Resource companies, along with other industries, are actively looking into advanced wireless communications and how they can make business safer and more efficient. With a vast variety of options including digital radio, data services, and automation, the companies question the future effect on mine sites and oil rigs. So how can organizations ensure they’re prepared to meet these demands?
The following article from the latest issue of Connection magazine talks about the future of wireless communication. Omnitronics Ltd, a global Tait Technology Partner, has been talking to Resource industry specialists and summarized their responses in five lessons.
1. Radio Will Remain the Most Vital Means of Communication
One thing is very clear: Land Mobile Radio will continue to be a highly important and necessary means of communications in Resources operations. This is due to three main characteristics:
- One-to-many: “All Informed Communications”
- Simple to use: encouraging “positive communication”
- Flexibility: change the area of coverage or easily expand the network
2. How We Use Radio Will Change
Land Mobile Radio will continue to be a key piece of the communications infrastructure at mine sites and on oil fields, but it will be just that – one piece of the infrastructure. There is a range of other communications technologies available today that large operators are looking to integrate with radio, to improve their operations.
3. A Flexible Infrastructure is Vital
Lessons 1 and 2 raise the question: how can we ensure that radio communications remains a priority yet works with these new technologies? To face this challenge, the world leaders recognize the need to connect radio over IP. Not only is IP a common language across many technologies, it also provides the flexibility operators need to adjust their radio network to meet new operational and technological needs.
4. Centralization of Command and Control is Ideal
Another trend seen by the world leaders is a move towards centralized command and control, or Remote Operations Centers. These Centers perform a large variety of functions from radio dispatch and monitoring to data management, fleet management (including control of autonomous vehicles) and Emergency Management. By using Radio over IP, it is simple to connect communications from many sites back to one central hub.
5. The Role of Dispatch Will Change
Reduction in voice traffic, increased automation and centralization are likely to have a significant impact on radio dispatch operators, whose role has already changed significantly. Dispatchers are now increasingly responsible for monitoring and coordinating much of the activity, whether it be by voice or data. This requires them to be more responsive to situations involving breakdowns and emergencies in their area of control.
These lessons suggest that the characteristics of radio will ensure its longevity in the Resources industry, although the way that organizations structure and use their radio networks will change.
Want to learn more about how wireless communications are impacting industries? Read more educational and thought-provoking pieces from the latest issue of Connection 9, and subscribe to be the first to know when new issues are released.