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deployment


Outsourcing for success W


Hinting at the Celtic harp, an ubiquitous symbol of Ireland, Dublin’s striking Samuel Beckett


Bridge is one of the city’s architectural wonders. It


was opened in 2009, the year of another technical


achievement when the first police


divisions in Dublin


switched to the new TETRA network


hen you’re building a new radio network, you can start out cautiously and then progressively expand and enhance your system. Or you can


plunge in boldly and complete your build-out all at once, in a sustained, heroic engineering effort. For Ireland’s National Digital Radio Service (NDRS), a TETRA-based network for the public services, TETRA Ireland chose the latter course, completing its entire deployment in just two years. And opinion in Ireland, both at the company and among


network users, is that this strategy has paid off. “Really, the crucial part of the success is that the coverage is so good”, comments Pat Kelly, chief executive of TETRA Ireland, at his


headquarters in the Irish capital’s outskirts. “Te NDRS has over 99·7 per cent geographic coverage – the best coverage of any mobile network in Ireland, including all the cellular.” Two large wall maps illustrate the comprehensive coverage


of the Republic delivered by the system’s 600-plus radio sites, for mobile terminals and handportables respectively. White flecks denoting coverage gaps are few, and only in the remotest areas. “Tere are cellular blackspots in various parts of Ireland,


especially in a place like Wicklow, a county that borders Dublin”, Mr Kelly adds, pointing to the map. “It’s a tough radio environment, but we know that the majority of GSM blackspots are covered by TETRA.” Tough the network is still very new, anecdotes are


accumulating about the benefits of the system. Mr Kelly cites a police incident in an apartment complex that occurred just a few kilometres away. “In Ballymun, North Dublin, two officers came under attack when answering a callout. Tey were able to react by hitting the emergency button on the top of the TETRA terminal, which alerted their base and within two minutes their colleagues were there to assist them.” A key advantage is the security of the network and its


end-to-end encryption. Te previous analogue networks were open, allowing messages to be intercepted easily by cheap scanner receivers. But with the completion of the last of the TETRA radio sites in the far North of Ireland (County Donegal) in October 2010, the police – the Garda Síochána in the Irish language – now enjoy a secure, nationwide service with high-quality voice and other communications services as the NDRS’s first user organization.


Pat Kelly, chief executive of TETRA Ireland: “The crucial part of the success is that the coverage is so good”, he says


18


Tender invitation Te high specification for network quality was set in 2006 when the Department of Finance of the Irish Government invited tenders to supply a ‘build, own and operate’ TETRA network for the emergency services. Te following January, ‘preferred bidder’ status was awarded to TETRA Ireland – a consortium which brought together Eircom


TE TRA TODAY Issue 3 May 2011


In Ireland, a national TETRA roll-out has recently been completed in record time, to general satisfaction among users. Richard Lambley visited Dublin to find how it was done


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