The Kenya Port Authority needed a modern mission critical communications system at the port of Mombasa. In particular, it required a system capable of supporting group call services to enhance operational efficiency. Hytera supplied a DMR Tier III Trunking communications system, including infrastructure, portable and mobile radios, and dispatching software.


Kenya Ports Authority (KPA)

Market Segment


Project Time

2015 - Ongoing


DS-6211, NMS, MSO

The Background

The Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) is a state organization with the responsibility to maintain, operate, improve and regulate all sea and inland waterway ports in Kenya. Its core business is to provide aids to navigation, pilotage, tug-gage, mooring, stevedoring and shore-handling. 

The KPA’s principal activities are centered around the port of Mombasa, which is the only international seaport in Kenya and the biggest port in east Africa. As the main gateway to the region, Port of Mombasa serves a wide and rapidly growing hinterland consisting of Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, South Sudan, Northern Tanzania, Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia and Somalia. To operate efficiently and safely KPA staff need a mission critical communications network. The team used to rely largely on analog radios and digital radios in direct mode.

The Challenge

To provide a complete coverage and reliable trunking communications across the port area

KPA needed a modern mission critical communications solution to enhance its dispatching efficiency. The radio network needed to provide coverage across the port facilities, docks and buildings. The radio frequency (RF) design had to cater to a changing topography caused by the changing profile of container stacks, movement of cranes and other elements. 

The main functionality required by the KPA was group calls for different teams.  The port staff work as teams; they need to push-to-talk within a designated talk group without interfering or being interfered by other teams. Meanwhile, efficient operation requires collaboration among teams; therefore, the system should be versatile enough to accommodate flexibly grouping according to tasks, procedures, and managerial levels. The system was also expected to enhance incident response and support in emergency situations. 

KPA invited radio manufacturers to bid for the project. Hytera and its local partner proposed a solution based on Hytera’s Digital Mobile Radio (DMR) Tier III Trunking portfolio of infrastructure, terminals, accessories and applications.

The Solution

KPA awarded the project to Hytera and its partner based on the quality of Hytera products, service offering, cost-effectiveness and its RF design, which provided excellent signal coverage around the whole of the port area.
The solution comprised one 4-carrier DS-6211 DMR Trunking Lite base station, which was deployed up in the port control tower. The height of the tower ensures full signal coverage across the port area. The radio network is controlled by one mobile switching office (MSO) and one network management system (NMS). The MSO also enables the DMR network to interconnect with other systems such as PSTN telephony, analog conventional, and analog MPT trunking radio networks.
Originally, KPA used radios from a number of other vendors. The legacy radios have been gradually replaced by Hytera radios over the years. KPA vehicles are equipped with Hytera’s DMR mobile radios with the GPS module, which enable the dispatch center to know the exact position of the vehicles.
In 2021, another base station was deployed on a small island, where dangerous chemicals and hazardous waste materials are disposed of. Hytera supplied its intrinsically safe portable radios, which allow users to communicate safely in potentially explosive atmospheres. By the end of 2021, more than 1,000 Hytera DMR portable and mobile radios were in service.
KPA is considering expanding the DMR infrastructure to accommodate more intense port activities and cope with the increase in radio traffic. System expansion is simple thanks to the IP-based system architecture. 

The Benefits

Port-wide Coverage

The port of Mombasa now has complete coverage of the DMR system across the entire port area. KPA staff push-to-talk with confidence anywhere in the port.

Flexible Grouping and Group Calls

 Hytera DMR base stations and radios provide essential group voice communication services to better support efficient day-to-day operations and enhance teamwork.  

Higher Dispatching Efficiency

The dispatching software provides a wide range of functionalities including integrated command and control, call recording, scheduling, and GPS based dispatching. The GPS allows dispatchers to know exactly where the staff and vehicles are positioned on a map, thereby enabling them to quickly locate and allocate the most appropriate resources to carry out particular tasks more efficiently. 

Open API

Hytera’s DMR trunking system supports open API to enable interoperability with third party applications for the KPA.
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