TETRA ISI Standard Updated to Include IP Connectivity
Monday, July 02, 2018 | Comments

The European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) standard for the TETRA Inter-System Interface (ISI) now includes IP connectivity, allowing the process of interconnecting two separate TETRA networks to become faster, easier and more cost effective, TCCA said.

Interconnection of individual TETRA networks via the ISI previously required a dedicated E1 link. This can be expensive and sometimes impossible to lease because providers no longer support circuit switched connections.

The ISI is the mechanism that enables separate secure TETRA networks to interconnect. For first responders, this is essential for communications continuity if working in regional or national cross-border areas. Other examples could be individual networks used by different organizations needing to interwork in an environment such as an airport, or a municipality where critical user groups, such as public transport and city fire services using their own TETRA networks, need to communicate securely for effective collaboration.

TETRA systems are interoperable in terms of hardware and software from different manufacturers, because of the TETRA Interoperability Process (IOP) run by TCCA through its Technical Forum (TF). To ensure the new IP option for ISI is included in the IOP testing and certification, the TF’s ISI working group has been working in parallel with the ETSI revision process.

The group wrote new ISI TETRA Interoperability Profiles (TIPs) — available to TCCA members — that are the basis for the interoperability testing. Each TIP is based on ETSI TETRA standards. The TIPs primarily constitute a clarification of the standards and may impose limitations to achieve a range of fully compliant and interoperable TETRA equipment available to the market.

TCCA contracts Istituto Superiore delle Comunicazioni e tecnologie dell’Informazione (ISCOM), a laboratory of the Italian Ministry of Communications, as the independent TETRA testing and certification authority responsible for supervising the testing sessions.

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