The Brics summit, 2012, was not the only occasion when the R100-crore Terrestrial Trunked Radio (Tetra) communication system has given the security agencies a scare.
Many agencies, especially the Delhi Police, had reported glitches in the specialist professional mobile radio and two-way transceiver system, which was launched in 2010. Problems were identified even during the test runs, sources said.
Hailed as a better communications platform for the police than the age-old wireless sets, the Tetra failed to perform in areas where any action by security agencies depends solely on effective communication.
The Delhi Police has reported several glitches in the system when it comes to perform in the congested Walled City areas. Its performance was found no better in other central Delhi areas. Problems were also reported from north Delhi.
"The number of base stations is not enough to provide seamless connectivity. In areas such as the Walled City, our officers' face immense difficultly in communicating through the Tetra system," said a senior Delhi police officer.
Sources said there were times when the system collapsed completely and the police had to rely on their mobile phones. Although regular complaints had been pouring in from all corners about poor connectivity, it is during the Brics summit in March that major problems were reported. The mock drills conducted by the Delhi Disaster Management Authority (DDMA) in February also suffered because of the poor performance of the Tetra system.
Police sources said the company, which has provided Tetra sets, is in touch with the ministry concerned for the allocation of higher frequencies to resolve the issue. Delhi Police, NDMC and DTC are among the agencies that use Tetra.