TCCA Celebrates 25 Years
Monday, November 04, 2019 | Comments

TCCA – The Critical Communications Association is celebrating its 25-year anniversary since the first TETRA memorandum of understanding was signed to form the original TETRA MoU Association.

During the past 25 years, TCCA has become a global organization, continuing to drive the development of TETRA technology through its TETRA Industry Group and the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI). TCCA is also leading development of 4G and 5G standards through its Broadband Industry Group (BIG) and Critical Communications Broadband Group (CCBG).

TCCA’s core principle of open standards — the foundation for the success of TETRA — has remained unshakeable since the pioneers came together in 1994. The TETRA market was built on the unique interoperability (IOP) testing and certification process, developed and led by TCCA’s Technical Forum (TF). The first TF meeting was held at the U.K. Home Office in London in February 1999, and the first IOP certificates were published in November 1999. Twenty years later the TETRA IOP process continues to lead the world in independent certification for critical communications. TCCA’s IOP testing is witnessed by an independent body, currently ISCOM, part of the Italian Ministry of Communications.

TCCA is now working with partners such as the Global Certification Forum (GCF) to develop and implement a global MCX interoperability testing and certification regime, along with an increasingly wide range of industry partners to advance critical communications worldwide.

Jeppe Jepsen, TCCA’s board vice-chair, was director of TETRA at Motorola Solutions when the original MoU was signed and has seen the association and the critical communications market develop first hand since 1994.

“Over these 25 years, the association has expanded the market to all parts of the world and all sectors of PMR (professional mobile radio),” Jepsen said. “TCCA has developed across the critical communications broadband ecosystem to become the place where user organizations and industry can debate and clarify their common issues, and to be the honest place to obtain and share information.

“Through lobbying of governments and regulators we have gained international agreement on broadband spectrum for PPDR (public protection and disaster response), and we have set out and continue to drive technology roadmap agreements across the demand and supply sectors.”

The TETRA standard was first developed in the 1990s but is still being improved and is seen as having a long-term future well into the 2030s and beyond. The standard consists of more than 130 separate technical specifications and more than 35 technical reports and guides. 

“We are still developing the TETRA technology to ensure it will still be fit for purpose for the next 20 years, but we have extended our remit to cover developments of specifications for critical communications broadband services,” said Brian Murgatroyd, chair of the ETSI Technical Committee TETRA and Critical Communications Evolution (TC TCCE). “In particular we are developing new interfaces to ensure successful interworking between TETRA networks and mission-critical broadband systems. We wish TCCA a great future for another 25 years.”

“This 25th anniversary is another opportunity to publicly thank all our members, our partners and all supporters of excellence in critical communications,” said Tony Gray, TCCA chief executive. “The impact that such a niche but crucial market has on the world’s safety and security cannot be underestimated, and we are proud that TCCA is firmly embedded at the center of developments.”

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