary, South Africa and Poland; where hardware manufacturers, solutions providers and users are involved in joint initiatives designed to promote growing acceptance of the TETRA standard. Representing North American interests in the evolution of the TETRA standard, the NATF will provide education on the technology and also focus on engaging with all stakeholders including legislators and regulators on radio frequency spectrum for TETRA networks. The forum will facilitate development of voice and data applications and other value-add services in the region.

Kevin Graham and Gary Lorenz the founding Directors of the NATF explained:” The inaugural members include many renown international TETRA suppliers. North American based suppliers and distributors, value add solution providers and consulting organisations, which can assist professional land mobile users in North America migrate their present analogue systems to the feature rich capability of TETRA that is already deployed in 126 countries worldwide. The TETRA technology also meets the requirements for frequency efficiency and complies with the FCC UHF narrow banding mandate”.

The international TETRA and Critical Communications Association (TCCA), formerly known as the TETRA Association, has been actively supporting the formation of the NATF. Phil Kidner, CEO for TCCA says: “TETRA is gaining a much deserved foothold in North America, given its versatility, comprehensive range of voice and data and security features and value as a platform for critical communications.  The creation of the NATF is a major advance in enabling existing and potential users to explore the technology in greater depth also through the several TETRA pilot systems which are currently being deployed in the region. It will be a constructive forum for sharing experiences of the many situations in which TETRA has already provided voice and data capabilities in a wide range of demanding business, industry, transportation and government environments.”

TETRA North American Tour Dates
The TCCA has also released the dates for the TETRA North American 2013 tour, offering a series of TETRA workshops where users can see the technology in action and learn more about its uses and benefits in critical communications environments.
In partnership with the newly created NATF, the tour will cover the following cities:

  • November 14th -15th, AT New York Hilton Midtown

For more information please visit

To find out more visit ‘Events’ on the TCCA website Specific venues will be posted on the site as they are confirmed.

Further information and membership details can be found on the  North American TETRA Forum website

All email enquiries can be directed to

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  • Date : 29 / 06 / 2012
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  • Comments : Comments Off on FCC acts to allow TETRA in the U.S. permanently

U.S. private radio licensees will be able to use Terrestrial Trunked Radio (TETRA) technology on a permanent basis, but the technology remains prohibited on certain specific parts of the public-safety spectrum, according to an FCC order released this week.

“The record is clear that TETRA is a valuable option for licensees requiring a spectrally efficient wireless solution, and we conclude that it imparts minimal interference potential to the RF spectrum considered herein, i.e.,the UHF band and the non-NPSPAC portion of the 800 MHz band,” the FCC order states. “The benefits to PLMR users of permitting TETRA equipment under Part 90 in terms of equipment cost and capability exceed the asserted costs to other users, which we find to be largely speculative.”

In the order issued Monday, the FCC changed its Part 90 rules to permit unrestricted use of TETRA in the 450-470 MHz and 809-824/854-869 MHz spectrum bands. The action effectively converts into rules of extends the FCC’s temporary waiver issued last year that permitted TETRA deployments in the U.S.

“This is extremely positive news for the TETRA market,” Phil Kidner, CEO of the TETRA Critical Communications Association. “All arguments against the adoption of TETRA in the US appear to have been rejected by the FCC, and we are delighted that critical-communications users in the U.S. can now consider TETRA as fully approved.”

Under last year’s temporary waiver, TETRA was trialed by New Jersey Transit, which plans to procure a TETRA-based network. New York City Transit and others also have TETRA trials, according to the TCCA. Having assurance that TETRA can be used on a permanent basis should cause transportation officials to be even more interested in deploying the technology, according to William Brownlow, telecommunications manager for the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO).

“I honestly think it will,” spark interest, Brownlow said during an interview with Urgent Communications.

Utilities also have expressed interest in using TETRA, and the FCC action may encourage further interest from the sector, said Brett Kilbourne, vice president of government and industry affairs for the Utilities Telecom Council (UTC)

“I know there were some utilities that were actively looking to test it out in the U.S. on a trial basis,” Kilbourne said during an interview with Urgent Communications. “Now, they don’t necessarily have to do it on a trial basis; they can do a full deployment.

“It should make a difference.”

A digital, trunked radio technology that operates with TDMA in four time-slot channels within a 25-kHz channel bandwidth, TETRA is the primary LMR technology used for public-safety communications and over 125 countries in the world. However, in the U.S., Project 25 (P25) is the public-safety standard, and many first-responder officials have expressed concerns that allowing TETRA to be used by U.S. public-safety agencies would hamper interoperability— an argument that resonated with the FCC.

“We agree that interoperability is critical for public-safety applications and are sensitive to the concerns that parties have raised about the interference potential of TETRA on public safety systems,” the FCC order states. “In light of these concerns, we do not believe the record supports allowing TETRA on the 800 MHz public-safety NPSPAC channels.”

In its ruling, the FCC clarified that TETRA also cannot be used on 700 MHz public-safety narrowband spectrum, although there was no request to use TETRA on these frequencies.


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  • Date : 11 / 05 / 2012
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Also establishing a presence in North America is TETRA terminal manufacturer Sepura, which has appointed Nielson Communications as its first distributor in the US.

The companies have developed a growing partnership through their collaboration on a 12-month TETRA trial, inaugurated in January 2011, at Nielson’s home base in Green Bay, Wisconsin. This trial, the first of its kind in the US, comprised three IP-connected base stations relaying voice and data communications through Sepura handportable radios. It allowed prospective users to experience and evaluate TETRA technology in action.

Sepura has recently achieved a number of significant successes in the Americas, spanning from Mexico and Argentina to Brazil and Uruguay”, said Kevin Graham, director of developing markets at Sepura. “Combining our TETRA expertise with the established technical excellence and market knowledge of Nielson Communications, we will now be able to serve the Greater Mid Western region and beyond. America is one of the emerging regions for TETRA, and this agreement serves as an ideal springboard for our future development in this exciting market.”

Rick Nielson, president of Nielson Communications, added: “Local, regional, and national users will benefit from the new partnership we’ve formed with Sepura. The trial has been generating a high level of interest and we’re now in active dialogue with a number of potential users requiring totally reliable communications links in very challenging environments. Sepura’s track record gives us the confidence to announce that we have the optimum solution for their critical communications needs.”

– See more at:



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  • Date : 17 / 01 / 2012
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  • Comments : Comments Off on NYC transit agency completes TETRA pilot

MTA New York City Transit (NYCT) recently completed a two-site TETRA pilot that utilized equipment provided by PowerTrunk. The gear included a telecom switch, base stations, mobile units for buses and support vehicles, portable radios, a two-position dispatch console, and a telephone network gateway that was used to test cell and PABX/PSTN handovers. The agency is planning to replace its bus analog radio system, which serves more than 5,900 vehicles.

The NYCT trial is the latest step in PowerTrunk’s aggressive push into the North America market. Last year the company — which is headquartered in Spain — completed a similar trail with N.J. Transit and sold 25 base stations and more than 800 terminals to BC Hydro, British Colombia’s electric power utility. It received approval from the FCC and Industry Canada to sell TETRA gear in North America in 2010.

PowerTrunk’s TETRA radios already are used by transportation systems in Mexico City; Barcelona, Spain; Bogota, Columbia; and Rio de Janeiro.

“TETRA is the dominant, de facto standard for public safety, transit and utilities in the rest of the world,” said Jose Martin, PowerTrunk’s EVP/COO. “We are proud that MTA New York City Transit hosted our TETRA pilot. It is one more proof to North American users that TETRA has arrived.”

However, a NYCT spokesman stressed in an e-mail exchange that the trial was just that — a trial, and not an agreement to purchase.

“We did do this pilot,” Spokesman Charles Seaton wrote. “But the bus radio replacement project has not yet been awarded. In fact, it is not scheduled to be awarded until 2013.”


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  • Date : 10 / 05 / 2011
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…US communications user choice

The TETRA Association has announced that the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has granted its approval for products conforming to the TETRA (Terrestrial Trunked Radio) 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 technology as a potential option.The TETRA Association and its members have been working for the last 18 months to ensure TETRA technology meets the stringent 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 450-470 MHz and 817-824/862-869 MHz 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 waiver means there are no technical or spectrum-related issues preventing the use of TETRA in the US. TETRA is one of the most efficient PMR technologies available in the world today, operating in 25kHz channels but offering 6.25 kHz 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 150-174 MHz and 421-512 MHz 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 authorize this option [TETRA] for licensees that are subject to these narrowbanding deadlines.” Currently, TETRA is not available in the VHF bands.

TETRA has been adopted by 114 countries to date. It is the most established and advanced standard for critical communications, and is the technology of choice for professional users in the public safety, military, air, road and rail transport, utilities and many other market sectors..

TETRA systems have been in use for over ten years.  The rich functionality delivers unparalleled communications services for airports, overground and underground rail, bus, tram and taxi operators, fuel, power, water and petrochemical industries, and is the first choice for the coordination of major events such as the Olympic Games. The FCC decision gives US users in all these areas a globally proven technology to consider.

“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 “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.”

Editors’ notes
*In the rest of the world regulators accept the ETSI “adjacent channel coupled power” specification as a means of ensuring interference free operation. In the USA and Canada the regulators utilise a ‘spectrum mask’ approach. TETRA transmissions slightly exceed this mask although the adjacent channel performance, which is a measure of interference protection, meets the FCC requirements with a considerable margin to spare.

Full FCC announcement text can be found here

The FCC has granted the waiver which has been converted to a change which has now has now been converted to an FCC rule and regulation. 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.

About the TETRA Association
The TETRA Association leads the global development and promotion of TETRA critical communications for professional users. The TETRA Association represents the interests of its Members by working to develop, enhance and champion TETRA technology and complementary technologies, ensuring the delivery of secure, robust and reliable communications both now and in the future.  For further information please visit

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