The All Blacks' coaching staff can talk to the team safe in the knowledge that no-one can hack in to their calls and listen to their tactics, thanks to cutting-edge digital radios from Tait Communications.
The Christchurch company has delivered radios featuring secure encrypted voice communications technology to the Rugby World Cup 2011 and Investec Rugby Championship winners as part of a supplier agreement with the New Zealand Rugby Union (NZRU). Tait has signed a new agreement with the NZRU for two years, having supplied the All Blacks with communications technology since 2007.
"In the modern, professional game, you need to exploit every edge to remain competitive, so Tait is another key ingredient in our success story," says NZRU Chief Executive Steve Tew.
"The All Blacks pride themselves on consistent and excellent performance. To achieve that we need to be the very best at everything we do, so it's great that we can partner with a New Zealand company that is also at the top of its game."
The digital hand-held radios that the All Blacks coaching staff use feature the same Tait encryption technology that is used all over the world by police forces to fight crime.
They allow the coaches to relay tactics and order replacements during a match, and mean that medical staff can roam between the sidelines and the pitch while staying in constant, secure contact. The radios are also waterproof and filter out unwanted background noise; a common problem in modern rugby stadia.
Darren Shand, All Blacks Manager, says: "We need secure, reliable and clear communications at all times—the encryption capability on the Tait digital radios delivers just that.
"It's great for us to be able to work with a Kiwi company that's producing some of the best technology in the world. Their global reputation means communications is one less thing we have to worry about, and we can concentrate on the game."
James Kyd, Global Chief Marketing Office, Tait Communications, says: "The technology in our digital radios that the All Blacks coaching staff relies on makes it virtually impossible for anyone to listen in on calls. That's why so many of our customers in police forces around the world use it too—encryption means that criminals can't scan or hack police radio. It's technology that's helping to drive crime rates down.
"We're obviously proud to be able to supply a critical communication solution to the world's greatest rugby team. Just like the All Blacks, Tait is a Kiwi organisation that's playing on a global stage, and winning. Our global success is all homegrown, based on technology designed, developed and manufactured here in New Zealand.
"I suppose you could say that if you want to be the best, you have to use the best kit!"