Tetra | Lte | 2018-10-03

ASTRID Emergency Services Network to Switch from TETRA to Next Generation 5G Technology

Source: The Critical Communications Review | Gert Jan Wolf editor

Belgium’s emergency and security services are to move from the current narrowband TETRA system to a telecommunications operator, model based on the next generation 5G communication technology.

Astrid, for which the Belgium state is the sole shareholder, manages the communication services for more than 70,000 collaborators in 750 organisations. These include police zones, all federal police services, all fire departments, Civil Protection (providing specialised services, such as search and rescue). The Astrid service is also used by Customs, the Defence services, state security, paramedics, emergency call-centres for 100 and 112, and service providers within local authorities, public transport, the Red Cross, security firms and others.

For 20 years now these services have been using TETRA technology provides by Astrid. However, as the need for police officers for data, like real time video transmission, Mission critical IoT and real time and predictive analytics is growing rapidly, the operator needs to change its offerings to those who are currently using the ASTRID service.

The government could have invested in a new network, but it opted for a collaboration using the 700Mhz frequency, with telecoms operators, which will be obliged to anticipate the use of capacities adapted to the security services. 

The collaboration will unroll, within the framework of a new invitation to tender for frequency bands with telecoms operators, at the end of next year.

Since 20 years ASTRID is one of the few public safety organisations around the world that is actively involved on supporting the TCCA and ETSI in developing standerds for Mission Critical Communications. ASTRID will stay on the forefront of technology, providing the latest critical communication solutions and services to its end users. According to Cris Drieskens, Chief Superintendent at the Belgium Federal Police and one of the founders of ASTRID, ASTRID will continue this position into the future. Drieskens expects that the current ASTRID organization will adapt new changes in the organization that go along with the adoption of new technologies.

Today and tomorrow ASTRID celebrates 20 years of service during the ASTRID User Days in the city of Brussels.

Picture: MOI Minister Jan Jambon