Dutch Police TETRA Network, Netherlands
The Dutch police IT organisation made the first real call on its pilot TETRA network following its installation in the Utrecht area in the centre of the Netherlands in 1997. In addition to the pilot test, Dutch authorities are building a countrywide public safety network for the coming years called C2000.
The C2000 project entails the design, construction and implementation of a new countrywide digital radio communication network in the Netherlands, based on the TETRA standard. The Netherlands' public safety and security organisations, such as the fire brigade, police, ambulance services and the royal marechaussee (gendarmerie) will use the network.
The Dutch have been working with TETRA for many years. The Dutch police was one of the first supporters of an open European standard and a member of the ETSI committee responsible for defining the TETRA standard.
The Dutch authorities expect the new TETRA network to improve the working environment of public safety bodies. It will be possible to have more functions and new features not incorporated in the previous networks. The police expect TETRA to bring harmonisation among the equipment used by 25 independent Dutch police units.
The Dutch, German and Belgian TETRA public safety radio communications organisations have established cross-border tests. These will look at law enforcement and the rescue forces' communications abilities of the TETRA networks. Because of the need for interoperability among different countries, the Dutch police believe it is vital to adhere to a common open standard.
The first trial project took place in 1997. The first phase of the C2000 project was operational in the Amsterdam area in 1999. The implementation is expected to be completed by the second half of 2002.
PROJECT CHARACTERISTICS AND COSTS
The C2000 project is the largest private radio communications project in the history of the Netherlands, representing an overall investment of $180 million. The Dutch government signed the contract with TetraNed. At the same time as receiving the contract, TetraNed signed a multi-million dollar subcontract for the C2000 infrastructure with Motorola for both the TETRA digital two-way radio network and an alphanumeric paging system.
The C2000 project will provide a national TETRA network for 50,000 public safety workers from 45 organisations. The new network will replace all the existing 120 analogue networks. The project will be carried out on the basis of a circular model, which means that C2000 will be implemented in three circles, starting from the Amsterdam region.
The circular model was chosen in order to prevent specific problems connected to the migration from an analogue to a digital system. The building and construction activities will be carried out in the first circle. Simultaneously, control rooms will be prepared for the introduction of C2000. Provisions will be made to enable the control rooms to use both analogue and digital communication at the same time for a limited period.
Dutch Public Safety and Security IT organisations also carried out tests in order to measure the TETRA network's speech quality. The trial network in Utrecht is a multivendor project, delivered by Tele Denmark, using Nokia Telecommunications' network and terminals. The multi-site test configuration consists of switching, base stations, terminals and network management. The Dutch police IT organisation made individual calls, group calls and status messages during this pilot phase. Voice calls were performed between mobile telephones and dispatcher stations and the voice quality was considered satisfactory.
TetraNed, a joint venture between the radio supplier KPN and Getronics (in the Netherlands) is in charge of the implementation of the C2000 project. Tele Danmark R&D have been awarded the main contract for delivering a TETRA system for field-testing in Utrecht.