Cobb EMC, an electric utility company based in Marietta, Georgia, USA, has chosen PowerTrunk, (part of the Sepura Group) to upgrade and expand its digital TETRA two-way radio communications network.
The project will consist of the integration of the PowerTrunk-T TETRA network infrastructure, upgrading the existing TETRA network and joining the TETRA network owned by Diverse Power.
Several additional site base stations will be added to the TETRA network in order to provide increased radio coverage over a wider area. Cobb EMC has selected Sepura STP9000 TETRA portable radios and SRG3900 mobile gateways for its end-user equipment.
The TETRA two-way radio standard is still a relative new comer in the USA, as it was only cleared for use in certain sectors by the FCC in 2012, although it is widely deployed in other parts of the world, especially in Europe where it is the leading mission critical radio standard.
PowerTrunk was the first company to introduce and implement TETRA-based radio networks in North America, delivering the first such system in Canada in 2012, and then the first in the US in 2013. PowerTrunk is the largest provider of TETRA systems in North America.
Cobb EMC is a member-owned electric co-operative, which provides electric utility services to more than 180,000 customers across several counties in Georgia. Cobb EMC was an early adopter of TETRA technology in the US, having purchased a network in 2013 as well, albeit from a different manufacturer (Hytera), for managing their workers' day-to-day operations.
In particular, Cobb EMC sought a system that would provide clear and effective communication, enable asset tracking, and allow for employee geo-location and emergency management.
The expanded TETRA network will provide coverage for approximately 60% of the state of Georgia. This expanded shared network currently provides services for other electric cooperatives, water districts and public safety users.
"Cobb EMC recognized the advantages of TETRA over other land mobile radio technologies available in the market and the benefits of joining the larger shared state-wide co-operative network," said Jim Mattox, PowerTrunk's Vice President of Strategic Development for Utilities Market.
"And since TETRA is an open standard, they weren't locked in to a single manufacturer, so the PowerTrunk solution fits in with their current network architecture almost seamlessly. In fact, part of the project includes over-the-air gateways between the existing equipment and the PowerTrunk system to assure that migration is smooth and transparent to the users meanwhile the network is reconfigured as part of the expansion."
This means that workers in the field can continue to use any existing TETRA radio equipment they have and with the same TETRA voice and data features that they are used to. On the infrastructure side, the PowerTrunk-T system brings more capacity and functionality to the Cobb EMC network, including the possibility of data applications such as GPS tracking, SCADA applications, and even e-mail implementation for TETRA radio users.
Jose Martin, CEO of PowerTrunk, added: "We are extremely pleased that Cobb EMC has chosen us to provide them their TETRA network upgrade."
See also: Hytera scoops two TETRA deals with utilities in North America