Case study: Motorola Norway – Building a critical comms network

July 10, 2015

Norway is a mountainous country with a rural, scattered population. This presented problems when critical comms provider Nødnett wanted to achieve nationwide TETRA coverage at an affordable price.  Motorola Solutions were awarded the contract to roll out its TETRA network in one of Europe’s most mountainous nations. They turned to ATDI for expert planning and modelling support to make the planned system a reality. The foundation stone and starting point of the project was cost, and Nødnett were eager to achieve the maximum coverage for the minimum cost.

Working in partnership, Motorola and ATDI planned the optimum balance between the maximum number of base stations acceptable and the demanding coverage specification.  Before they started planning, ATDI looked for answers to a few specific questions:

* How many sites would be needed to provide the service?
* How many existing radio masts could be used efficiently?
* How many new sites needed to be built – and how feasible was that given the constraints?

To answer these questions, ATDI used its flagship planning and modelling software, HTZ Communications. This provided answers to the basic issues and modelling new scenarios as the parameters – practical and financial – of the proposed network changed.


The network plan changed throughout the project duration, as shifts in the planned siting of one base station automatically impacted all of the base stations around it, meaning that a seemingly simple and isolated decision can have an effect across the whole network. This resulted in the plan for the system being repeated with different approaches to ensure that the optimum solution had been achieved.

Each change in the network had to be planned and modelled afresh. HTZ features an automated planning function which means much of this repetitive work was carried out routinely, freeing engineers’ time for other tasks and saving time overall. One of those tasks was to find locations for the base station. Some of the original sites designated for the service were not the most effective for the task, and ATDI found more effective alternatives within cost parameters.

The Motorola project team praised ATDI, saying, “Achieving the analysis of the many possible options and approaches to this project in such a short time would not have been possible without HTZ and the ATDI team.”

Nødnett Network
The Norwegian Directorate for Civil Protection owns and manages the Norwegian critical comms network. The network, which went live in 2015, has approximately 2100 TETRA base stations across Norway and achieves 86% coverage on landmass and 100% population coverage. The 60,000 users included the three emergency services agencies and other various voluntary, municipality and utility users.

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