Tetra | 2023-01-17

TETRA in North America: Tenacity and Ingenuity to Write PowerTrunk Success Story

Source: The Critical Communications Review | Gert Jan Wolf editor

Teltronic, through its North American subsidiary PowerTrunk, was a pioneer in the introduction of TETRA technology in the United States

Teltronic, through its North American subsidiary PowerTrunk, was a pioneer in the introduction of TETRA technology in the United States. Teltronic developed the first TETRA deployment in USA (New Jersey Transit) and, to date, has significant deployments in transportation systems such as New York City, in airports such as JFK, Newark, Los Angeles, and San Francisco, and in various companies in the utilities sector.

How these deployments came to be is a story of perseverance, daring, ingenuity, and tenacity that has made PowerTrunk’s success as the TETRA market leader in North America possible.

For the details, we must travel back to 2009, by which time TETRA was already a successful technology that had demonstrated its potential in much of the world except North America, where it was a total unknown.

For certain reasons and interests, the certification requirements for radios had been updated worldwide except in the United States and Canada and, as a consequence, the TETRA modulation was not compatible with the official regulations in these two countries. These requirements applied to emission masks, i.e., the shape of the occupied radio spectrum.

The regulations in the US and Canada were based on previously available analog (non-linear modulation) technologies that were suitable for digital equipment such as P25, OpenSky, and other digital technologies that use non-linear modulation.

 

“This means that they were really analog radios with digital voice codecs, but TETRA is a totally different concept, because not only is it digital, but it also has linear modulation. It doesn’t take on the typical shape of analog modulation and the emission mask was off by a very narrow margin,” says PowerTrunk CEO Jose Martin.

“This was a real problem. No matter how good the radio was, you went to the laboratory and it did not comply with the emission requirements of either country. It could not obtain a Type Acceptance Certificate and without it, it was impossible to implement a technology that, objectively, had been proven to be safer and more efficient,” Martin explains.

From that moment on, and fully convinced that TETRA was a useful solution for the North American market, the Teltronic team set to work. Previously, other manufacturers had tried to introduce TETRA in North America, but with a focus on regulatory change. “It’s a long road and not always successful, so we approached the problem with a different strategy.  We wouldn’t try to change the standards, we would try to change our equipment so that it would comply with them,” points out Jose Martin....

 

The full story can be read on the website of The Critical Communications Community by clicking here