Network operator Airwaves has launched a commercial fully digital two-way radio service in New Zealand. The service is based on TETRA (terrestrial trunked radio), an international mobile radio and two-way communications standard, used by government agencies, emergency services and commercial enterprises in 88 countries, says the company. In telephony mode TETRA handsets can be used to connect users to both landlines and mobile phones. They can send and receive SMS, pictures and other data. Group calling mode allows users to have communication among a number of users. It’s also possible to use the terminal for one-to-one communication over the Airwaves network. Emergency buttons on the terminals mean users can communicate an emergency to a group of radio users, an individual radio user, or to a telephone or mobile phone, says Airwaves. “We selected TETRA for our Airwaves’ network because the standard is widely supported by manufacturers worldwide,” says William Waterworth, director of Airwaves. Airwaves will initially provide Auckland-wide network coverage, and plans to roll out to major cities, says Waterworth. Waterworth launched the first TETRA network in Australia in 2006 as general manager of Zeon Digital, a Motorola-owned and operated network.