Jersey and Guernsey emergency services communicate across unified networks

New interoperable TETRA (TErrestrial Trunked RAdio) digital radio systems will allow police and emergency services in the Channel Islands of Jersey and Guernsey to communicate across unified networks.

Jun 16, 2011
By Paul Jacques

New interoperable TETRA (TErrestrial Trunked RAdio) digital radio systems will allow police and emergency services in the Channel Islands of Jersey and Guernsey to communicate across unified networks.

The Motorola Dimetra 7.1 TETRA systems will allow Jersey and Guernsey to collaborate more effectively in public safety provision and emergency situations, safeguarding more than 158,000 residents.

For the first time worldwide, systems between two separate states can be joined whenever needed.

The ability of uniting the two TETRA systems will help emergency services personnel in Jersey and Guernsey to more efficiently safeguard public safety by expanding the networks’ coverage and improving the tracking of seagoing vessels and craft, while reducing the cost of supporting their communications networks. Areas of the English Channel around Jersey and Guernsey not previously reached will be brought under the TETRA networks.

Motorola Solutions has installed Dimetra 7.1 TETRA infrastructure for both Jersey and Guernsey, allowing both to operate independent secure TETRA networks with push-button interoperability between both islands’ public safety communications systems.

The new systems will allow both communities access to an enhanced coverage area, including an area of the English Channel that separates Jersey and Guernsey. This will allow emergency services personnel to carry out cliff rescues in areas that previously did not have radio coverage. In addition, Jersey’s Motorola MTM5400 mobile will have gateway repeater capability, enabling users to temporarily extend the coverage area of the TETRA network through their individual handsets.

Senator Ian Le Marquand, Minister for Home Affairs, States of Jersey, said the communications project was vital to the safety of the community while Glen Le Cheminant, ICT manager, States of Guernsey Home Department, added that the ability to respond to situations within the Channel Islands’ territorial waters has been enhanced.

The TETRA systems provide both Jersey and Guernsey with enhanced security with secure communications through separated TETRA Encryption Algorithm (TEA) 2 encryptions and Group Cypher Key (GCK) support.

While Jersey has upgraded its TETRA system, which was installed by Motorola ten years ago as one of the first TETRA systems in the world, Guernsey’s TETRA network has replaced a previous system. The new platforms offer greater reliability and extended support for all public safety services.

They cover more than 2,000 users across all public service communications in Jersey and Guernsey, including police, fire and coast guard services.

Tom Quirke, vice-president and general manager, TETRA global organisation, Motorola Solutions, said: “Jersey and Guernsey interoperable TETRA systems are the first of their kind and they resolve a considerable need from the two islands.”

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