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Why applications will be TETRA’s next big thing

Mobile apps could drive a revolution in professional radio too. So believes Tony Gray, regional business director with the German mobile consultancy P3 communications


n the consumer mobile world, ‘apps’ are commonplace. T ey bring everything from location- specifi c weather forecasts to real time Formula 1

Grand Prix telemetry direct to our smartphones, tablet computers and other mobile devices. T is trend has been enabled by the availability of

adequately high-speed 3G-and-above networks, together with the growth in ever-smarter devices. Many of these run ‘app-friendly’ multi-tasking operating systems and have embedded GPS receivers and other supporting accessories. Marketing innovations such as online ‘app stores’

have also greatly boosted the uptake of a whole range of apps in the consumer world. Whilst this particular element may not have such relevance to the professional

Tony Gray is a 35-year veteran of the PMR world who has contributed throughout his career as an engineer, and latterly as a consultant, to a wide range of critical communications and related projects worldwide. Closely associated with TETRA since its inception as a newly- delivered ETSI standard more than ten years ago, he is now a member of the TETRA Association Marketing Group. You can reach him at


communications world, the same trend towards more and more targeted apps becoming available is likely to apply to the critical communications space in future.

Available now Already today, a number of applications are available to TETRA business and public safety users and others, meeting needs such as automatic vehicle and person location (AVL/APL), online database query and update, dispatching of incident details and so on. Leveraging features such as TETRA Group SDS to

overcome the inherently limited bandwidth of a TETRA 1 bearer, some app developers have achieved impressive results, even for such relatively data-intense applications as sending pictures.

Frivolity or functionality? None of the foregoing is intended to suggest that TETRA radio users will all be happily playing Angry Birds or tweeting on their devices in future! Far from it. T ese are mission-critical users with an important job of work to do and who rely on their communications devices to do it effi ciently.

vehicle database



database query

application with multi-database information aggregation

JEE398 Toyota 5d RAV4 1.8-ZCA26LAW MNKW/249 Silver/Metal Check: 24.9.06

OK update check

surveillance database with

stolen vehicle database

position and time

App example: a multi-database query. A single action by the user brings prioritized information from multiple sources. (Diagram: Finnish Police) 16 Multi-database query: One user action — prioritised information from multiple sources. TE TRA TODAY Issue 3 May 2011

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