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Two-way radio service is on trial network in NZ

Clarification: Airwaves’ TETRA-based digital two-way radio service is on trial network in New Zealand

In a media release issued on 20 December last year, network operator Airwaves Limited stated that it was launching New Zealand’s first commercial fully digital two-way radio network, based on TETRA, an international mobile radio and two-way communications standard.

Airwaves Limited would like to clarify that the company is operating a trial network with temporary licences. The Ministry of Economic Development is yet to approve TETRA for a commercial network in New Zealand.

The digital two-way radio service to be offered by Airwaves is based on TETRA (Terrestrial Trunked Radio), an international mobile radio and two-way communications standard. The service combines the ruggedness, security and reliability of radio communications with enhanced features such as telephony, messaging and GPS tracking, giving emergency workers, contractors and other mobile work forces secure, comprehensive communications solutions.

TETRA is used by government agencies, emergency services and commercial enterprises in 88 countries. TETRA terminals are group calling and point-to-point radios and provide mobile telephony, with a direct connection to the PSTN (public switched telephone network).

In telephony mode TETRA handsets can be used to connect users to both landlines and mobile phones. They can send and receive SMS, pictures and other data. Group calling mode allows users to have virtually instantaneous communication among a number of users, this is especially important in environments where dispatch and safety considerations are paramount. When used in individual mode the terminals provide discrete one-to-one communication over the Airwaves network. Emergency buttons on the terminals mean users can communicate an emergency to a group of radio users, an individual radio user or even a telephone or cellular phone. Emergency communications take precedence over other normal communications.



Terrestrial Trunked Radio (TETRA) is a specialist professional mobile radio and two-way communication standard.

TETRA is an ETSI standard, first version published 1995. TETRA is endorsed by the European Radio Communications Committee (ERC).

It is widely used throughout Europe, Asia and Latin America by police forces, ambulance services, fire departments and the military and commercial users.

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