BOS Public Safety Digital Radio Network
The introduction of a digital radio network for all safety and security services is currently one of the major technical modernisation projects in Germany.
For the first time ever, a single nationwide radio system will be available to emergency and security services throughout the territory of the Federal Republic of Germany, thus replacing the previously existing patchwork of analogue radio systems.
BOS digital radio offers the following key advantages:
- a single network for all security authorities and organisations;
- a high level of reliability and availability
- security against interception of radio communications
- enhanced noise-free sound quality
- data transmission, in particular for queries, status transmissions and SDS
- one-to-one communication and group communication
- numerous additional services such as emergency call function or GPS-based location of vehicles and persons
The BOS digital radio network is the biggest TETRA-based radio network worldwide. It is designed to handle the communications of 500,000 users - simultaneously!
This state-of-the-art secure network benefits inter alia the following agencies and services:
- the Federal Police
- the police forces of the Länder,
- the fire brigades
- the rescue services/emergency medical services
- the disaster management and civil protection authorities
- the Federal Agency for Technical Relief (THW)
- the federal customs administration,
Indirectly, the new technology also benefits the citizens; because it helps to ensure that in case of an emergency help will come more speedily and more reliably.
Even today, the new radio system is being actively used by thousands of operational forces and thus subjected to practical testing. Thus, the BOS public safety digital radio system is available both for daily routine operations and for major events such as state visits, public ceremonies and large-scale sport events. For a transitional period, the traditional analogue radio systems are being used along with the BOS public safety digital radio system.
Apart from Germany, there are currently eight other European states developing nationwide TETRA networks: Austria, Bulgaria, Croatia, Norway, Serbia, Romania, Slovenia and Macedonia. Another three states are planning TETRA networks: Greece, Italy and Luxembourg. Thirteen European states - Belgium Denmark, Estonia, Finland, the United Kingdom, Hungary, Iceland, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Portugal, Sweden, Ireland and Montenegro - already have nationwide TETRA networks. In Iceland, however, the network only covers the conurbations in the southern part of the country.
The reason why so many countries opted for this technology system lies in the fact that the TETRA standard was specifically developed to meet the requirements of security authorities and organisations. There is no other standard which meets the operational requirements of the police and the fire brigades to a similar extent: The group communication function enables the members of an operational unit to communicate with each other while there is also a direct link for every user to the command and control centre. Users can be organised in groups as necessary. An alarm function ensures that rescue workers in distress will be given absolute priority.
Furthermore, the architecture of the German BOS public safety digital radio network provides an extremely high level of network availability. Every call will get through - even in case of a disaster when other mobile radio networks have already collapsed. And since the system is generally secure against interception, eavesdroppers do not stand a chance of listening in to police communications.