SAPS network to be up by year-end


The Gauteng police will have an operational R506 million Tetra network by the end of this year, allowing the centralisation of the province`s 10111 call centre.The roll-out of the R506 million digital terrestrial trunked radio (Tetra) communications network, for the Gauteng South African Police Service (SAPS), is on track for completion towards the end of the year.

Altech subsidiary Alcom Systems was awarded the project in 2004, to set up a network solely dedicated to the SAPS.

An Alcom spokesman says the project is nearing completion and is expected to meet its year-end deadline. “A number of sites have been completed and we are still awaiting environmental approval for some of the sites.”

He adds that the project is “generally running well”. He declines to give further details, saying issues of security have to be considered.

Gauteng SAPS provincial spokesman director Govindsamy Mariemuthoo has confirmed the project`s progress. “The project is on track for completion towards the end of the year.”

Mariemuthoo also states the capital expenditure of half a billion rand has not changed.

Centralising 10111

The network will also give the SAPS instant access in emergency situations and inter-service communications between departments and units. In addition, the network provides the ability for the police to consolidate its 10111 call centre into a centralised location.

The Midrand site, which will consolidate the province`s 10111 call centres, will be operational in July, says Mariemuthoo.

Following the successful roll-out of a similar network for the Cape Town municipality in 2001, the Gauteng SAPS awarded Alcom Systems a tender for the supply, delivery, installation, commissioning and testing of a complete Tetra network system for the province.

At the time of winning the tender, Alcom said it was the biggest radio communications contract ever awarded on the African continent.

Alcom stated the Tetra network would benefit the SAPS as it is significantly more secure than any commercial network, which relies on mutual authentication and encryption for voice transmission. In addition, Tetra base stations are designed not to be affected by electrical blackouts, which means emergency communications remain up and running during a disaster situation.