Airwave works with the Highways Agency to introduce data services

Airwave has worked with the Highways Agency to implement a programme that makes greater use of the capabilities associated with the Airwave TETRA radio terminals used by the organisation. 

After examining and analysing voice traffic, the Highways Agency have replaced a number of the voice messages previously used with data transmissions that carry the same message – a more effective, accurate and economical way. 

According to Al Edwards, Highways Agency Traffic Technology: “Traffic officers traditionally generate a large volume of voice traffic. We have used the Airwave Network since 2004 – it is an integral part of our communications. By scrutinising the information relating to voice messages, we can now focus on making efficient and economical use of the features and functionality available to users.” 

Making greater use of the functionality of the TETRA radio terminals includes the introduction of non-urgent messages sent via the short data service in much the same way as a text message is passed to a mobile phone. 

“These messages relate to basic information about routine incidents to which patrols are deployed, and have proven invaluable in saving time and improving the information flow between the control room and on-road resources,” adds Al. 

The Highways Agency will also gradually replace spoken updates on a patrol’s status (such as ‘on patrol’ and ‘arrived at scene’) with a ‘status code’ message delivered by data. 

“This is enhanced by enabling the message to be sent by holding down the relevant key on either the hand-held or vehicle radio terminal. We have already realised the benefits* and much welcomed by on-road and control room personnel.” 

*Early examination of the results has already shown savings in the region of 30 to 40 per cent in traffic unit volumes.


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