The recent announcement that Tait will be building a nationwide radio network for New Zealand’s police, fire and ambulance services has created a lot of buzz in the industry. Bringing multiple agencies onto one network, across an entire country, is no simple task.
As we recently announced, Tait Communications in partnership with Kordia, have won a contract to build and maintain a secure digital P25 radio communications network across all of New Zealand, a key element of the Government’s recently announced Public Safety Network (PSN). With more than 450 sites, this will be one of the largest P25 networks in the world.
After this news was released, we very quickly saw a flurry of interest from around the world. Critical communications professionals have shared with us how difficult it is to get multiple agencies in a small county to agree on a shared comms technology, let alone a whole country. But New Zealand is a relatively small country – how big is the New Zealand PSN network really?
New Zealand’s topography and public safety agency needs vary from the rest of the world. However, for the sake of comparison to states in the US, New Zealand and the state of Colorado are very similar in terms of both landmass and population. NZ occupies an area of 103,483 mi² vs. Colorado’s 104,185 mi² (268,021 km² / 269,837 km²) and population (5.1 million in New Zealand vs. 5.8 million in Colorado). The communications challenges presented by a rectangular contiguous state of course differ from those of a chain of islands, but the scale is comparable.
In terms of countries in Europe, New Zealand is a little larger than the UK, but just a bit smaller than Italy. A single network solution such as Tait & Kordia’s contract with the New Zealand government would on paper suit any region of this size, right? The answer is complex, but it’s encouraging.
Images courtesy of https://www.thetruesize.com
If Tait can bring together New Zealand’s public safety communications under one roof, then the same could potentially be done when adapted for other states and counties.
P25 is a proven public safety grade technology, but it’s not the technology that makes these large scale projects difficult, it’s the governance. Getting all stakeholders on board and designing a solution that met all of their needs was the key. No doubt the planning behind a state or nationwide P25 communications infrastructure is immense.
This is a long story, with many parts. We will share more details on this process in future articles – subscribe to see more about how Tait and Kordia came together to design the massive New Zealand Public Safety Network.
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