Monday, May 03, 2010

Better ‘extremely late’ than...

The Delhi government is setting up a secure radio network for the upcoming CWG in Delhi. The idea is to enable various government agencies to operate on one common platform. An idea many years too late, yet necessary... Surbhi chawla on the technicalities

What is common between New York’s emergency response to the 9/11 attack and Mumbai’s retort to Taj fiasco in November 2008 (26/11), technically speaking? The lack of a common communication network among various stakeholders (police, fire department, ambulances, et al) costing several lives.

Both incidents daunt even more as one of the most prestigious public affairs of the decade (for India) – the Commonwealth Games (CWG 2010) in New Delhi – stands just around the corner. To that extent, the ongoing implementation of TETRA (TErrestrial Trunked RAdio) by the Delhi government is evidently wonderful, despite being ignominiously late by too many years! Yes, the system was necessary in the first place. Then where to from here?

Let’s begin by putting first things first, which is by understanding what exactly TETRA is. It’s a digital trunked mobile radio standard developed by the European Telecommunications Standards Institute to meet the needs of traditional Professional Mobile Radio (PMR) user organisations. On a single button-push, the platform connects the user to all the users in a selected call-group. In fact, it’s this and many other such features that have prompted the Delhi Government to deploy this platform during CWG 2010. The government has already given the contract (worth over Rs.1 billion) to the HCL Infosystems-Motorola consortium to deliver this radio communication network.

So what’s the big deal in a radio communication network? Firstly, believe or not, it’s India’s first government radio network. Secondly, and most importantly, it’s secured. “Mission critical agencies need a radio system and this network that we are setting up would be exclusive for these agencies and will be shared by all of them so that they can collaborate,” says Subodh Vardhan, Sales Director & Country Head, Enterprise Mobility Solutions, Motorola India. Almost 18 departments of Delhi government are expected to be integrated through this network. The idea is to enable various agencies such as the Delhi Police, Fire Services, Hospitals, Public Works Department, Organising Committee of CWG and even the Delhi Transport Corporation to operate on and through one common network so that it becomes easier for them to coordinate during an event of this magnitude – and minimise the collateral double work as well as be prepared for any contingency (Ajay Chowdhry, Chairman & CEO, HCL Infosystems, supports the viewpoint, “The deployment of a TETRA-based communication system will enable authorities to timely prevent or minimise the chances of potential adverse impact in an emergency situation. I am confident that, in times to come, systems such as the government Radio Network will strengthen communication infrastructure across the country”).
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Source :
IIPM Editorial, 2009

An IIPM and Professor Arindam Chaudhuri (Renowned Management Guru and Economist) Initiative

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