The Prison Department of the Pacific island of Tonga has chosen to replace its old two-way radios with terminals supplied by Icom New Zealand after its old radios were unable to meet their on-going requirements.
When told of the radio communications requirements for the Tongan prison, Greg O’Dwyer, general manager of one of Icom New Zealand’s dealers, Express Diesel, recommended Icom solutions.
As a global leader in radio communications, Icom is world renowned for providing catered solutions to their customers and providing outstanding support - Icom NZ has just won the 2015 RFUANZ Customer Service Award.
Due to the rigors of keeping a prison running smoothly, the Tongan Prisons Department needed radios that weren’t flimsy or easily damaged by misuse. The old radios had poor battery life, and were easily affected by the humidity in Tonga, so these were big concerns that the Department wanted their new radios to address.
The Department also needed their radios provided clear, reliable communications to prison officers patrolling both inside and outside the prison, as well as to staff in offices and vehicles. The prison staff often take the prisoners outside of the prison on day work and had to chase down escapees on occasion, so the communications range needed to cover at least 10kms across a mix of built up and remote areas.
Supplied in October 2014, a total of 25 Icom radios are now being used in the prison after replacing older radio models. 15 Icom IC-F5023s along with 10 of the new IC-F1000s (pictured) have now been successfully installed into the Tongan Prisons Department. They were installed by a local contractor and were supported with 2.5m antennas, cabling and orange harnesses supplied by Icom.
Unlike the older radios that were used, Icom said its radios have a longer battery life, are lightweight with excellent range and are able to survive the Tongan humidity. Both Icom radio models are constructed for heavy-duty use and provide long term reliable operation in all manners of rugged environments thanks to rugged construction and MIL-STD810 rating which makes them perfect to handle the tough environments of a Tongan prison.
They are also MDC-1200 compatible and the IC-F1000 is one of the slimmest Icom radios (24.5mm) and is IP67 rated. Icom NZ is the only radio communications company that offers a five-year warranty on all its land mobile radios so they are guaranteed to stand the test of time.
Icom reports that its radios are delivering and surpassing expectations, so much so that the Tongan Prisons Department is already planning to purchase more Icom radios in the coming months.