Nowra Coaches Group, which operates transport services on Australia’s east coast, has replaced its analogue radio system with a Hytera Digital Mobile Radio (DMR) system.
The company employs 140 staff, owns 40 buses and 24 coaches and has six offices located throughout Australia’s East Coast. Radio communications play an important role in coordinating bus transport services and ensuring strict timetables are adhered to.
Until recently Nowra Coaches Group has operated with an analogue two way radio system to provide instantaneous voice communications between control rooms and drivers. However, drivers were well aware of the limitations of the analogue system with areas of poor coverage or dead spots and numerous instances of inconsistent radio communications with dispatchers at the fringes of radio coverage.
The company, therefore, wanted to deploy a new two way radio system to provide clear and reliable communications over the existing repeater coverage area and make available additional services such as text messaging and GPS based vehicle location services.
After seeing a demonstration of Hytera DMR technology at the 2011 Melbourne Bus Show, a decision was taken by the management team of Nowra Coaches Group to replace its existing VHF analogue system with the Hytera DMR system.
Hytera’s DMR solution was deployed for Nowra Coaches Group in late 2011, with Hytera DMR MD78X mobile radios, RD98X repeaters, and PC dispatching system. The new system was supplied and installed for the same budget as an analogue one, and included the functionality of a separate channel for GPS based radio location services, while providing the requested extended coverage and clear voice communications.
The open DMR standard attracted Nowra Coaches Group and leaves them with the ability to build upon the Hytera system without being locked into a proprietary radio technology.
In comparison to previous analogue system, Nowra Coaches dispatch staff using the new Hytera DMR system experienced no background noise on transmissions, extended useable coverage range, the ability to make individual and group calls, and they found the Hytera DMR IP67 rated vehicle mounted radios to be tough, reliable and easy to use.
The added ability to achieve vehicle location on a single radio channel using the in-built Hytera GPS option provides dispatch staff with the capacity to answer customer questions on bus arrivals and to better plan the use of resources.