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Head of Communications Division to address TETRA World Congress 21 May 2008

Robert WilliamsonTHE head of the Island’s Communications Division will deliver a keynote presentation at a conference in Hong Kong next week.

Technical Director Robert Williamson has been invited to address an international audience at the TETRA World Congress. TETRA (Terrestrial Trunked Radio) is used by 21 different organisations across the Isle of Man Government, including the emergency services. It is also the preferred system of communication for many governments and private enterprises throughout the world.

The annual congress provides an opportunity for key personnel to meet, network and share their experiences with other TETRA users, manufacturers, operators, application developers and system integrators. The four-day event – which gets under way on Monday, May 26 - features a series of presentations, demonstrations, masterclasses, equipment exhibitions, social events and meetings.

Mr Williamson will deliver a presentation at the congress titled: ‘A case study on achieving a single integrated multi-disciplined TETRA control room.’ The Isle of Man Communications Division, which is part of the Department of Home Affairs, is a world leader in this sector after establishing the TETRA system and Emergency Services Joint Control Room (ESJCR) in April 2004.

The ESJCR is the envy of emergency service providers in the UK, Europe, Middle East and Far East and has handled more than 4.6 million TETRA calls and 62,000 999 calls in the past four years. The pioneering work in the Island is highlighted as a major success story within the industry and Communications House in Douglas has hosted numerous visits from organisations across the globe.

Mr Williamson said:

‘The Isle of Man is at the forefront of integrated communications, particularly in respect of the emergency services, and I will be sharing our experiences as well as highlighting the many benefits of our approach. The TETRA World Congress is the premier communications event of the year and attracts delegates from all over the world so it is a great personal honour to be invited to deliver one of the presentations. The busy programme of events provides a platform to meet and network with people in similar roles in other countries and keep ahead of developments.’

The congress usually takes place in Europe, but is moving farther afield this year in recognition of the expanding TETRA market in the Far East. Mr Williamson’s costs are being met by the conference organisers who are keen to showcase the Isle of Man’s achievements.

Mr Williamson added:

‘We are held up as best practice and a lot of other organisations are considering adopting our working methods. Most countries have separate control rooms to handle police, fire and ambulance 999 calls whereas the Island has an integrated system that allows everything to be done under one roof.’

In addition to his presentation, Mr Williamson – who holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Electronic Engineering – will also conduct a media briefing with representatives from Motorola and the Northern Ireland police force on the implementation of multi-user TETRA systems.

Minister for Home Affairs Martyn Quayle MHK said:

‘Being invited to address a worldwide audience of key decision-makers in the communications industry is a major coup. The congress in Hong Kong will underline the progress that has been achieved in the Isle of Man in terms of delivering a high quality and effective communications infrastructure.’

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