Numbering and other aspects of operational planning

Why operational planning
The user organisations of a new TETRA network normally face a ‘high class’ problem, this problem being that the network offers more features and facilities than the system it replaces. In order to get the best out of the new TETRA system, careful planning of how to use the network is needed. This planning process is called Operational Planning. (could also be called operative planning or tactical planning). Careful operational planning obviously is most important (and complex) in a shared system supporting multiple user organisations.

Operational planning is a process that binds technical possibilities and user needs together. During the operational planning process the user representatives gain a deep understanding on the new system and it’s capabilities from an end user perspective. After thorough training on the system they are able – in co-operation with the system provider – to plan the use of the new TETRA system in efficient and secure way. Involving end users in the planning process will also make the new system and new practices more easily adopted in the user community.

The system provider (together with the service provider) is usually needed in the operational planning process to make sure that the outcome follows the design philosophy and capabilities of the system, even though there could be differences in the system design approaches. The provider is also able to assist in the overall understanding of dependencies between different decisions and help with interpreting detailed technical information.

The Operational Planning process is a top-down process, ranging from high level joint planning between user organisation representatives and the provider, to regional/organisation level planning carried out by user organisation’s own “change agents” and assisted as required by the provider.

The many things to be planned
The items to be planned during the Operational Planning process of a shared system include at least the following topics (including a detail level understanding of system capabilities):

– Management hierarchy definition:
   Who are the key super users and/or super users from end user organisation/user point of view.
– Numbering plan for:
   radio terminal users,
   applications,
   fixed voice clients,
   IP connections,
   integration to PABX numbering …
– Talk group plan covering:
   Talk group numbers,
   co-operation talk groups,
   talk group members,
   usage of dynamic groups,
   group areas, shifting/fixed area groups,
   how to use group scanning and possible use of priority scanning
– System sharing related planning:
   How to separate organisations,
   hierarchies between organisations,
   communication rules between organisations
– Usage of services:
   How to use individual and group calls, messaging and data securely and efficiently
– Rights to use services:
   group calls,
   individual calls,
   individual calls to/from outside the network,
   status messages, text messages,
   data usage, access to applications…
– Emergency call:
   emergency call targets, routing of emergency call
– Priorities:
   for individual radio users, groups and fixed voice clients,
   of pre-emptive type or not,
   usage of subscriber classes,
   scanning priorities
– Connecting to external systems and communication to them:
   analogue networks, PABXs, PSTN interfaces and call routing
– Usage of end-to-end encryption:
   who, how, controlled by who, end-to-end encryption key delivery
– Radio terminal related logistics:
   storage, delivery and distribution of terminal hardware,
   software, parameters, authentication keys
– Usage of applications:
   what, how to integrate, roll-out time-schedules, access rights/usage rights
– Training implementation per needs of each target group:
   where, when, content, to whom, methods
– and there may be many more …

Deliverables from planning
The main final outcome from successful operational planning should be user satisfaction and rapid take-up of the services. To ensure this, the planning process needs to produce and distribute deliverables to ensure that a common understanding on operational procedures and practices is shared between all stakeholders. It is also likely that communicated justification for each planning decision agreed to be taken will help in avoiding misunderstandings. The deliverables of the operational planning process should include at least:

– Hierarchical communication and administrative structure for each user organisation
– Communication guidelines for each user organisation
– Subscriber profiles for each user type for both radio terminals and fixed voice clients
   (e.g. Police officer, Police commander, Security police,
   Police command and control workstation user, Police super user…)
– Training plan according to communication guidelines
– Instructions how to co-operate between different authorities/user organisations
– Roll out time schedule for the results of the operational planning process

International numbering plan
See Mobile Country Codes for TETRA