Powerline firm's radio network fights through storms

The network is equipped with automatic vehicle location (AVL) technology providing EA with the ability to locate workers on the ground

Tait Communications has commissioned a digital mobile radio (DMR) network for EA Networks, an Ashburton-based lines company delivering power to 17,000 customers through 3,000 km of distribution lines.

The network is designed to improve worker safety and efficiency for the electricity distribution company, particularly during severe weather conditions such as the wind storms that affected the mid-Canterbury region in September last year.

Brett Smythe, GM, Tait Communications Asia Pacific, said, “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.

“Following this contract, Tait Communications has been successful in securing a major North American utilities contract that involves installing the solution across more than 20 sites.

“We expect to see more utilities around the world adopting this technology over the coming years as its full potential to transform utility workforce management is realised.”

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.

Tait has also looked to address congestion on the company’s network at critical times and boost the visibility of EA’s workforce. The network is equipped with automatic vehicle location (AVL) technology providing EA with the ability to locate workers on the ground.

Brendon Quinn, network manager, EA Networks, said, “During severe wind storms that hit the South Canterbury region, the benefits of the new digital network were brought into focus.

“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.

“Tait is also currently working with EA Networks on implementing a location services application which provides much needed visibility during peak times.”

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Tags Tait Communicationstaitdigital mobile radioautomatic vehical locationEA NetworksDMR

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