Hungarian Telecom Providers Turn to Satellite toExtend TETRA Emergency Response NetworkWhen a historic flood struck Hungary in 2010, thenation’s new emergency response strategy was put tothe test. With communications networks unavailablein damaged areas, Hungarian telecom providerPro-M leveraged satellite-based connectivity to helpmore than 23,000 first responders coordinate rescue “With the supportefforts. The satellite network, managed by HungaroDigiTel and built on the iDirect platform, provided of Hungaro DigiTela critical lifeline that helped Hungary’s government and iDirect, we hadbetter protect the well being of its citizens. the communicationsLike many countries worldwide, Hungary has adopted support we needed in anTerrestrial Trunked Radio (TETRA) as the communications extraordinary situation.standard for first responders. The radio-based mobile We were able to respondtelecommunications system combines Push to Talk (PTT),group communication services, mobile telephony, quickly and efficiently,message sending and mobile data services through a leading a coordinatedsingle unit. TETRA has been embraced by government rescue effort.”agencies, emergency services, public safety agencies Béla Kozmaand military to enable high-security communications in CEO, Pro-M Zrt.the field via fixed local base-stations.
Satellite Overcomes Distance, Terrain and For TETRA service providers, satellite connectivityCost Challenges can be more cost-effective than microwave andTETRA networks are connected across cellular able to cover much greater distances. Satellitebase stations. The goal is to create an can seamlessly extend TETRA service to areasemergency communications network that is without requiring the extensive cost oralways available with 100% geographical timeframe associated with microwave links. Acoverage. But in many rural areas TETRA satellite link can also be rapidly deployed, able tonetworks need to be extended through a establish a connection to a portable base-stationcomplementary wireless technology. In some within minutes.case, microwave networks can address this Reliable, High-Speed Coverage Anywherechallenge. But as Pro-M and the Hungarian Today, iDirect’s IP-based satellite platform offersgovernment realized, TETRA systems cannot TETRA service providers broadband coveragebe fully realized without satellite broadband. anywhere they need it. First responders have fullThe reason is that microwave links are highly communications capabilities with voice, datalimited by line-of-sight coverage. If the terrain and video whether in a densely populated urbanis flat and unobstructed, they can cover up to area where the infrastructure is damaged, or a30 miles at best. As a result, establishing a remote and isolated location where nomicrowave connection can be costly to deploy infrastructure exists. In addition, the iDirectand manage. If a single link goes down, the Platform is built from the ground up around IP,broader TETRA network can be compromised. allowing it to seamlessly integrate into core In 2010, Hungary experienced historic flooding, putting its emergency response capabilities to the test.
MPLS and IP backbone networks.One operator that has leveraged iDirect’ssatellite platform to support TETRA service isHungaro DigiTel (HDT), Hungary’s largestsatellite service provider. HDT has operatedan iDirect network since 2006 from itsteleport near Budapest. Given the country’slimited terrestrial infrastructure, many ofHDT’s customers in the financial, oil and gas,and government sectors count on vitalsatellite connectivity to support theircore operations.HDT’s customer, Pro-M Zrt. (Pro-M), is thetelecom provider responsible for Pro-M’s satellite-enabled mobile base station vehicleimplementing and managing Hungary’s stands ready to provide TETRA communications.TETRA-based EDR (Unified Digital RadioCommunication System), as the EDR integrator On the Scene in the Wake of Crisisand operator since January 2007. Pro-M A recent example of the effectiveness of Pro-M’ssupports the radio coverage of outlying areas mobile base stations involved a large flood inin Hungary via 265 fixed and five mobile EDR Hungary that affected one-third of the country’sbase stations to ensure congestion-free geography, especially the East and Northeastemergency communication. The mobile base regions. In 2010, an exceptionally high volumestations enable Pro-M to quickly extend TETRA of rainfall caused several floods that exceededcommunications to virtually any location, the highest flood levels recorded in the past 100enabling efficient and secure performance of years.critical operations for Hungary’s emergency Using HDT’s iDirect network, Pro-M providedand law enforcement agencies. connectivity flood control vehicles in the areas most severely stricken by the flood. One of theThe current users of the EDR service include the worst floods occurred at the intersection of twoNational Police Command, the Hungarian Customs rivers in the small village of Rozsaly. Within sixand Finance Guard, the Fire Service, the National hours of being requested, a Pro-M SATELLITEGeneral Directorate for Disaster Management, the mobile base station vehicle travelled the 300kmNational Ambulance Service, the Hungarian Army distance from its storage location to Rozsaly andand the National Security Services. was operating at full capacity.
The mobile base station provided stand-byemergency connectivity that enabled iDirect Satellite Connectivitycommunication and cooperation between the Extends and Protects TETRAvarious flood control forces, including more than Networks23,000 workers consisting of police, firefighters, iDirect provides high-speed IPsoldiers, water management crews and communication via satellite that isvolunteers. This operation lasted for one week, completely independent of terrestrialproviding secure and reliable communication forall of the flood protection personnel. infrastructure. First response, medicalMaking Strides in Protecting Lives or any other emergency team can have full communication capabilityToday, service providers are building out nationalTETRA systems to support immediate, always — whether the emergency is in aavailable communications for emergency densely populated urban area wherepersonnel. Satellite broadband technology the infrastructure is damaged or aensures TETRA-based services can seamlessly remote and isolated location wherecover any location, even those that are out of the no infrastructure exists. iDirect helpsreach of fixed base stations. And with the service providers deliver:efficiencies, reliability and flexibility that iDirect’sIP-based satellite platform delivers, service • Fast deployment on short noticeproviders can meet even the most demanding • High bandwidth reliabilityend-user requirements, especially when it counts • Toll-quality voice communicationsthe most. • Permanent links to Base Stations in remote and rural locations • Broadband connectivity onboard emergency vehicles • Built-in encryption that ensures data security iDirect 13865 Sunrise Valley Drive Herndon, VA 20171 +1 703.648.8000 +1 866.345.0983 www.idirect.net Advancing a Connected World