Cobb EMC, a Marietta, GA-based electric membership cooperative, has agreed to the United States’ first complete commercial build-out of a TETRA two-way radio communications system.
This installation will be based upon infrastructure and subscriber units (radios) supplied by Hytera Communications, Inc. The system is scheduled to become operational during the fourth quarter of 2013.
“All of the members of the Hytera team are absolutely thrilled that Cobb EMC is pioneering TETRA here in the United States,” said Gary Lorenz, Hytera’s Vice-president of sales, “And, although there was a beta-test of a TETRA system in New Jersey now moving forward to implementation, the Cobb EMC network will be the nation’s first fully deployed TETRA operation.”
Cobb EMC’s leadership, while appreciating the unique position of being the first, made their final decision based upon practical criteria. According to Chip Nelson, Cobb EMC president and CEO, “I believe Hytera’s TETRA solution will provide Cobb EMC with a “best-in-class,” cost-effective digital radio network.
Once installed, it will make operations safer and provide us with a more efficient use of resources.” Hytera’s Lorenz noted that the Cobb RFP was very clear in challenging the responding suppliers to provide a solution which was specifically tailored to Cobb EMC’s needs.
Hytera’s TETRA package of four fixed-site systems, one flexible site (dubbed a ‘COW’—Computer On Wheels) and 320 mobile and portable radios ultimately offered the balance Nelson noted.
“We responded to the customer’s request for a hardened digital radio system capable of performing in the most demanding and critical situations like extreme weather with the technology we felt was ideal for their use pattern—TETRA,” Lorenz stated. “A big part of what made TETRA the right fit—and what we feel is appealing not only to the electric co-op industry, but, to every market segment—is the fact that TETRA is truly open-standard. The system owner owner is no longer confined to using the OEM’s brand to replace or upgrade radios or system components. They have a choice and can use the open standard equipment which best suits their requirements, not those of a manufacturer,” he concluded. The TETRA digital standard is a global protocol that is earning wide acceptance on every continent.
TETRA provides secure and encrypted communications for critical applications as well as promoting more efficient band usage. More than 750 Interoperability (IOP) Certificates have been issued to over two dozen manufacturers by the TETRA Critical Communications Association (TCCA), the governing body for the TETRA standard.
Cobb Electric Membership Corporation is a not-for-profit electric membership cooperative providing reliable electric energy.
Cobb EMC serves more than 200,000 meters representing over 177,000 residential and commercial members. Cobb EMC is one of Georgia's largest EMCs and is a leader among the nation's approximately 900 EMCs.
The Cobb EMC distribution system consists of approximately 10,000 miles of line located within Cobb, Bartow, Cherokee, Fulton, and Paulding counties in the north metro Atlanta area and Randolph, Calhoun, Quitman and Clay counties in Southwest Georgia. Cobb EMC’s distribution system covers approximately 1,434 square miles.
Hytera Communications is one of the top three two-way radio manufacturers worldwide. Hytera’s TETRA Products are in use world-wide and have been type-approved by the FCC and Industry-Canada for sale in across North America.