UK utility Wessex Water has implemented a high-availability communications-on-the-move (COTM) solution that combines satellite services from Hughes Europe and terrestrial 3G coverage. The aim is to support rapid deployment of the utility’s mobile emergency response units in remote areas when disaster strikes, such as flooding.
Wessex Water provides water and sewage treatment services to 1.3 million people across South West England. The company’s emergency response team previously lacked a unified communications system that could operate in areas with little or no wireless 3G coverage. At the same time, Wessex Water was unable to synchronize communications between its mobile units and the HQ Command Centre in areas of limited 3G coverage.
To ensure there is no loss of connectivity, the solution from Hughes Europe, the European operating and sales organisation of Hughes Network Systems, employs its advanced 9450-C11 mobile satellite terminal operating over the Inmarsat BGAN (Broadband Global Area Network), with automatic failover from 3G service.
It also includes a COTM platform, which synchronises mobile devices and ensures that no time is lost, both on-site and between jobs. The solution includes Quality of Service through Inmarsat and managed services from Hughes via a first-line helpdesk fully integrated with the existing Wessex Water network.
“We’re proud to have been chosen by Wessex Water for this critically important service,” said Chris O’Dell, vice president, sales and marketing, Hughes Europe. “Until now, Wessex Water’s engineers have faced an uncertain communications environment when responding to a major incident. This highly-available solution employing our rugged and easy-to-use mobile terminal ensures reliable communications among the response team, no matter the conditions and where they may be.”
Following a successful pilot of the Hughes 9450-C11 terminal, Wessex Water said it now has complete confidence that, should any critical incidents occur, its dispatch team can maintain constant contact with the Command Centre, as information is streamlined live via a mobile video link.