Eircom consortium in lead for TETRA contract

18 Jan 2007

A consortium comprising Eircom, Sigma Wireless and Motorola has achieved “preferred bidder” status from the Department of Finance following a tender for a national digital radio network for the public sector, including the Gardai and emergency services.

The Tetra Ireland consortium aims to provide a network that will be operated on a fully managed service basis, covering the design, construction, management and operation of the network.

After winning preferred bidder status the next step in the process is the completion of a service performance evaluation over the next six months.

If the consortium is successful the Government contract is expected to be for a period of eight to 10 years.

The system proposed by the Eircom-led consortium will use TETRA (terrestrial trunked radio) technology. TETRA phones can act as cell phones that can also connect to the PSTN network. They can be used by police forces as walkie talkies albeit without the usual range limitation.

The offering Tetra Ireland proposes includes an encrypted digital radio system that can’t be hacked by criminals, global positioning system (GPS) tracking technology and cross-border and cross-band compatibility with international networks.

“We fully understand the critical importance of the National Digital Radio Services network for Ireland’s public sector,” said Tetra Ireland chairman and managing director of Eircom Retail, Cathal Magee.

“Tetra Ireland will offer the most comprehensive, technically advanced and viable digital network service. It will set a new standard in Ireland for the delivery of vital national infrastructure and will provide a world class and co-ordinated communications service,” Magee said.

By John Kennedy