TCCA – Putting Critical Communications First


The TETRA and Critical Communications Association (TCCA), was established in December 1994 to create a global platform and on TETRA technology ecosystem, representing users, manufacturers, application providers, integrators, operators, test houses and telecom agencies.

Today, the TCCA represents more than 160 organisations from all continents of the world, bringing together all those with an interest in the provision of wireless communications in a mission critical or business critical environment. In an exclusive interview with TelecomDrive, Phil Kidner, CEO, TETRA association talks about the organisations flagship event Critical Communications World, and its focus for India.

Phil Kidner

What are some of the big priorities for the TCCA today?

The TCCA is focused on ensuring that critical communications users have the best technology to meet their very specific requirements. The TETRA standard is designed to meet the needs of the critical communications community, and the TCCA is committed to supporting the increasing uptake of TETRA worldwide. In parallel, the TCCA is working with organisations such as 3GPP and ETSI to ensure the LTE standard evolves to provide broadband data services for critical communications users, to the same standard of excellence as TETRA delivers for voice and wideband services.

The TCCA believes in the principle of open and competitive markets worldwide through the use of common standards and harmonised spectrum, and that principle has been, and continues to be, the driving force behind the ongoing global adoption of TETRA and the work of the TCCA.

What are some of the big challenges that the industry is facing today, and how does the TCCA help towards resolving these challenges?

The major challenge is ensuring there is sufficient spectrum for critical communications use. For the public safety services to respond to any emergency, whether a house fire, a riot, a natural disaster or a terrorist attack, it is critical that they are not competing with consumers for bandwidth.  Some regions of the world have dedicated spectrum, but many do not. The TCCA has a dedicated Director of Broadband Spectrum who is tasked with lobbying on behalf of the critical communications user community to safeguard spectrum for the future.

How many members are there in the TCCA today?

We currently have more than 155 members, ranging from multinational companies to single organisations, from every continent of the world.

How does the TCCA look at India? Do you have any members in India today?

India remains a very important market for TETRA and the Association continues to monitor the continuing requirements of users throughout the country. Several TCCA Members have representatives dedicated to the Indian market and we work with them and many other non-member organisations.

What kind of benefits does a member get by associating itself with the TCCA?

The TCCA celebrates its 20th anniversary this year. Established in 1994 (as the TETRA MoU Association), the TCCA remains a forum to drive the development and adoption of TETRA technology, and to ensure technical excellence for broadband data services. We represent users, manufacturers, application providers, integrators, operators, users, test houses and telecom agencies.

All those with an interest in critical communications can benefit from our comprehensive events programme, our range of lobbying and marketing activities, and the extensive work undertaken by our growing number of Working Groups. These cover areas such as applications, critical communications broadband, operator and user requirements, security and fraud prevention, and specific market sectors such as transportation and SCADA, smart grids and telemetry.

TCCA members benefit from our commitment to ensuring an open and competitive market. We developed and manage the unique TETRA Interoperability Testing and Certification process (IOP), which ensures that IOP tested and certified TETRA equipment from different manufacturers will work seamlessly together. The IOP is undertaken by ISCOM, an organisation within the Italian government and overseen by the Technical Forum.

Any TCCA member is welcome to participate in any of the working groups.

2013 was the best year ever for shipments of TETRA terminals, beating the record set in 2012. During the last two decades, TCCA members have driven the critical communications market forward, developing technology, products and applications that meet the needs of critical communications users worldwide.

Please share some of your future activities that you have planned for Asia Pacific?

The flagship event of the critical communications industry is Critical Communications World, incorporating the TETRA World Congress, which this year is being held in Singapore for the second time. We have also held TCCA TETRA events in The Philippines and Taiwan, earlier this year.

The TCCA’s Marketing Group is currently looking at the future events programme, which is based on taking TETRA to its markets worldwide, and we will be planning to visit Asia-Pacific again in 2015.