Tait targets global utilities market after Kiwi success

Tait Communications is focusing on growing its share of the global utilities market after successfully installing a Digital Mobile Radio (DMR) network for a leading Canterbury utility company.

Tait, a Christchurch company and one of New Zealand’s leading exporters, has commissioned a DMR network for EA Networks, an Ashburton-based lines company delivering power to more than 17,000 customers through almost 3,000 km of distribution lines.

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

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

“The mix of urban and rural land area allowed us to develop a truly robust solution that we can take to our export market,” says Brett Smythe, General Manager, Tait Communications Asia Pacific.

“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 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.

“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.”

Brendon Quinn, Network Manager, EA Networks, adds: “During severe windstorms 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.

“The storms highlighted other potential vulnerabilities that the network has historically faced. We learnt quickly during the recent storm events that the visibility of our workforce on the ground is imperative to ensure their safety and to improve overall operational efficiency so that we can deliver better service to our customers.

“We were able to work with Tait to identify capabilities of the new DMR network that will help us solve these issues in the future.

“Tait demonstrated the value of the new digital network’s trunking capabilities that enables the network to operate more efficiently. Tait is also currently working with EA Networks on implementing a location services application which provides much needed visibility during peak times.”

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.

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