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TETRA security features

The not for profit body ETSI has begun work on the next generation of TETRA security features. This will ensure the standard remains fully protected, against rising threats from cyber criminals, it’s claimed. The enhancements will include additional encryption algorithms designed to resist cryptanalysis into the 2030s and beyond.

There have been many attempts to eavesdrop on or gain access to TETRA networks, but provided the networks are brought in according to the recommendations from trade membership group TCCA’s Security and Fraud Prevention Group (SFPG), TETRA security has consistently blocked the attempts, TCCA says. With TETRA expected to provide mission critical communications for many years to come, ETSI will enhance TETRA security even further to protect against cyber-attacks as technology continues to advance.

To meet the evolving needs of users, ETSI has developed and enhanced the TETRA standard. The standard now consists of more than 180 current technical specifications and reports, bringing the number of dedicated features and functions to more than 300.

TETRA supports mission critical communication users who often operate in dangerous situations in challenging environments. Reliable communications are essential – they can be literally the difference between life and death. Users must have secure, instant, ubiquitous, resilient and reliable communications, and are continuing to trust their communications to TETRA. Provisional figures from market research firm IHS Markit show the TETRA market increased by nearly 7pc from 2017 to 2018, with a compounded annual growth rate of more that 6% forecast from 2017 to 2022.

Brian Murgatroyd, Chair of ETSI Technical Committee TETRA and Critical Communications Evolution (TC TCCE) said: “After more than 25 years, TETRA remains the de facto choice for mission critical communications service. In the last few weeks alone, there have been announcements regarding TETRA implementations in Australia, Bahrain, Brazil, China, India, Indonesia, Moldova, Portugal, Romania and Sweden, in addition to the extension to the Airwave service contract in the UK and the continued rollout of the world’s largest TETRA network in Germany.”

Maintaining the profile of the TETRA standard is the responsibility of TCCA’s TETRA Industry Group (TIG), comprised of TCCA member companies Airbus, DAMM, Etelm, Hytera, Leonardo, Motorola Solutions, Piciorgros, Rohill and Sepura.

“TIG provides a platform for discussion and collaboration within TCCA. TIG is committed to ensuring TETRA continues to be a multi-vendor standard that innovates, introduces new products and supports continued strong business development,” said Leonardo’s Francesco Pasquali, who chairs the Group.

Members of TIG will run the ‘TETRA – Today and Tomorrow’ Masterclass on Tuesday, June 18, during CCW2019 (Critical Communications World) in Kuala Lumpur. The Group has also developed a paper detailing the strengths of TETRA, which can be accessed with TCCA’s Pocket Guides to TETRA in English, Portuguese and Spanish. Visit


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