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Thursday, October 05, 2006

Ten years of Tetra

Goodness me. Is it really the tenth anniversary of the TETRA standard?
Motorola has been pounding the TETRA story over that time, with ups and downs, with most of the success for the ETSI-standard-based radio technology in the police and emergency services where Motorola has a traditional stranglehold and has successfully migrated .
Now it finally seems more commercial organisations are getting interested, but it a bit late for poor Dolphin, if you remember. The TETRA-based network went into receivership in July 2004 having spent millions on infrastructure (from Nokia) and marketing. The industry is littered with people who thought Tetra would be a good market - remember Philips in Cambridge? But that spawned Sepura as a supplier of handsets competing with Motorola (using Siemens to make the handsets), with companies such as NCT Europe providing their ClearSpeech algorithms to improve the performanace of the phones.
Ten years on, it’s not just a European story. Shanghai and Beijing are now replacing their city radio networks with Tetra-based systems.
The technology is developing slightly as well. While it is mostly about cost and ruggedness, there is also a Tetra PDA from Motorola (above), but I’m not convinced you are going to see your local policeman walking around with it just yet!

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