The New Jersey Transit Corp. (NJ Transit) recently installed a TETRA radio system in the 800 MHz spectrum band—the first statewide TETRA system in the nation. It went online in early 2013, operating in a limited capacity during the final build out.

On March 14, 2012, NJ Transit awarded Alcatel-Lucent the contract for its system procurement. And Alcatel-Lucent contacted the Enterprise Wireless Alliance (EWA) for assistance in the frequency coordination and spectrum availability for the NJ Transit TETRA deployment.

EWA Executive Director of Spectrum Solutions Bill Sterner said, “NJ Transit wanted to use existing frequencies, which could also be re-used at new locations, so no frequencies were removed. EWA’s role was to facilitate the entire process.”

“I was on the deck plate,” continued Sterner, a retired U.S. Navy chief petty officer. “This was very intensive, hands-on, detailed work. “It was all about knowing the mission and getting it done. It involved modifying licenses, applying for new licenses to accommodate new sites and, depending upon the location, providing supplemental RF engineering. EWA had to coordinate its actions with diverse organizations. It was a fluid situation. EWA had to be attentive to New Jersey Transit’s needs—which is, after all, what EWA is here for.”

Sterner said, “It all came together in the end. The FCC was accommodating. The public safety coordinators were responsive. The engineers were reactive. It was a great team effort. All the applications EWA worked on have been granted,” said Sterner.

“We appreciated how responsive EWA was,” said Don Appleby, senior program manager for Alcatel-Lucent. “They exceeded our expectations.