TETRA countrywide by 2015

The South African Police Service expects to have terrestrial trunked radio (TETRA) coverage nationwide by 2015.
Police spokesman Senior Superintendent Lindela Mashigo says the crime fighting service expects to put the command-and-control (C2) technology in place over the next six years.  
He was commenting on the recent award of a contract valued at close to a billion rand to build a digital command-and-control network for the Eastern Cape province, often described as SA`s poorest.
The deal that has Integcomm as prime contractor and includes Saab Grintek Technologies as well as EADS Secure Networks, is seen as a major investment ahead of the 2010 Soccer World Cup that will improve security in the vast province and better the combating of crime.
“The contract requires Integcomm to supply, deliver, test, commission and successfully operate the TETRA communication network for the Eastern Cape police,” added Mashigo.
“Work … will begin in April and will take roughly five years to complete.”
 EADS Secure Networks general director Dirk Borchardt says his business, an integrated activity of EADS Defence & Security, will supply the technology and bring in the best of its roll-out experience gathered along the numerous radio communication networks the company has already implemented.
“This major step in South Africa is of highest importance for our company and we will naturally work hand in hand day after day with Integcomm to provide the [police] with a robust and versatile radio communication system, with both future-proof voice and data features,” he says.
Borchardt adds the network will be ready for TETRA Enhanced Data Service (TEDS), thus ensuring and easy slide into the next generation TETRA technology.
More than 200 base stations will be installed to ensure a flawless coverage of the province, where around seven million people live. Around 10 000 EADS terminals are also part of the deal.
Some 16 000 provincial officers will rely on the system to communicate clearly and securely with their colleagues on the field. “They can expect a great deal of improvements in their day-to-day operations thanks to the clarity of their communications with colleagues over EADS terminals,” Borchardt adds.
Saab Grintek Technologies will, as a subcontractor to Integcomm, supply the following:
·         transmission back-bone microwave network;
·         IP MPLS transmission network;
·         mobile data system including mobile video transmission;
·         voice data and video recording system;
·         WiMax 802.16e broadband radio network, status and alarm monitoring system;
·         network engineering and integration services; and
·         network installation services.
Saab Grintek Technologies CE Johan Herselman says “We believe that this network is the first of its kind, where integrated TETRA and WiMAX technology will be used for state-of-the–art Public Safety Command, Control and Dispatching communications, including mobile video transmission”.
“It could provide unprecedented levels of SAPS work force management and optimisation, thereby greatly improving crime fighting efficiencies,” he adds. Herselman is also chairman of the Southern African TETRA Association.
Integcomm is part of the Midway Two group of companies, a SA-owned black economic empowerment company employing over 10 000 people. Group executive chairman DJJ Scholtz says “This contract is a clear sign of how much Integcomm is committed to improve the security in South Africa and we are proud to present the solution that best suits the concrete needs of police officers.”
The Eastern Cape will be the second province to gain a TETRA system. Gauteng migrated to the technology two years ago. Mashigo has previously said KwaZulu-Natal will be the next province to benefit from the digital upgrade.