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Iridium Push To Talk Enables Remote
Utility Workers to Stay Connected

Iridium Push To Talk Enables Remote Utility Workers to Stay Connected

Overview

Companies building utilities infrastructure remotely require secure, mobile, and reliable communications for workers and mobile safety personnel but custom networks are costly, prone to weather interference, and can disturb local environments. Working directly with the customer to test, deploy, and train workers, Iridium providers and partners leveraged existing PTT solutions to keep field workers, medical and safety personnel, and operations centers connected throughout the development line. Using Iridium PTT hardware, along with mobile and portable accessories, workers could rely on an open line of communication to both command centers and medical trailers, providing efficiency, safety, and security while working in remote, snow-prone areas.

Large projects in remote environments typically require extensive development with communications being the key to project success. Connecting the isolated, off-grid locations where utility line construction took place would traditionally require building custom terrestrial infrastructure solely for communications purposes, a costly and long-term project.

Additionally, workers and medical providers required clear voice lines, low latency connections, and high audio output, as they needed the ability to respond quickly to requests through an open communication channel. Further, Iridium PTT was uniquely positioned to facilitate group communications across sites. With up to 15 talkgroups available to the workers, instant connections could be relied upon, rather than individual dialing and one-to-one calls. Meanwhile, the mobile hospitals not only needed to communicate among the groups through PTT, but they also required the ability to make voice calls for longer communications if the on-site trailer needed assistance.

Iridium Solution

Deploying a fleet of Iridium Connected Icom IC-SAT100 devices among remote workers, along with several Iridium Extreme PTT handsets for medical personnel, Iridium partners built a communications configuration with the necessary security, mobility, and reliability required across hundreds of kilometers of land alongside the utility line’s construction.

Workers were equipped with the IC-SAT100, benefiting from its familiar land-mobile radio (LMR) design and interoperability with other Iridium PTT devices, while all medical trailers and mobile ambulances were equipped with the Iridium Extreme PTT dual-mode handset and docking stations, allowing for PTT communications among workers and other medical personnel, as well as satellite voice calling services for situations that required further medical assistance.

The teams from the Iridium third party partners provided on-site training. They also worked with Iridium to develop custom training materials including a Canadian-French how-to video, to ensure users felt comfortable operating the new PTT devices.

Impact of Iridium Network

Leveraging Iridium’s network, partners were able to develop a solution that increased efficiency, safety, and security for lone workers and medical staff in the field. From daily interactions between on-site workers using Iridium PTT to critical medical calls over the Iridium network, users stayed connected and safe throughout their work.

Third party partners delivered both Iridium and Iridium Connected devices, along with a variety of important accessories to increase the mobility and portability of a critical communications solution for one of Canada’s largest public utilities providers. By using Iridium, rather than building a custom land-based network, the utility company was able to reduce their communications infrastructure costs, begin construction quickly, and minimize local environmental disruption.

Iridium Push To Talk Enables Remote Utility Workers to Stay Connected

Future Solutions

Seeing the success and benefits of Iridium Connected solutions for their operations, the Canadian utility company is working closely with Iridium partners to identify additional ways to leverage the Iridium Network such as taking advantage of Iridium Certus broadband services. Additionally, as Iridium prepares to formally launch its Iridium Certus midband service, the utility company has helped provide Iridium manufacturing partners with input on their requirements for these new solutions.

References

Iridium Push-To-Talk Enables Remote Utility Workers to Stay Connected. (2021, September 22). Retrieved November 6, 2021, from https://www.iridium.com/case-studies/iridium-push-to-talk-enables-remote-utility-workers-to-stay-connected/