Radio Specialist Simoco has completed a £5m communications upgrade for UK utilities company Western Power Distribution, providing comprehensive voice and data comms across a service area of 26,000 square kilometres.
The upgrade, which was one of the largest utility contracts of its kind awarded in the UK, has enhanced voice and data communications between staff and important network equipment, ensuring optimum service for the company’s 2.4 million customers in South West England and Wales.
Western Power Distribution selected Simoco’s Xfin technology for the entire upgrade, with 372 Xfin blades deployed at 103 sites to serve 1,600 mobile users. The system provides coverage across some of the most diverse terrain in the UK, from highly populated urban areas such as Bristol and Cardiff, to rural and coastal areas such as Dartmoor, the Brecon Beacons, Cornwall and the Gower.
Kevan Scott, Surf Telecoms Manager at Western Power Distribution said: ‘Since its installation in 2008, the Simoco Xfin PMR system has provided vital communications for our workforce. Particularly during storm conditions, where our engineers are working hard to restore power on the electricity network, the Xfin system has continued to provide reliable and critical communications to ensure the safety of our staff. This vindicates our decision for long term investment in PMR over the use of cellular services which are frequently affected by storms when we need communications most.’
The Xfin system delivers voice and data communications over an IP backbone, enabling Western Power Distribution to manage efficient communications through 60 dispatcher positions, distributed over 10 locations and integrating telephony and ENMAC data and voice recording through a complete turnkey solution.
Chief Executive Officer of Simoco Group, Ian Carr, said: ‘This has been a landmark contract proving the capability of Xfin IP architecture with VoIP in one the largest and operationally critical PMR network environments. We are now leveraging this experience in Xfin with our next generation of DMR products which feature all of the Xfin advantages with the additional benefits of digital radio.’