Communications, Features

Loud and clear

Sepura’s hybrid SCU3 enables mining’s migration to LTE.

Reliable communication is the backbone of safety on a mine site, helping workers to communicate mission-critical information. Consequently, mining companies don’t play around when it comes to communication technology. 

Miners need surety that they can reach any worker in any part of an operation, whenever they need to. 

Many of these networks throughout the industry are based on the TETRA (terrestrial trunked radio) standard, providing narrowband voice and data services to users, with a high standard of service and exacting requirements for availability, reliability and security.

TETRA is a tried-and-true means of communication, but technology, as it tends to do, is evolving.

Mining operations have an increasing need for data services such as video, access to online tools or databases, and the ability to upload or download large data items. These tasks typically need a higher bandwidth than narrowband systems can deliver, and require broadband data services, such as LTE (long-term evolution), to satisfy this evolving demand.

But these new platforms don’t yet offer equivalent performance, with standards being hardened and devices meeting these standards being developed. Requirements such as mission-critical voice, direct mode operation and end-to-end encryption are key areas of focus. There are also challenges with coverage.

Sepura is bridging the gap between the reliability of TETRA and the modern bells and whistles of LTE with the SCU3 dual-mode device. 

The SCU3 has been designed for use in vehicles and/or fixed office locations and supports TETRA for mission-critical voice with data through LTE or Wi-Fi connectivity.

The dual-mode option allows sites to run hybrid fleets, with vehicles and control rooms using the dual-mode device and frontline staff using TETRA hand-held portable devices.

“Organisations are increasingly looking for flexible, rugged devices capable of providing the best of both worlds – mission-critical voice and high-speed data capability,” Sepura country manager for Australia Ronan Rafferty said. “The TETRA module in the SCU3 offers this to users in a familiar, trusted format, enabling organisations to extract full value from their critical communications solution.

“Sepura has spent a lot of time with users around the world, understanding their needs and challenges to ensure its solutions meet these needs. Hybrid LTE devices can deliver solutions to mission-critical users’ operational challenges.”

The hybrid SCU3 can be used alongside Sepura’s existing TETRA portable radios.

These hand-held devices have been purpose-built for the mining industry with loud, clear audio and robust construction. The resilient design protects the audio components from harmful dust, including magnetic dust, which is common on mine sites. 

By making the hybrid SCU3 compatible with these devices, Sepura is keeping its customers’ total cost of ownership and training requirements to a minimum.

Sepura’s SCU3 combines the mission-critical voice of TETRA with the high-speed capabilities of LTE, giving mine sites the confidence they need to take communication to the next level. 

This feature also appears in the November-December issue of Safe to Work.

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