Vertel brings two-radio into "digital age"

Australian telco, Vertel, has rolled out the first phase its Tier III Digital Mobile Radio network, giving "heritage" resellers a chance to create new recurring revenue streams through services.

It is a Tier lll open standard trunked radio network and Vertel has been designing and testing it for the last 12 months.

After a multi-vendor evaluation, it selected Tait Communications to help deliver this network, the first of its kind in Australia. Digital DMR networks enable a host of features to streamline operations, which will be especially beneficial to companies and public sector organisations operating across both regional and metro areas.

In the first phase of the roll-out plan, the Vertel DMR Tier lll network will support Newcastle, Sydney, Wollongong and the surrounding regions.

In the next phase, the network will roll out in Melbourne and Perth, and ultimately grow to form a national network.

The core infrastructure connecting this network is Vertel's carrier grade MEF certified network, bringing mission critical standards to a commercial offering. Recent research commissioned by the Australian Radio Communications Industry Association found that the conservative value of the LMR industry is between $2 billion and $4 billion each year, with almost 40 per cent of the value derived from the Emergency Services sector. According to the research, 55 per cent of the respondents regarded Land Mobile Radio as critical and essential for their business operations. The report also found that 87 per cent of users strongly felt that digital technologies would form an important part of future LMR requirements, the technologies which the DMR standard enables.

Networks based on the DMR standard offer a greatly improved two-way radio experience that yields operational benefits and efficiencies through clear communications, safety features and wide area coverage. Vertel managing director, Andrew Findlay, said he was proud to bring two-way radio into the digital age.

"Over the next 2 to 3 years, we plan to expand our DMR network to significantly exceed the current range of our analogue MPT network," he said.

"To help construct the DMR network, we selected Tait after a rigorous trial and testing process."

He said the new network would give hardware resellers an opportunity to move to a recurring revenue model. "Now that we have got broad support to do the upgrade of our network, that's been the an exciting story for the people that have come from our two-way radio heritage.

"We have put a lot of work into our fixed business and they said 'what about our two-way radio business' So its been a nice rebalancing of our business."

In the majority of cases, resellers want something to sell, and they want to get a different business model because they have been very much based on hardware sales, according to Findlay.

"We are offering a recurring revenue stream," he said.

"A lot of these business have got guys who have been running it for 30 years.

"There's a bit of a dearth of innovation happening in those businesses, so they are reasonably excited by getting involved in a new technology and they have got something new to sell to their customers where they can get some recurring revenue streams going forward.

Read more:Vertel spawns Smart-Fi

"We want to extend our fixed business to them, to go off and say 'you have got customers who trust you and like you, why don't introduce some of these services that we can help you offer and you can get a clip of the ticket there as well"

Enterprises do not need to replace their entire fleet of radios to access the Vertel DMR Tier lll network because multi-mode radios work on both analogue and digital networks.

This allows companies to migrate gradually and cost effectively from analogue to digital, a requirement highlighted as critical by Vertel's large customer base.

The open standard nature of the Vertel DMR Tier lll network creates a greater flexibility between terminals and applications from multiple vendors, giving much greater choice to the end users.

The new network supports a range of applications and features. These include messaging, man down alarms and GPS tracking which ensure the safety of lone or remote workers, making this a critical network for remote construction crews and public sector workers in the field. Tait Asia-Pacific general manager, Brett Smythe, said, the company was excited to partner with Vertel in bringing a national open standards based DMR network to Australia.

"This open-standard technology will allow Vertel customers a greater freedom of choice and flexibility when migrating from the analogue network."

Read more:Vertel booming as it pulls in more government contracts


Brian Karlovsky

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