Zetron has been chosen to provide New Zealand utility, Powerco, with an integrated voice-and-data solution that will improve communications in the company’s control centre and in the field.
Powerco is New Zealand’s second-largest electricity utility (network length), and the country’s largest gas-distribution utility (customer numbers), with approximately 435,000 consumers connected to its networks.
Zetron’s IP-based AcomNOVUS dispatch system will be deployed at Powerco’s Network Operations Centre (NOC) in New Plymouth. It will provide integrated communications for Powerco’s new Hytera DMR Tier III radio network and its existing SIP telephony system.
The solution will also add 30 repeater stations to enhance coverage throughout rugged and remote areas where Powerco field staff often lose all communication. As a result, NOC operators’ awareness of what is happening in the field will be greatly improved, particularly during severe storms.
“Zetron’s considerable experience with mission-critical systems for utilities ensures that this solution will support and further Powerco’s key business objectives,” said Zetron Australasia VP and general manager, Ranjan Bhagat. “AcomNOVUS, with its advanced, integrated functionality and ability to prioritise both incoming radio and telephone calls, will be central to that effort.”
Powerco network operations manager, Phil Marsh, said that the company hopes to deploy the new technology this financial year in Western Bay of Plenty, Thames, Coromandel, and Eastern and Southern Waikato. Work on the company’s remaining network is expected to follow soon thereafter.
“We are excited to partner with Zetron to implement this new, state-of-the-art system,” said Marsh. “It will allow our field staff to maintain vital contact with the NOC while working in most parts of our network. This will greatly improve the safety of our crews and the efficiency of our dispatching, and will also reduce our response and restore times.”