Dialog Enterprise, the corporate ICT solutions arm of Dialog Axiata PLC, recently deployed a customized mission-critical push-to-talk (MCPTT) solution for Lanka Electricity Company (Private) Limited.
The rapid-response arm of the Ceylon Electricity Board, LECO was established in 1983 to provide electrical service to underserved areas. This MCPTT project, awarded to Dialog Enterprise after a competitive bidding process had the objective of providing a state-of-the-art radio telecommunications system based on mission-critical push-to-talk over 4G-LTE technology to cover the LECO service grids in Galle, Moratuwa, Kalutara, Negombo, Kelaniya, Kotte and Nugegoda. The solution had to be able to fulfill LECO’s current and future requirements, with radio telecommunications features and services in voice, data and video, and with future-ready devices that worked right out of the box.
The hardware package that Dialog Enterprise provided consisted of a central dispatch unit with voice and video dispatching, geolocation, and recording, plus 65 vehicle-mounted and 60 hand held devices with voice, video streaming and messaging capabilities. These rugged handheld devices come with 5-inch screens, front and back cameras, GPS positioning and supersensitive DMR antennas, and are so reliable that they are even used in tunneling and mining operations.
Mission-critical user communications have a higher priority than public user communications as per 3GPP telecommunication standards. Therefore, mission-critical users can communicate with each other and with the control center uninterruptedly even when network traffic is orders of magnitude greater than usual due to unforeseen circumstances–for instance, during a national emergency or natural disaster, when unprecedently high call volume can overwhelm even the highest-capacity network.
The MCPTT devices provided by Dialog Enterprise feature a device-to-device communication mode that functions in the absence of cellular network coverage. This failsafe feature enables LECO users to communicate with each other within a specified radius albeit if a disaster like a tsunami takes down the cellular tower infrastructure and renders the network completely unavailable.
“This MCPTT solution operates at a higher priority than Internet services, and also having a device-to-device communication mode are huge pluses for LECO,” said Athula P. De Silva – Chairman, LECO. “Because when connectivity is interrupted due to unforeseeable circumstances–like a sudden violent storm, for instance–we are the professionals whose job it is to bring the network back up. With this, our dispatchers and field engineers are in constant touch since we are in complete control of our own internal communication channel. And since this solution uses GPS technology, dispatchers know exactly where the repairpersons are at all times. So, in the event of an outage, power can be restored much faster. If we had chosen the generic mobile voice service or push to talk over cellular (POC) instead, our rapid response team’s communications would have been vulnerable to the same disruptive factors and service interruptions as the general public–and that was totally unacceptable. We are the first line of defense against power outages. Dialog Enterprise’s MCPTT solution is a perfect fit for our requirements.”
Apart from price and quality of service, one of the primary reasons why LECO chose Dialog Enterprise as their MCPTT solution provider is because this cutting-edge technology only works in 4G LTE and the best 4G coverage is with us,” said Navin Pieris, Group Chief Officer-Dialog Enterprise, Dialog Enterprise, Dialog Axiata PLC. “It is the fourth-generation wireless standard that offers increased network capacity and speed for cellphones and other cellular devices when compared to second-generation (2G) and third-generation (3G) technology.” Dialog has by far the most wide-ranging 4G LTE coverage among Sri Lankan mobile operators, with network coverage encompassing 94% of the country’s population and 78% of its geographical area—statistics confirmed by independent analytical reports such as Open signal. As a result, we’ve been approached by other service industry giants looking for solutions specifically designed for their specific requirements and we guarantee that this is the ideal solution for civil engineers, field technicians, and military service personnel.”
Dialog Enterprise’s MCPTT solution is massively scalable, with on-demand expandability depending on customer needs. It is connected through a separate Enhanced Packet Core (EPC) network and is not connected to the internet. Therefore, the Dialog Enterprise solution provides tighter security against external cyber threats. Dialog’s network availability is quantifiably the best among Sri Lankan mobile operators. Dialog has an island-wide maintenance depot network that enables it to respond to network failures faster than any other service provider in the country. Additionally, it maintains a dedicated enterprise support team trained for rapid response to enterprise customer issues and requests.