Is Your Radio Network Upgrade Past Due?

Has the sun set on your existing LMR system? Dan Draughn, Market Development Executive at Tait Communications takes a look at a variety of reasons a Utility organization may have to upgrade their network.

This article is adapted from one originally drafted by Dan Draughn.

Time for an Upgrade

Despite the appeal of innovative new technologies, migrating from a well established and trusted network can be a daunting proposal.  Radio networks typically operate effectively for several years, but each year brings new developments that would likely improved the safety and efficiency of your operations.  For every organization, there is an inevitable tipping point where the ease of sticking to a familiar system is eclipsed by the value of incorporating new technologies, or potentially even replacing a whole system.

Utility organizations need to be prepared for the worst case scenario at any time. Be it storms, fires, or other disasters – responding to events that compromise critical infrastructure in a rapid and safe way is top priority.  An aging radio network might be able to support those efforts some of the time, but access to the increased situational awareness that comes from a digital network, integrated with LTE, provides much greater capability in the most difficult circumstances.

Why Change?

There are a number of valid reasons Utilities may need to upgrade their radio networks. These include:

Field Safety

Utilities need to maintain communications to keep employees safe. Learn more about the implications and solutions for worker safety.

Obsolescence

Parts are eventually no longer available, discontinued by the manufacturer. Ultimately, everything has a lifespan.

Scalability

You may be unable to add sites or channels to existing system. Modern networks are significantly more scalable.

Capacity

Spectrum is limited, and may not be efficiently used, limiting system expansion. Seek spectrally efficient options.

Coverage

Varying terrain and new buildings result in gaps in communication. Response boundaries might have expanded.

Operational Continuity

Dated technology is highly dependent on additional hardware, often not tested before required.

Feature Limitations

Traditional systems simply supported voice, today’s increased situational awareness requires enhanced data functionality.

Open Standards

Early systems were built as isolated operational silos, mutual aid and interoperability between operating divisions requires standardization.

If you recognize any of these as a symptom of your current communications system, might you be putting your Field Workers at risk? Do not let the conversation end here, subscribe to the Tait Utilities Newsletter for more articles, as we explain the impact of these issues and how we can help you modernize.


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At Tait Communications, we understand the meaning behind Mission Critical. For over 50 years, Tait has been delivering critical communications solutions to utilities. Learn more about what Tait can do for Utilities.

If it is time to consider an upgrade or replacement, please get in touch to have a conversation about how we can help.

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