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Growth in wireless technology is being driven by critical advancements in the proven technology available to utilities. Newly available solutions are creating opportunities to develop standards-based approaches and tailored systems that operate on a single platform and extend system life.
Our team can identify the microwave and field area network (FAN) solutions that align with your needs. We can implement optimal microwave use cases like supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA), protection or transport, or FAN use cases including voice, smart meters, tablets, distribution sensors or distributed energy resource (DER) integration. We can partner with you to address the challenges of device density on the distribution system, downward pressures on capital and O&M budgets, and risks induced by Federal Communications Commission (FCC) decisions. We fill gaps with technical familiarity, industry experience and critical understanding of your core business.
Customized Wireless System Design & Implementation
We have decades of experience helping utilities achieve business needs through the analysis and selection of wireless technologies. We can guide you to decisions that solve near-term challenges while positioning you for future success. Our wireless planning, consulting, engineering and design, construction, systems integration, and operations services are targeted to help you identify your optimal technologies and create an implementation plant focused on success.
Our multidisciplinary team can assist with Federal Communications Commission (FCC) licensing; federal, state and local permitting; field integration and testing; and project or program management partnerships that coordinate all stages of your implementation. Our procurement, design and construction services can be delivered via the contracting method that works for you. We specialize in turnkey engineer-procure-construct (EPC) delivery of large and complex projects that require detailed supply management, and we support active collaboration with vendors and contractors to maintain quality and accuracy.
Comprehensive View of Wireless Technologies & Demands
Dispatch Radio: We assist with updating communications strategies that historically consist of centralized dispatch radio for field operations. We help identify how your requirements have evolved and how land mobile radio (LMR), digital mobile radio (DMR) or terrestrial trunked radio (TETRA) fit into a modern, forward-looking communication strategy. If applicable, we can develop a hybrid implementation that allows modern technology to mesh with traditional dispatch-based operational processes.
Microwave Systems: Our team designs and implements licensed and unlicensed point-to-point (PtP) microwave links — performing spectrum evaluation, identifying interference risk and developing mitigation strategies. We have deep data networking experience, going beyond basic link design and path profile to consider the data networking requirements of the connection.
Last-Mile Broadband: We apply last-mile wireless communications via modern broadband PtP and point-to-multipoint (PtMP) radios. This is a cost-effective option for high-bandwidth connectivity to noncritical utility facilities, including some substations. In certain circumstances, the PtMP option can be used for distribution automation (DA) applications that require greater bandwidth than traditional SCADA communication technologies can provide.
Mesh Networks: For the selection and design of wireless mesh networks, including those used for advanced metering infrastructure (AMI) and DA applications, we apply advanced modeling tools. We perform independent radio frequency (RF) modeling of vendor mesh network offerings to accurately predict RF coverage, least-cost routing, latency and access point loading. We provide actionable recommendations to improve your overall AMI performance.
In-Building Wireless: Our advanced modeling tools allow us to design and implement wireless systems throughout facility interiors. Distributed antenna systems (DAS) are designed to evenly distribute cellular (public and private), dispatch radio, Wi-Fi and related wireless networks throughout facilities, tunnels, elevators and confined spaces —for both convenience and life safety. We also leverage our public cellular relationships to assist in the buildout of a public cellular microcell for dedicated use within your structures, including high-rise buildings or warehouses.
Spectrum Planning and Licensing: We provide spectrum planning through comparative analysis of acquisition cost versus the beneficial coverage and capacity it provides. We maintain relationships with spectrum owners and brokers and can facilitate meetings or acquire pricing information on your behalf. We also assist with frequency coordination, Federal Communications Commission (FCC) license compliance, and application preparation and submission, as well as provide insight regarding common FCC processes, such as special temporary authorizations and slow growth waivers. Our team also assists with spectrum risk mitigation strategy development and implementation, including 6-GHz microwave, 900-MHz rebanding, and unlicensed interference management.
RF Emission Surveys and Studies: We perform RF emission surveys and studies at your facilities to identify areas that need to be addressed per FCC or Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) rules regarding public and occupational maximum permissible exposure (MPE) limits. We perform these activities for your rooftops, towers, poles or other areas where antennas are or will be installed. We deliver detailed reports with guidance on signage and recommended perimeter marking.