Airbus Defence and Space upgrades Tetra digital radio network at Vattenfall Europe Mining in Cottbus to the latest standard

Important reference project for the energy sector 

Vattenfall Europe Mining in Cottbus commissioned PBIT GmbH, a local value-added reseller of Airbus Defence and Space, to modernise its company-wide Tetra digital radio network. This involved upgrading the existing switching technology – the core element of the network – by means of two new DXT3 switches from Airbus Defence and Space. The network, which is made up of 26 transmitter sites and around 3,000 users, was thus made fully redundant. At the same time, the existing Tetra technology was upgraded with the latest Release 7.0. This makes the Vattenfall site in eastern Germany the first user worldwide of Airbus Defence and Space’s new version of Tetra technology.

The modernised system offers features such as dual homing, which enables fully automatic operations at two switches. As part of the upgrade, some transmitter locations were migrated to the latest Internet Protocol (IP) technology, which provides more flexible system architectures, a better overview of maintenance costs and access to technologies of the future, particularly in the field of high-speed data transmission and the seamless broadband migration that entails.

Vattenfall owns and operates five of its own opencast brown coal pits and three coal-fired power plants in the Lusatia region in eastern Germany. Eight years ago, the company opted for a secure and standalone Tetra network from Airbus Defence and Space for these locations. A communications network of this kind is indispensable for fail-safe voice communications and the transmission of data for the smooth operation of opencast pits and power plants, as well as for the active management and monitoring of all rail freight transport of brown coal.

“For many years, we have worked with our system partner and distributor Airbus Defence and Space in order to successfully complete numerous analogue and digital radio network projects. Due to its complexity, however, the current project with Vattenfall Europe Mining AG was a great challenge. Thanks to the successful cooperation with Airbus Defence and Space, we could achieve the desired results,” said Ronald Bronk, CEO of PBIT GmbH.

“Mining typically has constantly changing environmental and working conditions.” For this reason, we need particularly reliable, secure and powerful communication tools,” explained Uwe Urbanek, Head of Information and Communication Technology at Vattenfall Europe Mining AG. “We use the Tetra digital radio from Airbus Defence and Space as the primary means of communication to support our production processes. The modernisation and expansion of our network will ensure safe operations for the next 10 years.”

“We are pleased that Vattenfall has once again placed its trust in us by choosing our technology. The smooth migration of the system is comparable to an open-heart operation. This was made possible during this important reference project thanks to the intensive cooperation between our partner company PBIT GmbH and our experts in Ulm, Sulzbach, Berlin and Jyväskylä and the great amount of hard work by everyone involved,” said Markus Kolland, Head of Secure Land Communications in Germany at Airbus Defence and Space.

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