Published on May 28, 2018

TETRA A Worldview : The Luas Case Study

Irelands only private TETRA network was designed and commissioned by our partners Sigma Wireless Communications.

They provided the LUAS operator Veoila Transport the flexibility to deliver operational efficiencies, combined with the resilience required in an environment where public safety is critical. The TETRA solution integrates voice and data communication in one secure network, providing virtually instant communication and 100% coverage of the required area.


Business Requirement

The LUAS is Dublin’s light rail system,  designed as a public transport system to meet the needs of a thriving European capital city in the 21st century. As a new operator of a major public transportation system in Ireland, Veolia Transport required a voice and data communications system, which would meet the requirement of supporting over 70,000 customers per day, along two separate light rail lines. In addition to providing a mission critical voice communication system, supporting one to one and one to many communications, Veolia also required a robust data network, which would support among other applications, real time positional updates on each individual Luas. Their communications partner AMOS carried out an International Tender process, choosing the TETRA system proposed by Sigma Wireless Communications.


The Luas was a truly international project with the contract to build and operate the system being awarded to International Public Transport operator Veolia and the communications being subcontracted to Rome based, Alcatel Metro Operations Systems (AMOS). Sigma Wireless combined The TETRA network designed and implemented by Sigma Wireless Communications was designed to meet the initial requirements of Veolia, but also to deliver enhanced functionality and performance, which would offer greater efficiencies and security. Through implementing superior radio planning John Reilly, Director of Engineering and his team were able to reduce the number of base stations to only four, while exceeding the original coverage requirements. The cost benefits of this combined with the level of service which Tetra offered ensured that this was the winning solution. The system is connected by fibre optic cable and microwave links to the control room at the main depot, located at the Red Cow in Dublin.  The Motorola TETRA switch installed is capable of supporting up to 64 base stations which ensured that the system was capable of supporting future expansion of the network.

Coverage is 100% of the Luas lines and extends one kilometre to either side. As the Luas lines are not interconnected, the TETRA coverage extends to the area between both lines, covering from St. Stephen’s Green to Abbey Street. This provides coverage for any staff using handheld radios travelling between both lines. Each tram is equipped with two installed TETRA radios, one at each end

The system allows for communication to be established between the control room and the driver within 300 milliseconds. The control room can make public address announcements directly to trams, as well as to stations, individually, selectively or collectively. The group calling facility of TETRA is one of the key advantages which  it offers over other technology including GSM.


Since the completion of the initial project both LUAS lines have been extended and naturally Sigma Wireless Communications were once again, selected at the communications partner.