OsmocomTETRA Frequently Asked Questions

Can I use OsmocomTETRA to listen to police radio?

No, you cannot. We expect any decent police radio installation to use at least Tetra Air Encryption (TEA1/2/3/4)
or end-to-end encryption.

Also, if this is your interest in this project: Please simply go away, we don't want to talk to you.

What about TETRAPOL?

Despite the similarity in name, they have nothing in common on the technical side, neither on the physical layer nor the protocol stack.

As such, OsmocomTETRA has no relation with or use case in the context of TETRAPOL.

See this TETRAPOL fact sheet for details

What can I do using your software?

You can learn more about how TETRA works on its lowest level!

How can I actually receive TETRA RF signals?

You can use any radio that is suitable for your target frequency range.

We have so far used the Ettus USRP and USRP2 radios with a variety of different daughter boards, as
well as the Funcube_Dongle Pro.

Can your software actually play the voice signal?

Currently we have no support for that. However, a yet unreleased proof-of-concept version exists.

You are sending GSMTAP messages. Where do I get the TETRA wireshark dissector?

We have not written any TETRA wireshark dissector. Researchers in China have done this and
we have convinced them to release their code under GNU GPL, rather than replicating unnecessary work.

This code has since been merged into the official wireshark source code repository, as released by However, we are not sure if any release was made after it had been merged, so you are
advised to use the latest svn repository from