Durban Metro Council chooses Quasi-Sync radio communications technology

December 2000 IT infrastructure

The Greater Durban area has improved its radio communications standards following the introduction of the latest state-of-the-art Quasi-Sync equipment in a partnership between the city's Metro Council and Emcom Africa.

Les Thorpe, Director of Electronic Services of the Emergency Services Unit of the Durban Metropolitan Council, said that in order to meet Metro Electricity's rapidly increasing need for reliable wide area radio communications, Durban Metro Council, the regional local government authority, had embarked upon a radio communication system replacement programme in 1996.

"After many months of investigation into radio system technologies, both analog and digital, operational requirements and product availability, we selected the Tait Electronics Quasi-Sync system which is distributed locally by Emcom Africa.

"The installation, which has now grown to rank among the largest Tait Electronics systems worldwide, utilises the principal of quasi-synchronous, multisite, multichannel operation with diversity reception, and operates over an area of more than 2000 square kilometres."

The Greater Durban Quasi-Sync radio system covers the area from Zimbali Lodge up the north coast, down to Illovo in the south and Cato Ridge in the west. The system has 13 four-channel sites linked back to a central control (at Durban Metro Electricity HQ), with a further three sites on the drawing board. According to Thorpe, there were about 1000 users in the area, but that would quadruple over the next 18 months.

Les Thorpe, Director of Electronic Services of the Emergency Services Unit of the Durban Metro Council, inspects the equipment installed by Emcom Africa
Les Thorpe, Director of Electronic Services of the Emergency Services Unit of the Durban Metro Council, inspects the equipment installed by Emcom Africa

"Additionally, with the successful implementation of the system, a further order has been placed for a second, near-identical system to support the Metro Council's Fire and Emergency Services, and it is envisaged that yet a third system will be procured for the newly established Metro Police Services during the next 12 months."

According to Thorpe one of the main advantages of the system was that the technology had inherent redundancy in that in the event of a complete failure at any one site, users will still receive quality communications due to planned overlap from adjacent sites. "In other words, there is a safety net in place."

Ron Farnham, Senior Contracts Manager at Emcom, said the system had proved to be successful and his company was looking forward to installing the second system for Fire and Emergency Services.

For details contact Ron Farnham, Emcom Africa, tel: (031) 312 9288 fax: (031) 312 9296 or e-mail: emcom@eastcoast.co.za





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