Sepura has been awarded a contract by BC Hydro, one of Canada’s leading electrical utility organisations, to supply radios for North America’s first operational TETRA network.
Sepura will be working with BC Hydro’s system integrator, S.M. Group International (SMi). Sepura has a long standing partnership with SMi and the two will work with BC Hydro to integrate the Sepura handsets into the TETRA infrastructure. This will allow the utility provider to maximise the TETRA deployment and deliver its mission critical communications.
The project involves equipping BC Hydro staff with a fleet of Sepura’s STP8000 hand-portable radios, backed up by its SRG3900 mobile radios for in-vehicle installation.
For the efficient and safe execution of fieldwork during normal and emergency operating conditions, BC Hydro crews require reliable and convenient mobile voice and data communications at all substations, dams, generating stations and along all distribution and transmission lines.
Sepura’s STP8000 radio was chosen to meet this need, as it is feature-rich, easy and accurate to operate and has been designed to perform in the most physically challenging environments. One of the most appealing features for BC Hydro is the STP8000’s Man-Down capability, particularly the alert call for lone workers. This is an automatic call generated by motion-sensing technology, which detects loss of verticality of the device or absence of movement.
Its RF power is fully customisable up to 1.8 Watts in both trunked and direct modes (TMO and DMO), thereby both extending coverage beyond the reach of typical hand-held radios and assisting operations, where being ‘off-network’ may be an advantage.
An additional benefit is the ability of the SRG3900 mobiles, with their output power customisable up to 10W, to operate in Gateway mode (acting as an extension to the network for portable users working in Direct Mode) thus maintaining communications in areas not covered by the network.
Finally, by choosing to manage the radio fleet from one central location means that BC Hydro can adopt a cost-effective approach to ongoing asset management, reducing the overall cost of ownership.
Stuart Will, business development manager, North America, Sepura, commented: ‘This selection has been the product of not only a rich feature set and an attractive look and feel of our products, but also recognising BC Hydro’s needs and working with them over an extended period of time to ensure that they get the most out of their selected TETRA radios.
‘Sepura’s portfolio of products, including our world leading STP8000 and SRG3000 series radios, have been certified for use in the US, so we are well-positioned to assist customers across the North American region as they adopt the TETRA standard. We are delighted to have the opportunity to support BC Hydro in its landmark adoption of TETRA.’
The BC Hydro TETRA network
BC Hydro has a wide-ranging initiative to improve both safety and communications in the Vancouver Lower Mainland region of British Columbia province and decided to adopt TETRA technology. It announced a deal for North America’s first TETRA network in October 2011 with S.M. Group International Inc. (SMi) as systems integrator and PowerTrunk (Teltronic) as the TETRA equipment supplier.
The original TETRA equipment supplied by PowerTrunk consists of 25 TETRA base stations connected via the BC Hydro IP backhaul network, 14 dispatchers and three CeCoCo command and control centres, which interface with BC Hydro’s legacy VHF system.