Puget Sound Energy (PSE) provides power and natural gas 1.4 Million homes and businesses in Washington State, USA. PSE's service territory spans 16,000 km².
PSE needed a new communications system to replace a both a VHF conventional network and proprietary 900 MHz system. The new system was required to improve operations and to meet regulatory requirements.
Tait Communications was selected to provide a consolidated solution across 59-sites, using standards based trunking platform, digital IP links between sites, and 2,000 Tait terminals.
The terrain and distance between some of the radio sites presented some challenges to ensure that the critical voice and data links between the sites met the expectations for cost, security and reliability. One site in particular was separated by 9 miles (14km) of hilly terrain.
Many different options were explored for these links, however the "low cost" solutions had low reliability and some high reliability solutions had high associated installation and maintenance costs. While the link path was only 9 miles (14km), the cost of a fibre connection was too much. Fibre also ran the risk of being vulnerable in extreme scenarios such as earthquakes and makes isolating and correcting problems a lot more challenging. The challenge was to provide a practical, reliable but cost efficient solution.
MiMOMax Network Data Link (NDL) radios were used to provide PSE with a wireless point-to-point linking solution capable of supporting multiple radio channels with real-time data transfer and low error rates. The MiMOMax NDL is ultra-spectrally efficient and can deliver a large number of radio channels with very low latency and jitter (latency typically 8ms in a 25 kHz channel). The higher data throughput in less RF bandwidth not only results in improved network efficiency, but provides substantial spectrum and cost savings.
MiMOMax radios have the capability of integrating seamlessly with other onsite IP-based equipment such as routers etc. This flexibility means ease of implementation and further reduction in the cost of ownership.
The MiMOMax NDL radios deployed in the PSE network are equipped with remote Configuration, Control & Monitoring Software (CCMS) that allow the system operators to access their network "over-the-air" (web-based) without having to visit the site physically. This reduces travel time and lower associated support costs for PSE.
"We selected Tait after a thorough review because they provide a complete PMR solution that is scalable, meets the current regulatory requirements and can be expanded to support the future communications and security demands that we in the utility industry will face," says Charles Seese, PSE manager of Telecommunications Services.
Steve Cragg, President, Tait Communications, Americas, says, "A project of this scale must be a partnership between the two companies to deliver success. Planning for future communications with Tait means an expert team is right there at each stage, designing, managing and supporting the changes. Meeting the client's outcomes is just as important to our staff as it is to the utilities that choose to partner with Tait."