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      • The Power of Power – Maintaining Critical Communications Author: Richard Martin

        Published Dec 09 2016, 8:09 PM by Paul Jeffs

        A Mission Critical Communications system needs Amps. It seems a very obvious thing to say but without electrical power the base stations supporting systems such as TETRA will not work. Most of these base stations rely on traditional mains power, and there are times when this can fail. Very often this is for a short time, and this can be (and should be) planned for with battery back-up.

        But what happens with an extended period of loss of mains power? This happens with surprising regularity and can be triggered by natural events such as storms, ice, or earthquakes. Even more worrying is the threat of cyber terrorism, and this is known to be a major threat to both public safety and industrial organisations. In such situations the need for and load on public safety and utility organisations becomes much greater. With each hour and then day the systems that all of us as citizens rely upon will degrade, our homes will not be heated, the transport system will run out of fuel and our shops will run out of food. Public safety, health services, and utilities must communicate to identify dangerous situations, prioritise their efforts, allocate people, locate and deploy resources.

        So how can a mission critical system continue to operate over several days without mains power? There are several solutions, each of which have advantages and drawbacks, and a combination may be the optimum.

        Diesel or LPG powered generators. Automatic starting generators have many advantages are relatively low cost. There are practicalities to consider. Fuel levels need to be monitored so that it can be replenished when necessary. In addition fuel is valuable, and becomes even more precious in an extended power outage. The same is true of the generator itself and so security of the site is essential. The generator must be reliable in start-up and so may need to be regularly tested. In very low temperatures the reliability of start-up may become an issue.

        One TETRA operator has selected Fuel Cells as the means of providing backup power for protracted mains power loss. The decision was based on several factors. Some of the base stations are deployed on buildings and noise is a factor, Fuel cells run very quietly. Reliable start up in low temperatures is another factor, again fuel cells provide reliable start up. The unit comprises a hydrogen store, fuel cell, and BTS in one secure cabinet. Fuel cells will need to be provided with cylinders of very pure hydrogen, and this and the cost of the fuel cell is a consideration. Nevertheless the deployment has performed well in service for the last 3 years.

        Solar power can also be an auxiliary source of power. A solar system could significantly reduce the fuel needed by a generator or fuel cell, but may not be cost effective in all locations and climates.

        These solutions can be considered in designing a system for extended power for critical base stations in the TETRA or Critical Communications network. This design will need to take into account many local factors such as climate, base station locations, frequency and length of back-up duration, management and control mechanisms. Motorola has the skills and experience in working with customers to specify, design, install and support such a vital enhancement to the communications system.

        Take a look at my recent presentation for Critical Communications Europe to get the full view of ‘Powering TETRA’ including case studies and recommendations.

        Find out more about the MTS-1 TETRA Base Station and the DC-powered version, the MTS1-DC DC-powered TETRA Base Station.

        Richard Martin is Senior Consultant, TETRA Global Marketing

        Richard is on LinkedIn at

        Follow @MotSolsEMEA on Twitter.


        Join the Motorola Solutions Community EMEA at

      • Real-Life Testing Drives TETRA Terminal Choice for Fire and Civil Defence Author: Richard Bennett

        Published Dec 09 2016, 8:09 PM by Paul Jeffs

        CRITICAL COMMUNICATIONS. It’s a real testament to mission-critical design when end-user testing is the key process used for selecting radio terminals. This is exactly the case with the recent TETRA Terminals tender won by Motorola Solutions in Norway. Users from both Norway’s Fire service and Norwegian Civil Defence tested devices from three vendors in real-life situations.

        What decided the final choice of vendor? Motorola Solutions’ radios were first choice for users because of their superior voice quality, ruggedness and user friendly operation.

        Users chose the MTP3250 and the MTP850Ex ATEX handheld TETRA digital radios as well as the MTM5400 TETRA mobile radio for installation in emergency vehicles.

        The MTP3250 epitomises the latest thinking around mission critical terminal design – with a ‘Safer, Tougher, Easier’ design philosophy.

        The MTP850Ex ATEX is intrinsically safe and is designed for users with heavy gloves making it the perfect choice for fire and rescue teams working in environments containing explosive gas or dust.

        And the ‘Safer, Smarter, Faster’ MTM5400 mobile radio also supports TEDS so that users will be able to access a range of enhanced data services and applications.

        As Manuel Torres, Senior Vice President, Government Sales, Europe and Africa, Motorola Solutions said:

        “As the prime contractor of Nødnett, the new nationwide communication system for Norwegian public safety users, we have a strong presence in Norway. We are delighted that the fire users again have selected our TETRA radio devices and that the Norwegian Civil Defence have chosen our user friendly devices. We are fully committed to deliver solutions for their needs to support them in their mission critical communications.”

        Read more in the Press Release.

        Richard Bennett is Senior Manager, Solutions Marketing EMEA.

        Richard is on LinkedIn at

        Follow @MotSolsEMEA on Twitter.

        Join the Motorola Solutions Community EMEA at

      • How Innovation is Mobilizing Intelligence to Create Safer Cities Author: Shamik Mukherjee

        Published Dec 09 2016, 8:09 PM by Paul Jeffs

        The most important advantage we will provide for our critical communications users is the ability to harness all the information that surrounds them – from images, records, videos and sensors. To synthesize it to find patterns and make smarter decisions. And then distribute it securely and instantly to the teams who need it the most.

        Whether it is in public safety, transportation, or energy, our critical communications users are increasingly relying on multimedia. And they are creating information in greater scope than any time before. They are recording and streaming video, accessing remote databases, monitoring biometrics, and reading environmental scans.

        We know this is important. But we also understand that capturing that information is just the start. The real inflection comes in what happens when that information becomes intelligence. When we can integrate all these various inputs into a single unified stream. Where data, voice and video co-exist and public safety inputs are married to information flowing from throughout the city. Buses, trains, airports, utilities. We move from dispatching units to react at a moment’s notice to communications centers that can better anticipate, forecast and predict.

        At this year’s CCW, we demonstrated how information from city services, remote mines, offshore oil rigs, airports, seaports, and high-speed rail lines are brought together for one unified, real-time view of the city. We demonstrated how our mission-critical radios and LTE devices protect the security of sensitive communications across a growing cybersecurity threat matrix. We showed how we have converged TETRA with LTE in a future-ready architecture. And that despite the complexity of networks and ways to connect – smart devices and instant interoperability will always find whatever RF energy exists within the wireless cloud and connect over the best fit network to make sure that data is delivered. Across radio and broadband, private and public, for any device and any media.

        When every input can be directed toward a single goal, we have the basis for building both safer moments and establishing enduring safety. Knowing that safer cities are thriving cities. Where people want to move to, businesses want to participate, and economies are on the rise.

        Shamik Mukherjee is Associate Vice President of Marketing for Asia Pacific and the Middle East for Motorola Solutions, Inc.

        To experience this year’s Critical Communications World visit our Critical Communications World microsite where blogs, news, twitter and more from the show.

        Follow #CCW2014 on Twitter.

        Join the Motorola Solutions Community EMEA at