Almost 30 years ago, public safety professionals woke up to reality. In May 1986, the Tschernobyl nuclear plant blew up. The disaster affected the whole of Northern Europe. It became clear that the new threats required new solutions. First responders needed the solutions to communicate and coordinate their actions.
It is now clear that this nuclear disaster was the pivotal moment in creating new digital radio solutions. European countries were the first to adopt the new solutions more than 20 years ago. Countries in Asia, Middle East, Latin America, and Africa followed soon after.
More than 20 years, Airbus Defence and Space / Secure Land Communications has worked together with forward-looking public safety organisations. They did not want to settle for a minor improvement. Their dreams fuelled us towards a shared vision.
The French National Gendarmerie were pioneers in adopting digital radio. They started using their RUBIS system in 1988.
The nationwide ASTRID in Belgium was the first really advanced integrated public safety communication network. The first users described themselves as amazed at the voice quality provided by the system, whether in the open or in tunnels.
The Helsinki Energy Company switched on the world’s first commercial TETRA network in 1997. Their HelenNet became the world’s first commercial TETRA network in 1997 the Helsinki Energy personnel used it every day until the beginning of 2014, when they adopted the use of Virve, the Finnish authority network.
Virve, Finland’s nationwide public safety network, was the world's first to become operational. Frontier Guards were the first users.
The Frontier Guards migrated to Virve in only a few months. This was a conscious choice. Firstly, their old analogue network had its limitations, and it only took a short time to realise how much better was the support offered by Virve.