Case study: RAKEL network improves Swedish police communication
'RAKEL is the best thing that has happened to police, operatively speaking, in modern times'.
Robert Loeffel, an information officer in the Kronoberg police, has no doubt about the importance of the RAKEL network, Sweden's new national emergency communication network.
"RAKEL is the best thing that has happened to police, operatively speaking, in modern times," he says.
"It's no exaggeration to say that the ability to communicate is a police officer's lifeline. Our old analogue system forced us to communicate through the command and control center. With RAKEL, we speak directly to each other. The difference is huge."
Airbus Defence and Space / Secure Land Communications [formerly known as Cassidian] provided Sweden's RAKEL network, replacing 200 old analogue systems previously used by emergency services with the new TETRA network.
TETRA network: efficient and secure
Today, the network serves some 20,000+ people in organizations such as:
- Prison and probation services
- Coast guards
- Swedish Civil Contingencies Agency
- Government Offices of Sweden
- The National Board of Health and Welfare
- The Swedish Radiation Safety Authority
TETRA is the acronym for TErrestrial Trunked RAdio, a worldwide standard for digital, cellular radio networks developed by the European Telecommunications Standards Institute. TETRA is spectrum efficient and offers:
- Improved voice quality
- Comprehensive data capabilities
- Secure encrypted communication
Police communication: No eavesdropping
That secure encrypted communication means outsiders can't eavesdrop on the RAKEL network. Criminals, for instance, can no longer listen to police radio traffic in order to plan crimes or learn about police tactics.
In addition to improving police communication, the RAKEL network came in on time and under budget.
As Stefan Kvarnerås, chief of RAKEL cooperation at the Swedish Civil Contingencies Agency, said: "I actually think that we are going to be one of the few infrastructure projects of this size that keep to the estimates."