Client Story: Keeping the magic alive on the Hobbiton™ Movie Set

“Now we have effective coordination across the whole site, which means a massive improvement in health and safety preparedness.”
Mitch King – Food and Beverage Manager

The Hobbiton Movie Set is one of New Zealand’s must-see tourist attractions, with iconic sets that featured in the Peter Jackson directed The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit trilogy films. Occupying 12 acres in the midst of a working farm, and with over 200 staff members, the set sees up to 3,000 visitors a day in peak season. Fully guided tours take staff and visitors all over the site, often out of range of cellphone coverage.

Source: Hobbiton Movie Set

The Movie Set staff had an existing Tait analog radio network that operated on a single channel with no repeater, which made coordination a challenge when navigating a site filled with rolling hills. To coordinate amongst themselves, “we basically had to jump in a vehicle and drive around the site”, says Mitch King, Food and Beverage Manager. With business rapidly growing, better communications became an increasingly pressing need within and between various groups such as operations, food and beverage, and maintenance staff.

Source: Hobbiton Movie Set

Alcom Radio Communications, Rotorua was called in to advise. After an in-depth consultation and a portable repeater trial on-site, Ken Glass from Alcom recommended and supplied a Tait DMR Tier 2 solution with TP9310 radios and a Hytera repeater. Now, the team works on three channels – tour guides are in one group, food and beverage staff in another, and the grounds and maintenance team are in the third. Supervisor radios are programmed to be able to monitor and priority call their teams if necessary, and colour-coded terminals facilitate ease of use and quick recognition for teams on the go.

Source: Hobbiton Movie Set

Transitioning from Tait analog to a digital system has provided the Hobbiton Movie Set with clear and reliable voice communications. “Many others seeking to find a cost effective, customised communication system for improved operations and safety could benefit from this approach”, says Ken, from Alcom. Mitch King adds that Hobbiton now has “coordinated communications across the whole site, which means a massive improvement in health and safety preparedness, and ability to respond to any incidents. Ultimately, the new radio system has made a huge difference in our ability to ensure a quality experience”.

To read more about the Hobbiton Movie Set story, visit their client page or download the PDF.

You can also learn more about Digital Mobile Radio (DMR), or take a look at some of our other fascinating Client Stories to see how Tait is bringing safety and efficiency to industries around the globe.

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