The importance of the TEA2 Regulations for the Public Service

The importance of the TEA2 Regulations

The UK public sector relies on the ability to communicate, not just internally, between the forces, be it police, fire or ambulance, but also with each other. Imagine a road traffic accident where managers coordinate between different public services. 


TEA2 Regulations


The ability to collaborate and communicate is essential and could mean the difference between life and death for an unfortunate victim of a road traffic accident. The TEA2 regulation stipulates a set of auditing and accountability requirements which can be managed by using a smart device locker management system

What is TEA2?

Communications between forces over radio are operated under the Motorola Airwave solution, which was launched initially as BT Airwave along with BT Quadrant, which has been operating communications to the police and other ‘blue light’ services since 2000


The airwave solution is based on the TETRA Encryption Algorithm 2; TETRA is the world’s most used digital PMR standard. It is in use in around 130 countries and is an algorithm predominantly for end-to-end encryption of voice services, ensuring that transmissions are safe and secure.


However, transmissions are only secure if the physical radios are in the hands of the right people, and this is where the TEA2 regulations comes into play.


Before an organisation can procure, use or handle any Airwave Service radios, it must hold a valid TEA2 regulations Sub-Licence, a ‘confidentiality and restricted usage undertaking’.

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Who is responsible?

Under the terms of the Airwave Public Safety Radio Licence issued by OFCOM, organisations can temporarily loan terminals provided that It is to carry out public safety functions and that radios are managed under a strict set of auditing requirements to ensure that radios are accounted for and are securely managed by a nominated RTC (Radio Terminal Custodian).


The RTC is accountable and responsible  under the TEA2 regulations, for the security and management of Airwave radios, and there are severe implications for individuals, forces and even the UK government as a whole if radios are not properly managed and fall into the wrong hands.


The loaning organisations’ RTC is responsible for “ensuring robust procedures and audit trails are in place and for ensuring the requirements are adhered to at all times”


The TEA2 regulations are strict, detailed and mandatory to be followed at all times.


Lost radio sets could result in the Home Office breaching the terms and conditions of its own primary TEA2 licence and being liable to ETSI (European Telecommunications Standards Institute) for any compromise to the TETRA encryption algorithm. It could jeopardise local and national operations and put other users at risk without their knowledge, in turn impacting public safety.


As you can see – correctly managing radio sets, ensuring accountability and managing access to devices is very important, and this is where an appropriate radio management system takes the stage

Managing the TEA2 regulations

To stay in line with the regulation, appropriate and effective processes must be implemented to account for all radios at all time.


The regulation is pretty straightforward and notes that each organisation must have an ‘accounting system’ which is documented and runs the management of your radios; this must:


  1. include clear details of radio terminals that have been issued; installed in vehicles; held in local or central storage; returned for repair; loaned; lost or stolen; replaced; disposed of; disabled, and removed from the Airwave network
  2. Clearly show which named individual is responsible for each radio terminal at any one time. (This includes radio terminals that may be used by more than one person: e.g. desk mounted radio terminals in a control room.) 


The TEA2 regulations require audits and logs of usage, which traditionally meant using pen, paper, and manually signing in/out radios, which is laborious, time-consuming and susceptible to human error. 


There are requirements to keep logs of usage, as well as physical audits within set timer periods, wherein each radio must be physically audited by hand.


With an appropriate management system, physical audits can be smooth, the audit itself is thorough, and if RTCs are trying to locate devices and audit them, the challenge becomes exponentially more complicated and leaves you open to a higher risk of loss.


A more proactive approach, using a device management system, helps to reduce auditing time.  eLocker offers device management lockers, specifically supporting public services to manage airwave radios and to ensure compliance with the TEA2 regulations. 


Our solutions take the hassle out of the management, and the auditing and ensure your equipment is fully accounted for. eLocker Asset delivers live logs of usage, detailed analytics and a full auditing system to proactively manage your equipment, ensuring it is safe, secure and TEA2 Regulations compliant


eLocker currency manages radios for Motorola Solutions, the City of London Police, and National Highways to list a few.


For more information, please reach out to speak with an eLocker expert

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The importance of the TEA2 Regulations for the Public Service