Kenwood upgrades two-way radio comms at Barcelona’s La Sagrada Familia

A four-channel trunked repeater NEXEDGE digital system serving 140 end users has been installed with scalable capacity built in to accommodate peak event periods and new users

Kenwood upgrades two-way radio comms at Barcelona’s La Sagrada Familia

Kenwood has upgraded its existing two-way radio communication system at one of Barcelona’s most famous landmarks, La Sagrada Familia (The Basilica of the Sacred Family), designed by Antoni.

Work began in 1883, but remained unfinished at the time of Gaudí’s death in 1926. The cathedral, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is still under construction. It covers an area of 4,500 square metres and has a capacity of 9,000 people. It is visited by 3.5 million visitors each year, making it one of most visited attractions in Spain.

The original two-way radio communications system at the Basilica used Kenwood ProTalk, license-free PMR446 analogue radios. While economical and fast to deploy, the system had been outgrown as visitor numbers increased creating requirements for extended site coverage, more tour guides, security and public safety staff, as well as the large construction team.

Local firm Expocom was briefed to design a new system that could meet the current and future site communications needs at La Sagrada Familia. As a result, the company worked with JVCKENWOOD Ibérica to create a system based on Kenwood’s NEXEDGE digital technology.

The new NEXEDGE digital system provides full coverage of the site from the highest point in the construction of the remaining towers to the depths of the crypt, including the offices, museum and public spaces.

It is configured as a four-channel trunked repeater network with a fixed base radio serving thirteen user groups linked via Kenwood’s KAS-10 system management software to a command centre run by the Basilica’s security team.

Following extensive testing, it was found that two antennas, one for reception and the other for transmission located within the building would give full coverage to all areas. The system was installed and rolled-out by the Expocom team across all the user groups including management, security, facilities management, information centre, guides and hosts and the construction team.

The four-channel trunked repeater system serves over 140 NEXEDGE hand-portable radios of which 20 are NX-320E models with full keypad and display to send and receive text messages, alerts and alarms, while the remaining 120 NX-320E2 radios feature displays and simplified keypads.

With construction scheduled to continue for at least another 15 years, the new system was designed with the capacity to cope with peaks in traffic during major events or during an incident and to be fully scalable to facilitate the expansion of channels, users and groups into the future.

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