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.
- 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
- The vocoder was designed from inception to handle the harsh and severe noise environments where communications is most critical.
- 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.
- Tetra has been eagerly accepted and sought after for improved radio communications and additional features, & services. ref #2, 5, 6, 7, 8,
- 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.
- 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,
- LTE will take a long time to provide the same let alone similar services as Tetra which lacks only video ref # 14
- 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.
- Financial issues abound and the business model is now in question ref: # 15
- 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.
- Also, additional spectrum in Part 90 can be freed for 25 KHz channels
- 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.
- Retain 25 – 50 MHz for use in difficult terrain and clutter inhibited propagation situations.