Hytera presents next-gen communication products to SAPS


On 5 September, Hytera held an end user conference for the South African Police Service (SAPS) at the Maslow Hotel Time Square, Pretoria, where it showcased its products and services including radios and public safety solutions.

Hytera, formerly HYT before 2010, provides critical mission communication solutions, mobile command vehicles as well as a number of different narrowband and broadband technologies.

Hytera has ten research and development (R&D) centres around the world, three manufacturing centres in China and over 90 branches globally, with African branches in Ethiopia, Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa.

Hytera held last week’s conference under the theme, “innovate for a safer world” and featured a programme that presented their TETRA (terrestrial trunked radio) and DMR (digital migration radio) solutions, integrated command and control communications, a mission critical services solution (supporting industries such as public safety, airports, mining), multi-mode advanced radio and body worn camera.

TETRA is a digital standard which was started by the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) in the mid-1980s and standardised in 1995. It was initially required to be a digital standard to replace the MPT 1327 analogue trunked networks. It is now a network in operation in over 120 countries and has over 3.4 million active radios.

(A trunked radio system is a two-way radio system that uses a digital control channel to automatically assign frequency channels to groups of users. A trunked radio system is a computer-controlled network that automatically connects users to available radio channels when they need them. When a user, say a police officer in the field, wants to send a message, the system assigns them to an available channel, decreasing the likelihood that they’ll have to wait for a free channel to start transmitting. Under a conventional system, a user has to wait until someone has done transmitting on a dedicated channel before they can transmit, which leads to transmission traffic jams.)

Hytera’s TETRA solution for professional communications includes a base station and terminals. The TETRA digital indoor base station has an advanced and compact version. The advanced version holds up to four carriers and has an extension allowing for four more. The compact version is a two carrier version. Hytera’s TETRA terminals consist of Sepura (a subsidiary of Hytera) and Hytera’s own hand-held radios. At its presentation last week, Hytera showcased  the Sepura SC20 and 21 series hand-held radios, the 21 being the more compact version.

The DMR standard was published by ETSI and was developed to substitute analogue two-way radio systems with digital standards. Hytera’s DMR portfolio includes their PD98X hand-held radio and their MD78X/78XG digital mobile two-way radio. The PD98X is capable of storing calls and messages on a micro SD card, has Bluetooth and can make full duplex (point-to-point communication in both directions) calls. The MD78X is built to the DMR standard, has duel modes (analogue and digital), can make multiple types of calls, and has GPS as well as data services.

In terms of public safety and a “safer world”, Hytera can provide a narrowband and broadband convergence solution (the ability to view the same multimedia content from different devices) using broadband systems and multi-mode terminals (LTE radios). Hytera also provide a public safety command and dispatch solution which includes a visually represented command and dispatch system (displayed on a control screen), large security command and dispatch system (for large-scale events such as sports matches), top-speed emergency calling (faster than conventional phone calls), integrated dispatching station (that is linked with multiple services such as fire and police) as well as other specialised products.

In addition, their public safety applications also extend to a mobile policing solution that incorporates facial recognition,  alarm receiving, access to live CCTV footage, and police dispatching with integration of individuals and vehicles. Data is fed to a central terminal/command and control centre that can classify incidents and dispatch multiple units (such as fire and police), track and manage incidents and record incidents.

Hytera showcased its multi-mode advanced radio, a platform for critical voice and broadband data transfer. The smart phone  radio features front and rear 13 Mp cameras, with the rear camera supporting 4K video and a quick-view top screen. Its Gorilla Glass III screen is scratch resistant, anti-impact, anti-fingerprint and oil resistant. The radio is capable of streaming live video feed directly to the command centre as well as to other radios.

Similarly, Hytera’s body worn camera has the same feature of real-time video streaming. It is also rugged, has a 216 degree camera and a battery life of 8 hours at 720P video shooting

The Hytera conference primarily focused on applications for public safety, including end-to-end command and control  solutions, but its products also have huge applications for counter-terrorism, utilities and energy, transportation, emergency services and commercial uses. The conference was attended by : Major General Buthelezi, and Major General Gabela and Brigadier Stokkies Coetzee of the Gauteng police as well as other interested stakeholders.