TETRA Association, Vendors Plan Next Moves for North America (6/8/10)
Tuesday, June 08, 2010 | Comments

By Sandra Wendelken
The TETRA Association and TETRA vendor officials continue to push for the technology’s use in North America. Representatives recently met with FCC officials, and at least one TETRA vendor plans to begin responding to North American requests for proposals (RFPs).

TETRA Association officials, some of whom work for TETRA manufacturers, met with FCC Office of Engineering and Technology (OET), Wireless Telecommunications Bureau (WTB) and Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau (PSHSB) officials in May to provide more technical and user information to the U.S. regulator.

Last year, the association filed a request for waiver of Parts 2 and 90 of the FCC’s rules to allow TETRA technology to be used in the United States. The FCC put the request out for public comment in December. All comments were due in January, but the commission hasn’t yet ruled on the request.

On May 25, a meeting to discuss TETRA developments in North America was held at the Utilities Telecom Council (UTC) annual conference in Indianapolis. “We discussed the status of the FCC rule waiver, and the attorney for the TETRA association advised that letters of support for the waiver would still be accepted by the FCC,” said Klaus Bender, UTC director of standards and engineering. “One vender has modified TETRA equipment certified in the United States in the UHF and 800 MHz bands and has contacted Motorola in writing to request licensing information. Motorola has yet to respond to these requests, nor were Motorola officials present at the meeting.”

TETRA manufacturer PowerTrunk received type acceptance for the TETRA-based roll-off 0.2 base station repeater from the FCC and Industry Canada. Jose Manuel Martin, commercial director for PowerTrunk, said the firm has asked Motorola to state the intellectual property rights (IPRs) that it holds applicable to TETRA.

“Motorola responded several months ago to Teltronic’s request for a license by seeking further information from Teltronic regarding the scope of the license being requested and clarification regarding whether Teltronic’s equipment is, in fact, compliant with the TETRA standard,” said a Motorola spokesman. Teltronic is a Spanish TETRA vendor that does business as PowerTrunk in North America.

“As Motorola has mentioned several times before, Motorola believes that a standards-based approach supported by a defined set of user requirements and ongoing dialogue is the best way to ensure that the technical challenges and practical implications of introducing TETRA into North America can be appropriately debated and considered,” the Motorola spokesman said.

This year PowerTrunk plans to commercially offer its TETRA products in North America and respond to RFPs from U.S. customers. The company will act in good faith regarding the IPR issues and treat the TETRA IPRs as they are handled in the rest of the world, Martin said.

PowerTrunk, which also offers Project 25 (P25) products, is setting up a P25 partnership with Kenwood Communications. PowerTrunk is offering seminars with more information about its P25 and TETRA products the week of June 14 in New York and Washington.

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