New Zealand electricity utility company EA Networks has deployed a digital communications solution designed and developed by Tait Communications.
The analogue-to-digital migration plan included the implementation of a five-site DMR Tier 3 trunked solution commissioned by Tait and incorporates DMR Tier 3 TB9300 base stations, TM9300 mobile radios and TP9300 portable radios.
The new Digital Mobile Radio (DMR) network has increased worker safety and efficiency for the mid-Canterbury electricity distribution company, which delivers power to approximately 17,450 customers through almost 3,000 km of distribution lines.
Brendon Quinn, network manager, EA Networks, said: “The digital mobile network was invaluable during the region’s severe windstorms in September 2013. The clarity of voice message over the digital network made it easier for our field workers and dispatch centre, to communicate effectively without the need to repeat instructions.
“The storms highlighted other potential vulnerabilities that the radio network has historically faced, namely congestion at critical times and visibility of our workforce. We were able to work with Tait to identify capabilities of the new DMR network that will help us solve these issues in the future,” said Quinn.
To address congestion, Tait demonstrated the value of the new digital network’s trunking capabilities, which enables the network to operate more efficiently. Tait is also currently working with EA Networks on implementing a location services application to boost the visibility of EA Networks’ mobile workforce during peak times, with Automatic Vehicle Location (AVL).
“We learnt quickly during the recent storm events, that visibility of our workforce on the ground is imperative to ensure their safety and to improve overall operational efficiency so we can deliver better service to our customers,” said Quinn.
Brett Smythe, general manager, Tait Communications Asia Pacific, said: “EA Networks has been a great client to work with during the implementation of this innovative technology. We’ve worked together to understand how our DMR Tier 3 platform could enhance EA Networks’ operations. The mix of urban and rural land area allowed us to develop a truly robust solution.
“Following the successful DMR Tier 3 implementation, Tait Communications has been successful in securing a major North American utilities contract that involves installing the DMR Tier 3 solution across more than 20 sites.”
Smythe continued: “We are pleased that EA Networks is able to reap the benefits of improved voice, data, and location services to meet its organisational needs today, while still ensuring the flexibility to expand and upgrade as needs dictate in the future
“We expect to see more utilities around the world adopting the DMR Tier 3 platform over the coming years as its full potential to transform utility workforce management is realized,” said Smythe.