TETRA and DMR Tier III: which open standard digital trunking is right for me?

The last few decades have seen the emergence of two major open standard digital technologies for trunking radio: TETRA and DMR Tier III. This whitepaper evaluates both technologies against some practical use cases, with a recommendation for one technology or the other.

The last few decades have seen the emergence of two major open standard digital technologies for trunking radio: TETRA and DMR Tier III. The first to appear was TETRA (short for 'Terrestrial Trunked Radio') which initially targeted mission-critical communications such as public safety and defense but expanded its scope to include transport and utilities. Later on Digital Mobile Radio (DMR) was developed as a direct replacement for analog private mobile radio to provide cost-effective, low-complexity, business-critical digital radio solutions, originally for transport and utilities. DMR, too, has expanded its scope to include mission-critical and commercial communications.

Both technologies offer the advantages over analog of digital audio quality, better spectral efficiency, improved data capability, enhanced portable battery life, and being open standard, interoperability across brands. The standards for both of these technologies are managed by the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI).

This whitepaper evaluates both technologies against some practical use cases, with a recommendation for one technology or the other.

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