About TETRA – what is TETRA and what does it offer?

TETRA (Terrestrial Trunked Radio) is a technology used to provide the robust, resilient ‘mission critical’ private mobile communications services that are needed by professional users such as the emergency services and commercial organisations with mobile workforces or large fleets of vehicles. These users generally need particular features to enable them to work effectively. These include secure encrypted networks, mobile phone calls and two way radio messaging, assured coverage and call quality, the ability to send voice, data and images, direct mode operation which allows rapid communications between groups of workers (such as an emergency service response team at a major incident), and managed fall-back for additional resilience. TETRA has characteristics in common with the mobile networks with which we are all familiar but offers the additional features which are required to meet these needs.

Like the cellular mobile phone networks, TETRA networks use a series of base stations which direct calls between terminals connected to the network.  Low-powered radio signals or radio waves in the non-ionising frequency band are used to transmit messages across the network. Radio waves are part of our daily lives, bringing us the benefits of television and radio and communications on the move.

TETRA is an international open standard, developed by the European Telecommunications Standards Institute, which defines a particular way of coding radio signals to provide digital mobile communications services. TETRA is widely used across the world by emergency services, transport organisations, security organisation, and public utilities. The TETRA and Critical Communications Association’s website contains more information on the deployment of TETRA around the world.

Where to Find More Information

Below you will find further information on various aspects of TETRA, click on the appropriate heading to see more.

On our Links page you can access many useful sites including the Advisory Group on Non-Ionising Radiation (AGNIR), Health Protection Agency (HPA), International Commission for Non-Ionising Radiation Protection (ICNIRP), Mobile Manufacturers Forum (MMF), Mobile Operators Association (MOA), Mobile Telecommunications and Health Research programme (MTHR), the TETRA and Critical Communications Association (T&CCA), World Health Organisation (WHO) etc.

For a printable version of the information on this page click here (pdf file). When viewed on screen, the links in this pdf file may be clicked to view the referenced page/document.