Technical Committee (TC) Terrestrial Trunked Radio and Critical Communications Evolution (TCCE) Activity Report 2022

Chair: Brian Murgatroyd, Umlaut Communications

Responsible for the design and standardization of TErrestrial Trunked RAdio (TETRA) and its evolution to critical communications mobile broadband solutions.


Developed to meet the needs of Professional Mobile Radio (PMR) users in public safety, security, transportation, military, governmental, commercial and utilities applications, TETRA (Terrestrial Trunked Radio) is the leading technology choice for critical communications users.

There is now an installed base of over 5.1 million TETRA users. While this market was badly affected by the pandemic, it is recovering well and predicted to grow at 2.1% CAGR until 2025 with a market value (including infrastructure, services and systems integration) of $806 billion with an increase to CAGR of 4.6% until 2025.  While 50% of the market remains in Europe at present, the rest of the world will increase its market share to 53% by 2023. The fastest growing region will be in the Americas, with Latin America forecasted to take 75% of the region’s market share.

TETRA is designed to address a specific set of communication requirements. These include high reliability, single and group calling capabilities, PTT (Push-To-Talk), and the possibility for direct peer-to-peer communications in situations such as natural disasters and emergencies when the supporting network is unavailable. Accordingly, much of the work of our TETRA and Critical Communications Evolution committee (TC TCCE) is driven by the requirements of Public Protection and Disaster Relief and other mission-critical services.

Since around 2015 TCCE has been working with 3GPP to ensure that broadband functionality matches the requirements of critical communications users. particularly when using commercial networks as bearers.

In 2022 the committee continued to maintain and further develop TETRA with user-driven standards for authority-to-authority secure voice and data services over broadband and narrowband air interfaces.

During the year TCCE published updates to three existing Technical Specifications, in parallel with revisions to an accompanying Technical Report: 

  • TS 100 392-7 is part 7 of a multi-part deliverable covering TETRA Voice plus Data (V+D), Release 2. It describes security mechanisms for confidentiality of control signalling and user speech and data at the air interface, authentication and key management mechanisms for the air interface and for the Inter-System Interface (ISI).
  • TS 100 392-12-16 is part 12, sub-part 16 of a multi-part deliverable covering Voice plus Data, defining stage 3 specifications of the Supplementary Service Pre-emptive Priority Call (SS-PPC).
  • TS 100 396-6 is part 6 of a multi-part deliverable covering Direct Mode Operation (DMO). Describing the security mechanisms in TETRA Direct Mode, it provides mechanisms for confidentiality of control signalling, user speech and data at the AI, using encryption algorithms from two different air interface encryption algorithm sets.
  • TR 100 392-17-6 is part 17, sub-part 16 of a Technical Report that details specifications and reports for TETRA V+D and DMO Release 2.2. Superseding previous versions, it includes the details of the latest versions of ETSI specifications and reports relating to Critical Communications evolution undertaken by TC TCCE, as well as relevant specifications produced by other ETSI technical committees.

In response to feedback from 3GPP, the committee’s ongoing work includes further development of specifications covering the detailed interfaces between Mission-Critical broadband systems and TETRA, as well as the required security between the two systems. To optimize this standardization activity, existing standards for technologies such as LTE (and later 5G) will be enhanced by interfaces and applications that make them suitable for Mission-Critical applications.

During the year work meanwhile progressed on development of specifications for additional encryption algorithms to complement the existing set relating to TETRA. This reflects the needs of users to keep TETRA up to date throughout the 2030s. A new group has been formed within ETSI (SC TSA-TETRA Security Algorithms) to design new algorithms.


See a full list of TCCE Work Items currently in development here.