GroupTalk fallback C2000 TETRA with Push to Talk

GroupTalk as a Fallback Solution for the Dutch Police

Sep 22, 2023

GroupTalk C2000 Fallback enables PTT in critical situations when C2000 TETRA have problems

C2000 TETRA is a digital communication two way radio system used by the emergency services in the Netherlands. C2000 is utilized by over 80,000 police officers, firefighters, ambulance personnel, and the Ministry of Defense, along with associated organizations. The system operates 7 days a week and 24 hours a day, facilitating their mobile communication.

C2000 is based on TETRA two way radios, allowing users to quickly share information verbally. The system is designed to remain operational even under heavy load and enables emergency personnel to instantly reach the control center using the emergency button on their communication radios.

The system is used in both daily operations and during major incidents and disasters. This means that when the C2000 system has problems anywhere in the country at any time of the day, 365 days a year, there must be a backup solution with the same fundamental functionality as C2000 TETRA.

In mid-2020, the Dutch police launched a European tender for a fallback solution to C2000. The task included providing a cloud based Push to Talk service that utilizes commercially available mobile networks (4G / 5G) on Android and iOS smartphones, as well as PC Dispatch, with the same fundamental functionality as C2000 TETRA. 

Communication should be possible between operators (PC Dispatchers) and mobile users, as well as between mobile users themselves.

The fallback solution should have functionality that includes:

  • Group calls: A mobile user or dispatcher selects a conversation group, listens to the conversations in that group, and can communicate by pressing the Push to Talk button

  • Individual calls between mobile users and dispatchers

  • System-defined status messages for mobile users

  • Emergency calls that initiate a high-priority group call capable of interrupting ongoing conversations

  • Personal alarm function, allowing priority alarms over other traffic, with the ability to listen in on the conversation group

  • Call requests in the form of specific status messages (queue function) with different levels of priority

Following a rigorous selection process, the Dutch police awarded the contract for C2000 Fallback to 2WAY BV in collaboration with GroupTalk in January 2022. The contract includes providing C2000 Fallback with GroupTalk for the next four years, with the option for extension.

GroupTalk's Push to Talk service for critical communications offers crystal clear audio quality and very high availability. The service supports police workflows and includes the fundamental functionality equivalent to C2000 TETRA. GroupTalk is used on iOS and Android phones, as well as PC Dispatch on Microsoft Windows PCs. C2000 Fallback with GroupTalk is used in daily operations and during major incidents and disasters when there are disruptions in the C2000 TETRA system or in locations where C2000 is missing coverage while mobile network coverage is present.

Primary GroupTalk features in the Fallback Solution are PTT, Panic Alarm and Live Location

GroupTalk's commitment includes:

  • Providing and maintaining a secure Push to Talk service as a Software as a Service (SaaS)

  • Managing and maintaining interfaces tailored to police applications

  • Providing a Push to Talk service (PTT app) available to the police and collaborating organizations

  • PC Dispatch in a web browser for PTT communication with mobile users

  • Web-based administration of the service

  • Providing training materials for users in the organizations

  • Offering phones and PTT accessories that work with the GroupTalk service upon request

C2000 Fallback with GroupTalk is designed for use by more than 65,000 mobile users and 500 PC Dispatchers across 5,000 talkgroups.

The service was put into production on July 1, 2022.