The best way to the new hybrid world

(Advertorial) How do we move from today’s capable but narrowband TETRA networks to tomorrow’s world of broadband opportunities? The Airbus hybrid device Tactilon Dabat points the way

Professionals need reliable communications to achieve their mission. They also increas­ingly ask for broadband capabilities to use data, images and video to help improve their performance and unlock entirely new capabil­ities. These needs are most effectively met by merging Professional Mobile Radio (PMR) and ICT technologies to form the next generation of critical collaboration ecosystems.

How can this transition be achieved? The car industry sets the example. As we move away from fossil fuels, numerous hybrid cars are being developed. Combining two technologies helps us move towards a fully electric future.

The same applies to mission-critical communication we need the security and reliability of TETRA, but also want new data capabilities. Hybrid devices bridge the technology chasm.

Broadband for professionals
Mission-critical user organizations are starting to use broadband networks, usually along­side their narrowband networks. To take full advantage of the possibilities, smart devices are also needed. The Airbus Tactilon Dabat is a professional device for hybrid communi­cation that combines the security, encryption and speed of a TETRA network with the data capabilities of LTE 4G mobile networks.

There is also a fast-growing population of professional applications being created for Tactilon Dabat, catalyzed by the Airbus SmarTWISP application ecosystem. Certified applications keep information safe and func­tion exactly as defined, cutting some of the risks of buying apps from an app store. User organizations also have full control of adding their own specific apps to Tactilon Dabat.

How are professionals using the new capabilities? A few examples give some valuable insight.

Broadcasting from the wilds of Finland
Finnish broadcaster YLE already uses Airbus TETRA radios for guidance, control and communication between the studio and roaming reporters. Yet, field journalists need­ed an even more compact and lightweight setup when travelling far from the studio. Tactilon Dabat replaces a video camcorder and TETRA radio, as well as other devices.

During training, YLE journalists filmed and broadcast online news from very remote locations. Tactilon Dabat includes an application to transmit high quality video from the field. Evaluating the test results, journalist Jari Tanskanen said: “We noticed the very high quality of the video and Dabat’s camera has advantages for many users. The size of the device was also good - it’s more stable than many other smart­phones, making it a professional mobile tool for field reporters.”

Railway safety app on Tactilon Dabat can save lives.

Tactilon Dabat keeps safety on track
Railway worker safety is clearly of vital importance, especially teams working on tracks. An app from developer Intelligence on Wheels addresses the issue by showing when a train is approaching the mainte­nance site and alerts staff before it arrives.

Thomas Strand, CEO & founder of the company says: “With this new hybrid device, we’re able to use another TETRA commu­nication channel. Using TETRA means we deliver information about approaching trains quickly and reliably and users can be alerted by voice, lights and vibration. Combining LTE and TETRA makes it possible for field users to concentrate on the operation, not on using several devices. We think that Tactilon Dabat, together with our track workers’ protection app, results in saved lives.”

Innovations lead to global award
The capabilities of Tactilon Dabat were recently recognized when the device won the International Critical Communications Award (ICCA) 2018 as the best solution in the category ‘Best evolution to future broadband’. Bruno Milard, Head of Terminal Product Management at Airbus, explains the importance of the award: “Tactilon Dabat is highly relevant today as TETRA networks continue to develop alongside LTE networks. Users need a single device that delivers the best of both networks. We’ve investigated many users and their needs for hybrid communication devices. This ICCA 2018 award is recognition from the best experts in critical communication that we are on the right path towards more effective communication solutions for professional users.”