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communication builder deviceAirbus Defence & Space has introduced the world’s smallest fully-featured TETRA radio to the UK market this year at B-APCO.

The TH1n is the thinnest and most lightweight handset available today, and is part of a significant investment by Airbus in the UK public safety communications market both in terms of current technology and the provision and development of mission critical communications for the future.

The TH1n handset, which won the title of ‘Best Tetra Enterprise Product’ at last year’s International Tetra Awards, has undergone the necessary formal evaluation process with the CESG, the government’s national technical authority for information assurance, for certification in the UK, and Airbus and the CESG have worked closely on the software evaluation to ensure the radio achieves accreditation. This certification is imminent, explains Elizabeth Baker, the lead for ESMCP for Airbus, which means the TH1n will become available to users in the UK within the quarter.

The handset has also undergone conformance tests with Airwave to ensure its suitability to operate on the Airwave national TETRA network, and Airbus has invested in extensive user trials.

The TH1n’s impressive attributes go beyond just its small size, however. ‘Along with all the features users expect from a Walkie Talkie, the TH1n comes with a number of extras,’ says Elizabeth. ‘These include the unique “Where are you?” feature, an automatic capability that gives users visibility of other members of their talkgroup by providing details on how far away and in which direction their closest colleagues are. This information is displayed on screen without consuming any traffic units.’

Another useful feature is the Man Down capability that sends an alert to the control room if an officer is out of action for any reason and the handset has been left on its side for a certain period of time.

Finally, the TH1n incorporates some mobile phone features, such as the ability to set it to silent or vibrate mode. ‘Coupled with the small size of the radio, which fits easily into a jacket pocket of handbag, this is ideal for anyone doing discreet work as it allows them to monitor the activity in their talkgroup in an unobtrusive manner,’ says Elizabeth.

The TH1n will be available through the multi-agency National Airwave Framework Agreement, which is open for use by public sector bodies using the Airwave service via the Bluelight portal.

‘Bringing the TH1n handset to the UK is part of our programme of investment in this market,’ adds Elizabeth. ‘Airbus is committed not only to helping customers move to the future of mission critical communications through LTE but also enabling them to get the best out of the networks available today, and we believe that this is what the TH1n does.’

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