TETRA security boost prepares for next 20 years

Thursday, 20 June, 2019

TETRA security boost prepares for next 20 years

In a clear demonstration that so-called ‘old’ communications technology remains vital for the business- and mission-critical sectors, the strength of TETRA is being highlighted as ETSI begins work on the next generation of TETRA security features.

The work will ensure the TETRA standard remains fully protected into the future against the rising levels of threats from cybercriminals and will include additional encryption algorithms designed to resist cryptanalysis into the 2030s and beyond.

Members of TCCA’s TETRA Industry Group (TIG) will run the ‘TETRA – Today and Tomorrow’ Masterclass during the CCW2019 conference in Kuala Lumpur on 19 June, to bring industry up to date with this and other developments.

Although there have been many attempts to eavesdrop on or gain access to TETRA networks, provided the networks are implemented according to the recommendations from TCCA’s Security and Fraud Prevention Group (SFPG), TETRA security has consistently blocked the attempts.

With TETRA expected to provide mission-critical communications for many years to come, ETSI will enhance its security even further to protect against cyber attacks as technology continues to advance.

ETSI has continually developed and enhanced the TETRA standard — it now comprises more than 180 current technical specifications and reports, bringing the number of dedicated features and functions to more than 300.

Provisional figures from IHS Markit show the TETRA market increased by nearly 7% from 2017 to 2018, with a compounded annual growth rate of more than 6% forecast from 2017 to 2022.

“After more than 25 years, TETRA remains the de facto choice for mission-critical communications service,” said Brian Murgatroyd, Chair of ETSI Technical Committee TETRA and Critical Communications Evolution (TC TCCE).

“In the last few weeks alone, there have been announcements regarding TETRA implementations in Australia, Bahrain, Brazil, China, India, Indonesia, Moldova, Portugal, Romania and Sweden, in addition to the extension to the Airwave service contract in the UK and the continued rollout of the world’s largest TETRA network in Germany.”

Maintaining the profile of the TETRA standard is the responsibility of TCCA’s TETRA Industry Group (TIG), comprising TCCA member companies Airbus, DAMM, Etelm, Hytera, Leonardo, Motorola Solutions, Piciorgros, Rohill and Sepura.

“TIG provides a platform for discussion and collaboration within TCCA. TIG is committed to ensuring TETRA continues to be a multivendor standard that innovates, introduces new products and supports continued strong business development,” said Leonardo’s Francesco Pasquali, who chairs the Group.

The TIG has developed a paper detailing the strengths of TETRA, which can be accessed here together with TCCA’s Pocket Guides to TETRA in English, Portuguese and Spanish.

Image credit: ©somboonsrisart/Dollar Photo Club

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