TETRA (Terrestrial Trunked Radio) is a set of standards developed by the European Telecommunications Standardisation Institute (ETSI) that describes a common mobile radio communications infrastructure throughout Europe. This infrastructure is targeted primarily at the mobile radio needs of public safety groups (such as police and fire departments), utility companies, and other enterprises that provide voice and data communications services.

All of these groups have been high-end users of private/professional mobile radio (PIVlR) or public access mobile radio (PAMR) technology. This is especially true in the areas of law enforcement and public safety, where fast and accurate field communications to and from a central office or dispatchers are often critical. TETRA is a standard solution for groups that use both PMR and PAMR.

In recent years, when European disasters have struck, emergency response teams from several European nations had a difficult time communicating with each other, due in part to the lack of standardization in their mobile radio equipment. The TETRA standards evolved to answer this communication challenge as well as others faced or anticipated by the European Commission (EC) in its efforts to unify European countries.

Based on digital, trunked radio technology, TETRA is believed to be the next-generation architecture and standard for current, analog PMR and PAMR markets. TETRA actually takes its features from several different technological areas: mobile radio, digital cellular telephone, paging, and wireless data.

TETRA relies on digital trunking. TETRA-based products come with built-in encryption features to ensure the privacy and confidentiality of sensitive data/voice communications. These products are also designed with the ability to transfer data at faster rates than seen before in mobile communications

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