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Beijing-inspired Delhi looks at network to bring all depts under an umbrella

Inspired by the Beijing Olympics,the Delhi government will soon float a tender for a secure communication wireless network using TETRA technology for the Commonwealth Games next year.

Written by Sobhana K | New Delhi |
February 4, 2009 12:12:51 am

Inspired by the Beijing Olympics,the Delhi government will soon float a tender for a secure communication wireless network using TETRA technology for the Commonwealth Games next year.

The network will integrate diverse agencies,including the Delhi Police,MCD and NDMC.

The government initiated the procurement process after Chief Secretary Rakesh Mehta’s visit to Beijing during the Olympics. In his report submitted to Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit,Mehta had emphasised the need for a secure communication network. Beijing had hired the services from European firm EADS.

TETRA (Trans-European Trunked Radio) is an open digital private mobile radio network,used in several European countries. According to officials,the UK Home Office has 1,00,000 users,and Germany has 4,00,000. Since TETRA is a digital network,its functions extend beyond those of a mere communication network. It is GSM-enabled and can be used to track vehicles.

“TETRA can serve as a GSM device to track DTC buses,which will ferry the athletes as well as visitors,” a senior government official said. It can also record fixed images and slow video.

But the network might make it difficult for bureaucrats to hide anything: being digital,conversations can be recorded along with their date and time.

“The need for this network was felt as we need an efficient communication system with zero tolerance for failure — a network that cannot be tampered with and remains functional even in disasters such as bomb blasts or earthquakes,” the official said.

The government is at present preparing tender specifications for the project — it is expected to cost between Rs 150 crore and Rs 200 crore. Officials estimate some 12,0000 handsets will be required once the network is in place. The Games organising committee alone will need over 5,200 handsets,it is estimated. Delhi Police has asked for 1,350 sets. All senior government officials will be given handsets,the official said.

According to officials,a central hub will be set up with the Delhi government,with handsets being provided to all departments.

The revenue and transport departments at present use the outdated analog network. No state government at present has brought all its departments under one umbrella network; officials said Mumbai and Haryana are planning to procure the network.

Public sector Telecommunication Consultant India Limited is consultant for the Delhi government in procuring the network,and the tender is expected to be floated in the next few days.

Handsets: who needs how many
* Home Guard and Civil Defence: 2,228
* Health Department: 843
* DTC: 666
* MCD: 500
* Delhi Fire Service: 350
* DDA: 300
* Revenue department: 170

(Tentative figures)

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