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Terrestrial Trunked Radio


Terrestrial Trunked Radio

Terrestrial Trunked Radio[1] (TETRA) (formerly known as Trans-European Trunked Radio) is a professional mobile radio[2] and two-way transceiver (colloquially known as a walkie talkie) specification. TETRA was specifically designed for use by government agencies, emergency services, (police forces, fire departments, ambulance) for public safety networks, rail transport staff for train radios, transport services and the military.

TETRA is a European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) standard, first version published 1995; it is mentioned by the European Radiocommunications Committee (ERC).[3]


  • Description 1
  • Advantages of TETRA 2
  • Disadvantages of TETRA 3
  • TETRA usage 4
  • Technical details 5
    • Radio aspects 5.1
    • Radio frequencies 5.2
    • Air interface encryption 5.3
      • Additional information 5.3.1
    • Cell selection 5.4
      • Cell re-selection (or hand-over) in images 5.4.1
      • Initial cell selection 5.4.2
      • Cell improvable 5.4.3
      • Cell usable 5.4.4
      • Cell relinquishable (abandonable) 5.4.5
      • Radio down-link failure 5.4.6
  • The TETRA man-machine interface (MMI) 6
    • A virtual MMI for TETRA radio terminals 6.1
    • TETRA MMI 6.2
    • TEDS (TETRA EDS) 6.3
  • See also 7
  • References 8
  • External links 9


Motorola MTH800 TETRA radio registered in the BOS-Austria-Network

TETRA uses Time Division Multiple Access (TDMA) with four user channels on one radio carrier and 25 kHz spacing between carriers. Both point-to-point and point-to-multipoint transfer can be used. Digital data transmission is also included in the standard though at a low data rate.

TETRA Mobile Stations (MS) can communicate direct-mode operation (DMO) or using trunked-mode operation (TMO) using switching and management infrastructure (SwMI) made of TETRA base stations (TBS). As well as allowing direct communications in situations where network coverage is not available, DMO also includes the possibility of using a sequence of one or more TETRA terminals as relays. This functionality is called DMO gateway (from DMO to TMO) or DMO repeater (from DMO to DMO). In emergency situations this feature allows direct communications underground or in areas of bad coverage.

In addition to voice and dispatch services, the TETRA system supports several types of data communication. Status messages and short data services (SDS) are provided over the system's main control channel, while packet-switched data or circuit-switched data communication uses specifically assigned channels.

TETRA provides for authentication of terminals towards infrastructure and vice versa. For protection against eavesdropping; air interface encryption and end-to-end encryption is available.

The common mode of operation is in a group calling mode in which a single button push will connect the user to the users in a selected call group and/or a dispatcher. It is also possible for the terminal to act as a one-to-one walkie talkie but without the normal range limitation since the call still uses the network. TETRA terminals can act as mobile phones (cell phones), with a full-duplex direct connection to other TETRA Users or the PSTN. Emergency buttons, provided on the terminals, enable the users to transmit emergency signals, to the dispatcher, overriding any other activity taking place at the same time.

Advantages of TETRA

The main advantages of TETRA over other technologies (such as GSM) are:

  • The much lower frequency used gives longer range, which in turn permits very high levels of geographic coverage with a smaller number of transmitters, thus cutting infrastructure costs.
  • During a voice call, the communications are not interrupted when moving to another network site. This is a unique feature, which dPMR networks typically provide, that allows a number of fall-back modes such as the ability for a base station to process local calls. So called 'mission critical' networks can be built with TETRA where all aspects are fail-safe/multiple-redundant.
  • In the absence of a network, mobiles/portables can use 'direct mode' whereby they share channels directly (walkie-talkie mode).
  • Gateway mode - where a single mobile with connection to the network can act as a relay for other nearby mobiles that are out of range of the infrastructure.
  • TETRA also provides a point-to-point function that traditional analogue emergency services radio systems did not provide. This enables users to have a one-to-one trunked 'radio' link between sets without the need for the direct involvement of a control room operator/dispatcher.
  • Unlike cellular technologies, which connect one subscriber to one other subscriber (one-to-one), TETRA is built to do one-to-one, one-to-many and many-to-many. These operational modes are directly relevant to the public safety and professional users.
  • Security TETRA supports terminal registration, authentication, air-interface encryption and end-to-end encryption making it the single most secure two way radio platform.
  • Rapid deployment (transportable) network solutions are available for disaster relief and temporary capacity provision.
  • Equipment is available from many suppliers around the world, thus providing the benefits of interoperable competition.
  • Network solutions are available in both reliable circuit-switched (telephone like) architectures and flat, IP architectures with soft (software) switches.

Further information is available from the TETRA Association (formerly TETRA MoU) and the standards can be downloaded for free from ETSI.

Disadvantages of TETRA

Its main disadvantages are:

  • Requires a linear amplifier to meet the stringent RF specifications that allow it to exist alongside other radio services.
  • Data transfer is efficient and long range (many km), but slow by modern standards.

Up to 7.2 kbit/s per timeslot, in the case of point-to-point connections, and 3.5 kbit/s per timeslot in case of IP encapsulation. Both options permit the use of between one and four timeslots. Different implementations include one of the previous connectivity capabilities, both, or none, and one timeslot or more. These rates are ostensibly faster than the competing technologies DMR, dPMR, and P25 are capable of). Latest version of standard supports 115.2 kbit/s in 25 kHz or up to 691.2 kbit/s in an expanded 150 kHz channel. To overcome the limitations many software vendors have begun to consider hybrid solutions where TETRA is used for critical signalling while large data synchronization and transfer of images and video is done over 3G / LTE.[4]

TETRA usage

At the end of 2009 there were 114 countries using TETRA systems in Western Europe, Eastern Europe, Middle East, Africa, Asia Pacific, Caribbean and Latin America.[5]

The TETRA-system is in use by the public sector in the following countries. Only TETRA network infrastructure installations are listed. TETRA being an open standard, each of these networks can use any mix of TETRA mobile terminals from a wide range of suppliers.

Continent Country Supplier Name Agency Status
Asia China mainland EADS / Cassidian Shenyang Metro Transport In use: Line 1
Rolling out: Line 2[6]
DAMM TetraFlex Guangzhou Electric Power Utility - GuangZhou Electric Power Emergency Communication In Use 2010
EADS / Cassidian Shenzhen Metro Transport Ordered 5/2010[7]
EADS / Cassidian Guangzhou 16th Asian Games in 2010 Ordered 2010[7]
Hong Kong EADS / Cassidian[8] Hong Kong International Airport (HKIA) 2008 Beijing Olympics and Paralympic Games (Hong Kong Equestrian Event) Used from July 2008 to October 2008
EADS / Cassidian Hong Kong Fire Services Department Fire service and ambulance In use
Motorola / Dimetra Hong Kong Police Force Police In use
Artevea Mass Transit Railway (MTR)[9] Transport In use
Motorola / Dimetra Hong Kong International Airport (HKIA) Transport In use since Feb 2009[10]
India Artevea Military College of Telecommunication Engineering (MCTE) Indian Army In use since 2004 at Mhow, Indore, Madhya Pradesh
Motorola / Dimetra Delhi Metro Rail Corporation Ltd. Transport The First TETRA in India, in use since 2002
DAMM TetraFlex / Consort Digital Pvt Ltd Mumbai Mono Rail, Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) Mass Transport - Indias first Monorail Project - Mumbai Awarded 2010[11]
C-DAC TETRA with Automatic Dial 100 (AD100) Kerala police In use by police, Trivandrum city, since 2008
DAMM TetraFlex / Consort Digital Pvt Ltd Tamil Nadu police Police and internal security and safety Awarded 2011[12]
HCL & Motorola Secure Communication Network Delhi government Integrated Communication System used by various departments under government of Delhi and Delhi police since 2010.
DAMM TetraFlex / Consort Digital Pvt Ltd Gas Authority of India Limited (GAIL) Gas Pipeline - Safety, Telemetry and Security Awarded 2011[13]
THALES Portugal S A & Motorola With PSTN call integration designed by Thales Group for BMRCL BMRCL Bangalore Metro Corporation Limited Transport, in use since March 2011
Sepura & Rohde and Schwarz TETRA with Automatic Dial 100 (AD100) Gurgaon police In use by police, Gurgaon city[14] Since 2009. In Salem from August 2011.
Sepura & Rohde and Schwarz TETRA with Automatic Dial 100 (AD100) Faridabad police In use by police, Faridabad city, since 2012
Indonesia Motorola / Dimetra, installed & maintained by PT. Mobilkom Telekomindo SCADA PT. Chevron Pacific Indonesia HOOU In use since 2009 at Duri, Riau, Indonesia.
Rohde & Schwarz / Accessnet-T Jakarta State Government Network Jakarta Capital City Jakarta Operational, Installed since 2007
Macao Artevea Melco-Crown Entertainment Casino-Hotels: Altira (formerly Crown Macau),[15] and City of Dreams In use since 2007
Forças de Segurança de Macau All emergency services In use
Malaysia EADS Segi Maju (SEGI) Public operator In use[16]
Maldives Motorola / Dimetra Maldives Police Service (MPS) Police In use
Pakistan Motorola / Dimetra NITRS Nationwide Integrated Trunk Radio System Project for Police under Ministry of Interior, Government of Pakistan Police In use Since 2009
Philippines Motorola Dimetra/GA Technology and Systems Inc. Shell Exploration Oil and Gas In use October 2013, Phase 2 On Shore Gas Plant for Implementation
Motorola Dimetra/GA Technology and Systems Inc. Globe Telecom Telecommunications Carrier Implementation on Going Project Finish Dec 2013
Rohill (TetraNode) SynTech Systems Inc. Meralco Electric Company Implemented Nov 2014
Rohill (TetraNode) SynTech Systems Inc. LRT-2 Transport (Manila Light Rail Transit System Line 2) Implemented Oct 2015
South Korea EADS Korea Electric Power Corporation (KEPCO) Electricity In use[17]
Taiwan [行車調度無線電話], Taiwan Railways Administration, Railway Police Bureau In use
Africa Morocco Rohill ADM Highway authority Rolling out / Almost completed.
Nigeria Dizengoff/Motorola IL (Dimetra IP) Nigeria LNG Oil & Gas Since 2006
Cisan International Limited/Rohill (TetraNode) Mobil Ng Oil Since 2014
Dizengoff/Motorola IL (Compact-Tetra IP) Shell Ng Oil Since 2010
Satcomm Integrated Resources LLC SatCom IRL/EADS [18] Nigerian Ports Authority, Nigeria (Rolling Out) Rolling out
Rohill (TetraNode) Bayelsa State Government Since June 2012
Briscoe Technologies[19] / Artevea[20] Lagos / Abuja / Port Harcourt Oil industry / Airports / security companies In use Since 2006
Namibia Artevea Namibian Police Force[21] Police In use, nationwide
South Africa Police, traffic police SAPS Gauteng Gauteng province
Municipality, fire, and ambulance. City of Cape Town Cape Peninsula
Rohill (TetraNode) Mbombela Local Municipality Nelspruit, Mpumalanga Complete
Rohill (TetraNode) City Power Johannesburg, Gauteng Complete
Rohill (TetraNode) City of Tshwane Municipality Pretoria, Gauteng Complete
Rohill (TetraNode) Rustenburg Platinum Mine Potgietersrus, Limpopo Complete
Sudan Artevea Ministry of Interior Police In use, nationwide
Europe Austria Motorola / Dimetra TETRON Police, fire, ambulance, and local train company. In use, in all states except Tyrol and Vorarlberg (still rolling out).
Belgium EADS/Since 1998 A.S.T.R.I.D. Police, fire, ambulance, customs, coast guard, hospitals, Red Cross, department of Justice, utility companies, airports, ports, lifeguard service, military. Nationwide network
Motorola 2010/ DIMETRA ENTROPIA DIGITAL Commercial & Private Security users.[22] Antwerp, Belgium / Roaming with Entropia Digital in The Netherlands
Rohde & Schwarz since 2011/ ACCESSNET-T ENTROPIA DIGITAL Commercial & Private Security users.[22] Flanders & Brussels/Roaming with Nationwide The Netherlands
Croatia Motorola / Dimetra MUPNet Police, Fire Brigades, Ambulance Service Nationwide coverage (99,5%) in use
Denmark DAMM TetraFlex DONG Energy Power Plants - 11 Power Plants across Denmark Utilities - Safety, Security, Telemetry Awarded 2009[23]
Motorola / Dimetra SINE[24] All emergency authorities, incl. police, fire, and ambulance. Nationwide coverage (99,5%) in use
Estonia Police, fire, ambulance, and customs Rolling out
Russia DAMM TetraFlex Moscow Metro (second most heavily used rapid transport system in the world) Transport - Rail - Telemetry, Safety, Security, Police, Ambulance, Fire Awarded 2011[25]
Sepura Unified system of operational trunking radio (Единая Система Оперативной Транкинговой Радиосвязи) Fire, ambulance and partially, police Launched in 2008
DAMM TetraFlex Russias Kaliningrad Power Plant. Utility Power Plant - Safety and Security - Telemetry and Commercial agents Awarded 2009[26]
DAMM TetraFlex St Petersburg and North West Russia. Government - Ambulance and Emergency services, Police, Healthcare facilities, Utility services, St. Petersburg Authorities and the regional Civil Defence Awarded 2011[27]
Finland Nokia; now EADS VIRVE Police, fire, ambulance, customs, defence forces, and border guard Nationwide network
HelenNet Energy company Helsingin Energia, tram operator HKL-Raitioliikenne, and several bus operators on HRTA's lines. Also used by some security guard companies, mostly securing HRTA's transport. Available for lease for various short-term uses. In use, covers greater Helsinki region
Germany EADS BOSNET Police, fire, ambulance, customs, and coast guard. Nationwide
DAMM TetraFlex Global Tech 1 Offshore Wind GmbH. Utility Windfarm - Telemetry, Security and Safety Critical communications Awarded 2012[28]
Greece Motorola / Dimetra OTE TETRA Services
Formerly branded OTElink (2009).
Business Critical and PPDR communications, public utility and oil-gas companies, seaports, airports, public and private transportation companies, public and private sector security personnel, other. Data applications nationwide including SCADA, AVL, M2M. Extensive nationwide footprint,
70% population coverage in 2014, in use since 2002
Hungary Pro-M Ltd. EDR (acronym for Unified Digital Radiosystem) Ambulance, army, Central Office for Administrative and Electronic Public Services, Civil Defence, Hungarian Prison Service, Hungarian Customs and Finance Guard, Disaster Management, fire, Hungarian Secret Services, Ministry of Environment and Water, and police In-use
Iceland TETRA Iceland All emergency services, most utility companies, and private users In-use
Ireland Motorola / Dimetra TETRA Ireland An Garda Siochana, HSE National Ambulance Service, Irish Prison Service, Irish Naval Service, Customs & Excise, Civil Defence (Only A Few Units), Irish Coast Guard, Mountain Rescue (Only A Few Units), Order of Malta Ambulance Corps (Major Events), National Emergency Office, Port of Cork, Revenue Commissioners and Office of Public Works. Nationwide roll-out network complete. The fire services are planning to implement in the coming years. As of July 2011, TETRA Ireland now operates the national Paging System.
Malta Marconi Civil Protection Force[29] July 2001
Italy DAMM TetraFlex Lombardi Ambulance Emergency Services Ambulance - Security, Safety, Communication Awarded 2010[30]
SELEX ELSAG Rete Interpolizie Polizia di Stato (Italian state police), the Carabinieri (military police), the Guardia di Finanza (customs police), the Polizia Penitenziaria (prison police), and for the Corpo Forestale Italiano (Italian forest brigades) Rolling out
DAMM TetraFlex Rome International Airport Airport - Security, Safety, Commercial, Fire, Customs, Police Awarded 2009[31]
Latvia Artevea Ventamonjaks Serviss Ltd, Ventspils[32] Oil and gas In use since 2007
Luxembourg Motorola / Dimetra Renita[33] Government; Police, Fire Brigade, Ambulance services and others Start building 2014, Operational 2015 (planned)
Motorola / Dimetra ConnectCom[34] Commercial network Operational
Motorola / Dimetra ConnectCom[34] Public Transport, city of Luxembourg Operational
Motorola / Dimetra ConnectCom[34] European Union Operational
Montenegro Motorola / Dimetra Wireless Montenegro d.o.o. Police, Military, Firebrigade, Ambulance In use since November 2012 Podgorica area only. Rolling out elsewhere.
Netherlands Motorola / Dimetra C2000[35] Police, fire, and ambulance Nationwide network
Motorola since 2007/ Dimetra ENTROPIA DIGITAL Commercial users.[22] Nationwide network /Roaming with Entropia Digital in Belgium
Rohde & Schwarz since 2010/ ACCESSNET-T ENTROPIA DIGITAL Cityguards and commercial use[22] Rotterdam area network / Roaming with Entropia Digital in Belgium
Motorola/ Dimetra HTM[36] Public transport The Hague Regional network
Norway Motorola / Dimetra Norwegian Public Safety Radio Police, fire, ambulance, civil defense and search and rescue Roll-out to be completed by end of 2015
Portugal Motorola SIRESP Police, fire, and ambulance Nationwide roll-out, in use since 2007
Poland Motorola Ministry of Interior, Polish army, and Warsaw police Police, fire, public transport, airports, and army.[37] Local TETRA Networks in use since 2000; national roll-out expected to start in 2011.
Romania Motorola / Dimetra Special Telecommunications Service (STS) Police, fire, and search and rescue Nationwide
Motorola Dimetra Ministry of Administration and Interior (MAI) / Romanian Border Police (RBP) In use since 2008 for police, emergency and search and rescue agencies from Romanian border counties-wide
Cassidian TETRA EADS Ministry of Administration and Interior (MAI) / Romanian Border Police (RBP) In use since 2010 for police, emergency and search and rescue agencies from Romanian border counties-wide
Serbia Motorola / Dimetra Ministry of Interior Police, Fire Brigades, Ambulance Fully rolled out as of 2009
Slovenia Ministry of Interior Police In central Slovenia
Spain Motorola Basque Country Mainly police In use since 2006
Teltronic Basque Country Mainly municipalities and public services In use since 2009
EADS Catalonia Mainly police In use since 2006
Sweden SAAB, Cassidian, Eltel Networks RAKEL Managed by the Civil Contingencies Agency for use by the emergency services and others in the fields of civil protection, public safety and security, emergency medical services and healthcare. In operation, covering 99.8% of Sweden's population and 95% of its territory
Motorola Tetra Stockholm Public Transport: Used by Transport Security Officers for dispatch internal communications, Transport Police ("Tunnelbanepolisen") and other police forces for liaison with transport officials. Roll-out stage for train operations on underground. In operation / roll-out
Swedish Radio Supply Got1 Got1 is a modern IP based Tetra network used in the west parts of Sweden. In operation / roll-out
United Kingdom Motorola / Dimetra / Sepura Airwave Police, fire, NHS ambulance services, Border Force, Immigration Enforcement, some armed forces, Highways Agency Traffic Officers, Civil Contingency Services, HM Coastguard, British Red Cross, Highland Council, and misc. emergency services. Full emergency service roll out complete
Motorola / Dimetra CONNECT Transport for London (London Underground) Used by all Tube staff and relaying Airwave for BTP when underground
AirRadio AR-en Use by some services at some major airports (Heathrow, Birmingham, Manchester, Glasgow, Aberdeen)
Middle East Israel Motorola[38] Mountain Rose Israel Defense Forces (IDF) In use by IDF, country-wide
United Arab Emirates EADS/Cassidian Nedaa Police, emergency services, and professional communications Dubai, Sharjah, Ajman, Umm Al-Qaiwain, Ras Al-Khaimah, and Fujairah operational
EADS/Cassidian Polikom Police, emergency services, and professional communications Abu Dhabi
Turkey DAMM TetraFlex Alacer Gold Mine Mining - Safety and Security Critical Communications Awarded 2012[39]
Qatar EADS/Cassidian Ministry of Interior, Army, Police, Air Force Search and Rescue, EMS (Medical). Initial use for the 15th Asian Games all games venues inclusive of transportation routes for "blue light" services, later extended to cover the State of Qatar, in use since 2006, national roll out complete by 2008. Known as Qatar Secure TETRA Radio System (QSTRS).
Latin America Mexico Rohde & Schwarz / Sepura Mazatlán, Sinaloa Police & Emergency Services Police, Emergency Services operational Operational
South America Brazil Motorola América Latina Logística Railroad, communication and licensing. Operational
Caribbean Windward Islands and Leeward Islands Rohill Zenitel Police, emergency services, oil and professional communications Aruba, Bonaire, Curaçao, Sint Maarten, Saint Martin, Saba, Sint Eustatius, and Anguilla operational
Oceania Australia DAMM TetraFlex BHP Billiton Temco Smeltering Tasmania - Mining, Commercial, Safety, Security Awarded 2011
DAMM TetraFlex Rio Tinting Mining group Western Australia Mining Awarded 2009[40]
Damm TetraFlex Origin Energy (APLNG)[41] Kordia Solutions Australian Pacific Project
DAMM TetraFlex Fortescue Metals group Open Cut Mining Awarded 2011[42]
DAMM TetraFlex Gorgon LNG Project, Chevron, Australia Gas and Pipelines Awarded 2011[43]
Motorola Zeon Local government Operational across Brisbane City Council, including the Brisbane State Emergency Service Unit
DAMM TetraFlex Australian Submarine Co Military, Defence, Comms, Safety, Security Awarded 2012
Motorola Zeon Tertiary education Used by Queensland University of Technology security staff.
Sepura Being used by several Mining Operations throughout Western Australia and Queensland - Terminals only - No Infrastructure.
New Zealand DAMM TetraFlex BHP One Steel Aluminium Smelter - Ore production - Safety, Security, Operations Awarded 2012
Kordia KorKor Airports Used by Wellington International Airport, Air New Zealand
Kordia KorKor Councils Used by Hutt City, Auckland Transport
Teltronic Widarcom Commercial Network launched 2008 Used by University of Auckland, Westpac

Technical details

Radio aspects

For its modulation TETRA uses π/4 DQPSK, a form of phase shift keying. The symbol (baud) rate is 18,000 symbols per second, and each symbol maps to 2 bits, thus resulting in 36,000 bit/s gross.

As a form of phase shift keying is used to transmit data during each burst, it would seem reasonable to expect the transmit power to be constant. However it is not. This is because the sidebands, which are essentially a repetition of the data in the main carrier's modulation, are filtered off with a sharp filter so that unnecessary spectrum is not used up. This results in an amplitude modulation and is why TETRA requires linear amplifiers. The resulting ratio of peak to mean (RMS) power is 3.65 dB. If non-linear (or not-linear enough) amplifiers are used, the sidebands re-appear and cause interference on adjacent channels. Commonly used techniques for achieving the necessary linearity include Cartesian loops, and adaptive predistortion.

The base stations normally transmit continuously and (simultaneously) receive continuously from various mobiles on different carrier frequencies; hence the TETRA system is a Frequency Division Duplex (FDD) system. TETRA also uses FDMA/TDMA (see above) like GSM. The mobiles normally only transmit on 1 slot/4 and receive on 1 slot/4 (instead of 1 slot/8 for GSM).

Speech signals in TETRA are sampled at 8 kHz and then compressed with a vocoder using a technique called Adaptive Code Excited Linear Prediction (ACELP). This creates a data stream of 4.567 kbit/s. This data stream is error-protection encoded before transmission to allow correct decoding even in noisy (erroneous) channels. The data rate after coding is 7.2 kbit/s. The capacity of a single traffic slot when used 17/18 frames.

A single slot consists of 255 usable symbols, the remaining time is used up with synchronisation sequences and turning on/off, etc. A single frame consists of 4 slots, and a multiframe (whose duration is 1.02 seconds) consists of 18 frames. Hyperframes also exist, but are mostly used for providing synchronisation to encryption algorithms.

The downlink (i.e., the output of the base station) is normally a continuous transmission consisting of either specific communications with mobile(s), synchronisation or other general broadcasts. All slots are usually filled with a burst even if idle (continuous mode). Although the system uses 18 frames per second only 17 of these are used for traffic channels, with the 18th frame reserved for signalling, Short Data Service messages (like SMS in GSM) or synchronisation. The frame structure in TETRA (17.65 frames per second), consists of 18,000 symbols/s / 255 symbols/slot / 4 slots/frame, and is the cause of the perceived "amplitude modulation" at 17 Hz and is especially apparent in mobiles/portables which only transmit on one slot/4. They use the remaining three slots to switch frequency to receive a burst from the base station two slots later and then return to their transmit frequency (TDMA).

Radio frequencies

TETRA frequencies in South America
Emergency Systems
Number Frequency pair (MHz)
Band 1 Band 2
1 380–383 390–393
2 383–385 393–395
Civil systems
Number Frequency pair (MHz)
Band 1 Band 2
1 410–420 420–430
2 870–876 915–921
3 450–460 460–470
4 385–390 395–399.9
TETRA frequencies in other countries
Country Allocation Frequency pairs (MHz)
France civilian/private 410–430
Emergency services 380–400
Germany Emergency services 380–385, 390–395
Ireland[44] civilian/private 385–389.9, 395–399.9
Emergency services 380–385, 390–395
Italy Emergency services / armed forces 380–390
civilian/private 462
Norway[45] Emergency services 380–385, 390–395, 406.1–426, 870–876
South Africa TBD TBD
UK Airwave 390.0125–394.9875, 380.0125–384.9875
AirRadio 454, 464 or 460
Saudi Arabia 350-370, 380-395, 385-399.99, 410-430, 450-470, 870-921

Air interface encryption

To provide confidentiality the TETRA air interface is encrypted using one of the TETRA Encryption Algorithm (TEA) ciphers. The encryption provides confidentiality (protect against eavesdropping) as well as protection of signalling.

Currently 4 different ciphers are defined. These TEA ciphers should not be confused with the block cipher

  • Report on the health effects of TETRA by NRPB
  • TETRA in use by radio amateurs
  • TETRA and Critical Communications Association (TCCA)

External links

  1. ^ ETSI EN 300 392-2 v3.2.1
  2. ^ "TETRA Association". TETRA Association. 2012-03-22. Retrieved 2012-03-28. 
  3. ^ "Guide to the R&TTE Directive 1999/5/EC (April 20, 2009)". pp. 9–10. 
  4. ^ Smartphone app/apps over TETRA - Crystal Code AB. Retrieved on 2013-07-16.
  5. ^ "TETRA Industry Group - TETRA around the world - Countries". Retrieved 2012-03-28. 
  6. ^ "Shenyang Metro". Railway Technology. 2011-06-15. Retrieved 2012-03-28. 
  7. ^ a b
  8. ^ "HOME". Retrieved 2012-03-28. 
  9. ^ "TETRA : Artevea Digital Limited : Digital Radio Communication". Retrieved 2012-03-28. 
  10. ^ "Motorola Media Center - Press Releases - Motorola Completes Upgrade to TETRA Digital Radio System for Hong Kong International Airport". Retrieved 2012-03-28. 
  11. ^ 1'st Monorail Project in India awarded to DAMM. (2010-08-11). Retrieved on 2013-07-16.
  12. ^ Tamil Nadu Police. (2011-01-31). Retrieved on 2013-07-16.
  13. ^ DAMM chosen to provide communication for GAIL pipeline in India. (2011-07-12). Retrieved on 2013-07-16.
  14. ^ "Gurgaon Police goes Hi-Tech". Retrieved 2013-01-14. 
  15. ^ "TETRA : Artevea Digital Limited : Digital Radio Communication". Retrieved 2012-03-28. 
  16. ^ Launch of digital trunked radio service in Malaysia
  17. ^ TETRA Association Archived November 30, 2010 at the Wayback Machine
  18. ^
  19. ^
  20. ^
  21. ^ "TETRA : Artevea Digital Limited : Digital Radio Communication". Retrieved 2012-03-28. 
  22. ^ a b c d
  23. ^ DAMM supplies safe TETRA communication for DONG Energy Power Plants. (2009-09-02). Retrieved on 2013-07-16.
  24. ^
  25. ^ Moscow Metro. (2011-01-04). Retrieved on 2013-07-16.
  26. ^ Kaliningrad biggest Power Plant chooses DAMM’s TetraFlex system for safety reasons. (2009-10-01). Retrieved on 2013-07-16.
  27. ^ DAMM deployed for regional network in North West Russia. (2011-08-22). Retrieved on 2013-07-16.
  28. ^ Global Tech 1 Offshore Wind farm relies on DAMM Infrastructure. (2012-08-27). Retrieved on 2013-07-16.
  29. ^
  30. ^ TetraFlex for Public Safety in Lodi, Italy. (2010-02-02). Retrieved on 2013-07-16.
  31. ^ Rome International Airport chooses DAMM as supplier for Mission Critical Communication. (2009-09-14). Retrieved on 2013-07-16.
  32. ^ "TETRA : Artevea Digital Limited : Digital Radio Communication". Retrieved 2012-03-28. 
  33. ^
  34. ^ a b c
  35. ^
  36. ^
  37. ^ "TETRA Forum Poland". Retrieved 2012-03-28. 
  38. ^ "Wide Area Military Voice & Data Infrastructure Solutions based on COTS technology" (PDF). Retrieved 2012-03-28. 
  39. ^ DAMM's TetraFlex® chosen for Alacer Gold Mining operation. (2012-11-05). Retrieved on 2013-07-16.
  40. ^ Rio Tinto Mining Group continues to deploy DAMM’s TetraFlex. (2009-08-03). Retrieved on 2013-07-16.
  41. ^
  42. ^ Fortescue Metals Group Ltd deploy DAMM. (2011-03-18). Retrieved on 2013-07-16.
  43. ^ World’s largest LNG project to roll-out DAMM’s TetraFlex®. (2010-04-26). Retrieved on 2013-07-16.
  44. ^ National Table of Frequency Allocations, Ireland.
  45. ^ National Table of Frequency Allocations, Norway.
  46. ^ Riess, H.P. (1994). "Cryptographic security for the new trans-European trunked radio (TETRA) standard". Security and Cryptography Applications to Radio Systems, IEE Colloquium on. pp. 3/1–3/5. Retrieved 2010-03-25.  (subscription required)
  47. ^ DW Parkinson (2001-07-01). "TETRA Security". BT Technology Journal, Volume 19. pp. 81–88.  
  48. ^ Doug Gray, An Overview of TETRA,
  49. ^ Gert Roelofsen (1999). "Cryptographic algorithms in telecommunications systems". Information Security Technical Report, Volume 4, Issue 1. pp. 29–37.  
  50. ^
  51. ^


See also

  • JSR-118;
  • Mobile Information Device Profile, JSR-37;
  • Wireless Messaging API, JSR120;
  • Connected Limited Device Configuration, JSR-139; and
  • Technology for the Wireless Industry, JTWI-185.

Refer also to:

Advances in DSP technology have led to the introduction of multi-carrier transmission standards employing QAM modulation. WiMAX, Wi-Fi and TEDS standards are part of this family.

The TETRA Association, working with ETSI, developed the TEDS standard, a wideband data solution, which enhances TETRA with a much higher capacity and throughput for data. In addition to those provided by TETRA, TEDS uses a range of adaptive modulation schemes and a number of different carrier sizes from 25 kHz to 150 kHz. Initial implementations of TEDS will be in the existing TETRA radio spectrum, and will likely employ 50 kHz channel bandwidths as this enables an equivalent coverage footprint for voice and TEDS services. TEDS performance is optimised for wideband data rates, wide area coverage and spectrum efficiency.[51]


The parameters page provides an aid or help menu and the last tab within parameters describes briefly the tool kit the version and the history of the transport application tool kit to date.

The parameters tab also provides a means of choosing between preselected tones to match the work group requirements for the purposes of fraud and aggression alerts. A possibility of selecting any given key available from the keypad to serve as an aggression or fraud quick key is also made possible though the transport application software tool kit. It is recommend to use the Asterisk and the Hash keys for the fraud and aggression quick keys respectively. For the fraud and aggression tones, it is also recommend to use 440 Hz slow repeating tone (blank space 500 milli-seconds) and 880 Hz fast repeating tone (blank space 250 milliseconds) respectively. The tone options are as follows: 440 Hz 620 Hz, 880 Hz, and 1060 Hz.

The parameters tab provides an essential means to the terminal end-user allowing them to pre-configure the target (preprogrammed ISSI or GSSI ) destination communication number. With this pre-programmed destination number, the end-user shall liaise with the destination radio terminal or roll allocation server, and may communicate, in the group, or into a dedicated server to which the service acquisition requests are received, preprocessed, and ultimately dispatched though the TETRA core network. This simplifies the reconfiguration or recycling configuration process allowing flexibility on short assignments.

Status SDS provides the end user with a mechanism for generating a 440 Hz repeating tone that signals a fraud occurrence to members within the same (dynamic or static) Group Short Subscriber Identity (GSSI) or to a specific Individual Short Subscriber Identity (ISSI) for the duration of the assignment (an hour, a morning patrol or a given short period allocated to the assignment). The advantage being that each of the end users may attach themselves to any given terminal, and group for short durations without requiring any major reconfiguration by means of radio software programming tools. Similarly, the aggression feature functions, but with a higher tone frequency (880 Hz), and with a quicker repetitious nature, so to highlight the urgency of the alert.

Service acquisition provides a means of virtually personalising the end user to any given radio terminal and onto TETRA network for the duration the end user conserves the terminal under his possession.

  1. Service acquisition,
  2. Status SDS,
  3. End-user parameters.

The home (main) menu presents the end user with three possibilities:

This transport application tool-kit has been produced successfully and with TETRA communication technology and assures for the public transport application requirements for the future mentioned hereafter.

  • Allow any given agent while in exercise, to exploit any given radio terminal without materiel constraint.
  • Provide specific transportation application software to the end-user agents (service acquisition, fraud, and aggression control).

In summary, the TETRA MMI aims are to:

Service acquisition admits different authorised agents to establish communication channels between different services by calling the service identity, and without possessing the complete knowledge of the ISSI, GSSI, or any other TETRA related communication establishment numbering plan. Service acquisition is administered through a communication rights centralised service or roll allocation server, interfaced into the TETRA core network.


For dexterity, flexibility, and evolution ability, the public transportation radio engineering department, have chosen to use the open sources, Java language specification administered by Sun and the associated work groups in order to produce a transport application tool kit.

Any given TETRA radio terminal using Java (Java ME/CLDC) based technology, provides the end user with the communication rights necessary to fulfil his or her work role on any short duration assignment.

A virtual MMI for TETRA radio terminals

The TETRA man-machine interface (MMI)

Infrastructure TETRA Parameters to be Verified This table serves only as a guide.
Type of radio cover Parameter Distance (km) Type of communication
City < 4 < 8 Pedestrian/metro
Sub-urban 10–18 20–36 Bus/train
Countryside 18–31 36–62 Inter-regional train
In Air > 32 > 64 In flight

Radio link failure: (C1 < 0). Using the suggested values, this would be satisfied with the Serving Cell Level below −105 dBm. Cell reselection procedures are then activated in order to find a suitable radio base station.

When the FRT threshold is breached, the MS is in a situation where it is essential to relinquish (or abandon) the serving cell and obtain another of at least Usable quality. That is to say, the mobile station is aware that the radio signal is decaying rapidly, and must cell reselect rapidly, before communications are terminated because of radio link failure. When the mobile station radio-signal breaches the minimum receive level, the radio is no longer in a position to maintain acceptable communications for the user, and the radio link is broken.

Radio down-link failure

Radio down-link failure

No successful cell reselection shall have taken place within the previous 15 seconds unless MM (Mobility Management) requests a cell reselection. The MS-MLE shall check the criterion for serving cell relinquishment as often as one neighbour cell is scanned or monitored.

The next diagram illustrates where a given TETRA radio cell becomes relinquishable (abandonable). The serving cell becomes relinquishable when the following occurs: The C1 of the serving cell is below the value defined in the radio network parameter cell reselection parameters, fast reselect threshold, for a period of 5 seconds, and the C1 or C2 of a neighbour cell exceeds the C1 of the serving cell by the value defined in the radio network parameter cell reselection parameters, fast reselect hysteresis, for a period of 5 seconds.

Cell relinquishable

Cell relinquishable (abandonable)

  • The MS subscriber class is supported on the neighbour cell but not on the serving cell.
  • The neighbour cell is a priority cell and the serving cell is not.
  • The neighbour cell supports a service (that is, TETRA standard speech, packet data, or encryption) that is not supported by the serving cell and the MS requires that service to be available.
  • The cell service level indicates that the neighbour cell is less loaded than the serving cell.

The following conditions will cause the MS to rate the neighbour cell to have higher service level than the current serving cell:

The following conditions must be met in order to declare a neighbour cell radio usable: The neighbour cell has a path loss parameter C1 or C2 that is greater than the following: (FAST_RESELECT_THRESHOLD+FAST_RESELECT_HYSTERISIS) for a period of 5 seconds, and the service level provided by the neighbour cell is higher than that of the serving cell. No successful cell reselection shall have taken place within the previous 15 seconds unless MM requests a cell reselection. The MS-MLE shall check the criterion for serving cell relinquishment as often as one neighbour cell is scanned or monitored.

The next diagram illustrates where a given TETRA radio cell becomes Usable. A neighbour cell becomes radio usable when the cell has a downlink radio connection of sufficient quality.

Cell Usable

Cell usable

The next diagram illustrates where a given TETRA radio cell becomes improvable. The serving cell becomes improvable when the following occurs: the C1 of the serving cell is below the value defined in the radio network parameter cell reselection parameters, slow reselect threshold for a period of 5 seconds, and the C1 or C2 of a neighbour cell exceeds the C1 of the serving cell by the value defined in the radio network parameter cell reselection parameters, slow reselect hysteresis for a period of 5 seconds.

Cell improvable

Cell improvable

The minimum receive access level information element shall indicate the minimum received signal level required at the SwMI in a cell, either the serving cell or a neighbour cell as defined in table 18.24.

  • Refer to EN 300 392 2 16.3.1 Activation and control of underlying MLE Service
  • Note 18.5.12 Minimum RX access level

At mobile switch on, the mobile makes its initial cell selection of one of the base stations, which indicates the initial exchanges at activation.

The initial cell selection procedure shall ensure that the MS selects a cell in which it can reliably decode downlink data (i.e., on a main control channel/MCCH), and which has a high probability of uplink communication. The minimum conditions that shall have to be met are that C1 > 0. Access to the network shall be conditional on the successful selection of a cell.

The next diagram illustrates where a given TETRA radio cell initial selection. The initial cell selection is performed by procedures located in the MLE and in the MAC. When the cell selection is made, and possible registration is performed, the MS (mobile station) is said to be attached to the cell. The mobile is allowed to initially select any suitable cell that has a positive C1 value; i.e., the received signal level is greater than the minimum receive level for access parameter.

Cell initial selection

Initial cell selection

From this illustration, these SRT and FRT triggering points are associated to the decaying radio signal strength of the respective cell carriers. The thresholds are situated so that the cell reselection procedures occur on time and assure communication continuity for on-going communication calls.

This first representation demonstrates where the slow reselect threshold (SRT) the fast reselect threshold (FRT) and propagation Delay exceed parameters are most likely to be. These are represented in association with the decaying radio carrier as the distance increases from the TETRA Base Station.

RSSI SRT FRT Cell Limit (Propagation Delay Exceed)

Cell re-selection (or hand-over) in images

Cell selection

  • Terrestrial Trunked Radio (TETRA); Voice plus Data (V+D); Part 7: Security[50]

Additional information


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