South African companies Integcomm and Saab Grintek Technologies, along with giant European aerospace and defence group EADS, have won a nearly R1-billion contract from the South African Police Service (SAPS) to install EADS’ digital Terrestrial Trunked Radio (Tetra) network in the Eastern Cape.

The network will integrate Tetra and WiMax technology and will allow mobile video transmission, as well as police command and control and 10111 (police-only emergency phone number) dispatching.

The programme will start in April and take five years to complete. It will involve the installation of more than 200 base stations and some 10 000 terminals.

This network will be fully compatible with the next generation Tetra enhanced data service, thus ensuring an easy migration to this new wide band data service.

Integcomm is the prime contractor and is part of black economic empowerment group Midway Two, and will deliver, test, commission, and operate the police Tetra network in the Eastern Cape.

Saab Grintek will provide: the transmission backbone microwave network, the internet protocol multiprotocol label switching transmission network, the mobile data system (including mobile video transmission), the voice and data and video recording system, the WiMax 802.16e broadband radio network and status and alarm monitoring system, the network engineering and integration services, and the network installation services.

(Saab Grintek is a South African company that focuses on information and communication technology, energy management, and global connectivity services, and forms part of Sweden’s Saab group.)

The Tetra technology, including the terminals, will be supplied by EADS Secure Networks, described as an “integrated activity” of EADS Defence & Security, which will also provide its expertise gained in rolling out many other radio communication networks.

The SAPS hopes that Tetra networks will cover the entire country by 2015.