Tait commences private LTE (4G) trial with New Zealand utility

Friday, 11 July, 2014

Christchurch, NZ: Global technology company Tait Communications, has commissioned its first commercial trial with private broadband specifically developed for emergency services, utilities and natural resources organisations operating in challenging environments.

The development of the LTE or 4G technology for Mid-Canterbury lines company, EA Networks, was prompted by demand from the sectors for greater coverage and reliability.

Tait Communications Chief Marketing Officer, James Kyd, says: "This trial reflects our commitment to remain at the forefront of leading-edge communication technology. Many of our clients operate in sparsely populated areas that are not covered by public broadband and we aim to fill that gap. With this latest innovation, remote utility workers will be able to send and receive real-time data and information using smart devices. For instance, the maintenance history of a sub-station or images and video of a fallen power line.

"We also see opportunities for machine-to-machine applications, not only in the utilities sector but also in the mining industry. For example, for remote control of vehicles, which allows heavy machinery to be sent into dangerous situations unmanned."

Tait holds several patents associated with LTE technology, which arose from long-term collaboration with the University of Canterbury's Wireless Research Centre (WRC).

Kyd says, "As a Kiwi company operating in a fiercely competitive global industry, we know we need to continue to innovate in order to stay competitive. We invest around 12% of our revenue into research and development, and in addition to that, The Tait Foundation has invested several million dollars into the WRC since 2009."

After completion of the open-ended trial, Tait will use the EA Networks trial to help it win international business.

"We're fortunate to have EA Networks on our doorstep working with us to refine new technologies so that we can take them to the international market with confidence," says Kyd. 

"Last year, we released our Digital Mobile Radio (DMR) Tier 3 platform, after a successful trial with EA Networks and we have since secured several multi-million dollar contacts internationally."

Kyd concludes: "In the medium term, the future of critical communications relies on both radio and cellular technology working together seamlessly so that users can benefit from both. We are working with our clients around the world to help them understand how changing technologies can enhance operations and solve challenges."

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