ASFINAG, the Austrian state-owned company which builds, operates and maintains all motorways in Austria, has selected Sepura to provide TETRA communications across its nationwide motorway and expressway network. The deployment of 1,400 Sepura radios started in the beginning of 2013 and will be rolled out over three years.
The Austrian motorway and expressway network is currently about 2,178km long. As with motorways all over the world, it requires constant attention and maintenance work to ensure the safety of road users and the efficiency of all systems involved in running a motorway; from video surveillance to traffic reporting, services maintenance and the operation and upkeep of the country’s toll system.
Communication challenges arise particularly in the road network’s 340km of tunnels – where digital communications are essential for the safety of ASFINAG workers - and 340km of bridges. The terrain presents its own obstacles too, not least in the form of the Alps.
Added to these factors, the Austrian climate during the winter season is often characterised by snow, ice, storms and poor visibility – harsh working conditions for the company’s 1,500-strong winter service team.
After a competitive selection process, ASFINAG chose Sepura TETRA radios as its technology of choice for coping with these challenges.
“Sepura radios come with an impressive track record,” said Ing. Heinz-Christian Brünner, Head of Purchasing, ASFINAG. “They have been deployed by many transport operators round the world. So we are confident our teams will never be out of contact, regardless of: weather conditions; extremely noisy environments, for example, if work is undertaken in tunnels that remain open to traffic; or when our teams have to work in isolation, when a tunnel is closed off for maintenance or repair work.”
The reliability of Sepura radios in tunnel environments has previously been proven in the tunnels of Grand Lyon in France, a deployment which had not escaped ASFINAG’s attention.
ASFINAG will be using 1,200 SRG3900 radios, 200 STP8000 radios and a range of accessories designed to extend coverage and ensure ease of use for the company’s operatives. The radios not only deliver excellent audio regardless of ambient noise, reliable communications in the harshest weather conditions and seamless connections in tunnels, but are also built for the heavy wear and tear they will be subject to out on the highway.
Gordon Watling, CEO, Sepura, said: “We are delighted to have this opportunity to work with ASFINAG as they adopt Sepura radios and the technology skills for the integration of the handsets into the existing Austrian public safety infrastructure. Although this is a first for us in terms of the Austrian road network, Sepura is becoming increasingly familiar with the communications challenges in Austria, having been chosen by Kelag, the energy supplier, to improve its communications in one of the country’s most mountainous areas.”