Saudi Arabia: Hajj relies on TETRA for secure comms

TETRA two-way radio equipment from Airbus was used to enable secure mission-critical communications during this year’s Hajj pilgrimage in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA).

Airbus has been providing secure communications for the Hajj pilgrimage since 2017 and it, together with STC Specialized (the operator of mission-critical networks in KSA and formerly known as Bravo), worked to ensure the smooth running of security operations, which this year worked to protect the 1.8 million pilgrims which visited the city of Mecca during this year’s Hajj.

As part of these efforts, various security organisations used Airbus’s solutions, which include the slimline Th1n Tetra radio and Automatic Vehicle Location (AVL) technology. These inform dispatchers of each mobile unit’s location, status, and active TETRA talk groups. The information was then sent to all the relevant emergency personnel using the STC Specialized network (which uses TETRA equipment from Airbus) such as the Ministry of Hajj, the Ministry of Health, and the Mecca Municipality. Airbus’s mission-critical solutions facilitated the monitoring of the Hajj, along with communication between ground staff and the control rooms.

The Hajj is the largest Muslim gathering in the world and takes place every year over a period of six days.