The inaugural International Critical Communications Awards (ICCAs) were a night to remember for the company, the food, the beautiful venue, but above all, for their celebration of the innovation taking place in our industry and its diversity

The inaugural International Critical Communications Awards (ICCAs) were a night to remember for the company, the food, the beautiful venue, but above all, for their celebration of the innovation taking place in our industry and its diversity.

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They took place at the Honourable Artillery Company, which provided the event with a wonderfully warm and inviting atmosphere thanks to its beautiful wooden furnishings and a strong sense of history. The Company dates back to 1537 when it was founded by Royal Charter by King Henry VIII and this was very much apparent from the portraits of former members and the rows of medals on display, evoking past glories and hard sacrifices which have helped shaped the world we know today.

The decision to rebrand the event from the International TETRA awards was not made lightly. Part of the rationale behind the decision comes from the cellular world, where its been clear for some time now that 5G will not be one single technology, but rather a collection of technologies designed to work together with each operating where it is most suited. As our sector becomes increasingly aligned with the wider communications industry thanks to greater use of broadband and 3GPP’s efforts, this approach is likely to become more popular, and we’ve seen many organisations use gateways to allow instant communication between users of TETRA and DMR handsets, and smartphones. 

As Jon Benson, Managing Director, MA Business & Leisure, pointed out in his opening speech, we also are travelling in distinguished company, given the decision of the TETRA Association to change its name to the TETRA + Critical Communications Association (TCCA) back in 2011.

Our decision was amazingly well received by the industry, to the extent that the ICCAs broke new ground for the number of entries and the judges were impressed by the high quality of entries (around 50 over nine hotly-contested categories), which made the task of choosing the winners all the more challenging. The entries showcase products, applications and solutions of merit in both mission-critical and business-critical organisations.

Terry Byrne hosted the evening with much aplomb – not surprising given the formidable challenges he’s overcome. Byrne led a long and successful military career, giving him a very strong appreciation for good critical comms in the field. ln 2008, when while acting as  C Company’s lead section commander in Afghanistan, Byrne stepped on a IED and suffered a below knee amputation of his right leg. To his credit, Byrne saw these life-changing injuries as another challenge and was discharged in record time. Since then, he has won two world records as part of the GB cycling team and successfully climbed Mount Kilimanjaro and Mount Elbrus with the Adaptive Grand Slam team. Byrne treated the audience to a look at the journeys made by the team and the challenges they have to overcome, no doubt aided by good, reliable communications.

The night was also a fantastic opportunity for us to better get to know the industry’s key players and for everyone to catch with friends, both old and new. Siân Harrington, who will soon be taking over from Benson, very much enjoyed meeting so many warm and welcoming personalities. It also may spark a number of exciting excursions for our team to far-off lands, in part due to the night’s truly international feel – many of the attendees travelled a long way to be with us, with a particularly strong showing from Latin America, which TETRA Today may be visiting shortly, given the interesting public safety systems in Chile, Uruguay and Argentina.

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Two ICCA judges, Robin Davis, TCCA Transportation Group chairman; and Adrian Scrase, CTO, ETSI, reading the ICCA book of night 

One of our judges after the night’s proceedings had drawn to a close, commented that with the amount of activity and innovation in the industry and the transition towards broadband, the event should go from strength to strength and it's hard to disagree.

Despite the night’s success, we at Land Mobile and TETRA Today have no intention of resting on our laurels and we are already looking at how to make next year’s event even better, with the help of feedback from our staff, judges and our attendees. You can expect clearer guidelines for submissions, more tightly defined categories and greater discussion between the judges regarding their scores to achieve a consensus and ensure maximum transparency.

Given the recognition that our winners have received (and deservedly so), it’s never too early to be thinking about next year. Who knows – perhaps in 2017, it will be your time to be in the spotlight!

The winners:

Best Use of TETRA for Public Safety – Sponsored by Huawei 
Frequentis AG
Voice Communication System Bavarian Police G7

Best Innovation Award
Finmeccanica
PUMA T4-TLE (Dual Mode TETRA – LTE Enhanced)

Best Use of TETRA in Utilities
CLP Power Hong Kong Ltd
Best use of TETRA Network for Future Applications of CLP

Best Use of Control Room Systems
State Secretary of Public Safety Rio de Janeiro
SIRCE-RJ

Green Technology Award
Airwave
Reducing carbon emissions

Best Use of TETRA for Transport – Sponsored by Rohill
Intelligence on Wheels GmbH

Outstanding Single-site TETRA Installation
Hytera Mobilfunk GmbH

Best Evolution to Future Broadband
SALUS consortium

Excellence in Radio Sites and Services
Maxxwave

Author: Tetra Today