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Utilities

Empower Your Utility to Bring Solutions to Your Customer Demands

Utilities face many challenges to keep customers happy with excellent service.  The key to providing that service is the ability to communicate.  MRA brings the solution to your doorstep with unsurpassed quality and versatility through our Diga-Talk Network powered by Kenwood NEXEDGE technology.

When your customer is on the phone, or your vehicle has a flat tire, or your lineman is in trouble or your water pipe is leaking, something needs to be done fast to resolve the problem.  Having THE tool for communications will bring the solution much closer by being able to get that message through to the people who can resolve the situation fast.

When configuring a radio system, one must identify the coverage needs before a system is selected.  The following questions need to be answered:

  1. Is the utility facility larger than an area that can be covered with simplex radios?
  2. Are there multiple facilities?
  3. Is there a need to talk between multiple facilities?
  4. Do company personnel roam between facilities and require communications while roaming?
  5. Is there a need for multiple talk groups?
  6. Is there a need for company personnel to be able to be reached by radio while at home or while traveling around Southern California?

If the answer to any of these questions is maybe or yes, then it may make sense to have a system connected to our Diga-talk network.  Our network provides excellent coverage at your manufacturing facility by us installing a network node at your facilities.  This will facilitate the following:

  • Solid communications within your facility with a Diga-Talk local site
  • Solid communications within your other facility with another Diga-Talk site
  • Reliable communications between your facilities
  • Reliable communications for your personnel while at home in most areas

Unlike cellular devices, it is completely legal to use two-way radios while driving so that you are not subject to fines and liability for use of cellular phones while driving.  This allows you to stay in contact with your field personnel, delivery truck fleet or any other personnel who are off site.

 Click here to view presentation on The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) and the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA), and the Department of Transportation (DOT) regarding the use of cellular devices in your vehicles.

Small utilities may use cellular phones to communicate with their vehicles.  This works OK when operating a small fleet of 5 or fewer vehicles.  However, the problems associated with cellular phones for dispatch grow geometrically as the number of vehicles increases and finally gets to the point where the inefficiencies of cellular dispatch overwhelm the office and two-way radio becomes necessary.  In some utility companies, cellular is not allowed or will not work at all due to terrain, lack of cellular coverage, the lack of availability of the cellular network during emergencies or many other reasons.

Using a cellular phone is not a good solution to the issues presented by the utility industry because of the following:

  • State law prohibits the use of handheld electronic devices while driving which include cellular telephones unless connected to a Bluetooth or other hands free device.  Hands free devices do not work well in environments that have background noise like in the cab of a truck, bus or other large vehicle.
  • Kenwood white paper regarding new law affecting mobile device use by commercial drivers does not affect two-way radio.
  • The initial cost of smart phones is high and the reliability is low
  • Cellular phones often need to be rebooted
  • Missed calls end up going to voice mail which significantly delays message throughput
  • Cellular phones almost always fail during a major emergency
  • Cellular systems become instantly overloaded during a major emergency
  • It takes too long to dial, wait for the phone to ring and receive an answer compared to Push-To-Talk with two-way radio.
  • Only 2-3 people can discuss an issue at the same time with cellular.  With two-way radio, any size group of people can be part of the same conversation
  • The time it takes to recall a phone number, dial, allow the phone to ring awaiting an answer takes too long, especially when a situation arises that needs an immediate solution

 

UtilitiesTwo-way radio will give control of the business back to company management.  Utility operators face huge challenges in being able to keep an unhappy customer as calm as possible.  Having two-way radio to facilitate getting help to the customer in the shortest time possible as well as keeping the customer informed as to the progress of the pickup time goes a long way to keeping a difficult situation under control.  Issues cited by utility personnel that are solved with our Diga-Talk Network radio include:

  • Being able to coordinate (overload work) with other utility operators that are also on our Diga-Talk network
  • One button PTT group communications with many talk groups
  • Quickly reroute or respond to weather or traffic changes
  • Use of a California compliant electronic device eliminates liability
  • Use of a two-way radio eliminates the distraction of non-compliant device
  • Reduces potential liability and insurance costs by creating a pro legal work environment that will stand up to scrutiny in a traffic accident or when receiving a traffic ticket.
  • Being able to have a group conversation is equivalent to having a in person office meeting with all of their drivers
  • Having the ability to conduct a private call with any of the company personnel allows discussion of sensitive issues
  • GPS tracking allows better utilization of resources, knowing where the vehicles are located, keeping drivers honest and on time

Two-way radio provides significant benefits to the utility operator besides facilitating easing the customer concerns.  Radios allow the company to operate more efficiently cutting costs of operation so that profits increase.  A government study conducted many years ago concluded that 3 radio equipped vehicles can perform the work of 4 non radio equipped vehicles, a 25% reduction in cost and a 33% increase in efficiency.

Click here to view an interactive presentation on Communications Solutions for Utilities.  There are many interactive features in the presentation by clicking on the arrows.

 With many utilities, a central dispatch is often required.  MRA dba Raycom has many solutions that will significantly enhance your central dispatch.  Products such as RadioPro which provides a centralized dispatch, add many key features such as call logging and voice recording and can allow your key personnel to have access to your radio system from their cellular phone.  Application Focus on Energy

Our Digi-Talk network is the perfect solution for reliable wide area communications over Southern California since we have more sites, more frequencies and more coverage than anyone else.  Often, the office manager would benefit from being able to take their radio home to facilitate communications with other personnel who are on the job working.  This is easily accomplished with Diga-Talk while it could be difficult to impossible to accomplish with any other vendor.

Try our Diga-Talk radios with the following great features:

  • Loud and clear quality audio that can be heard under loud noise conditions with Kenwood’s noise reduction technology
  • Quick access to your personnel – connection time is typically 1.0 second or less
  • GPS tracking can tell you where your crew are located
  • Eliminate the distraction and illegal use of cellular while driving
  • The liability associated with a driver getting into an accident while using a cellular device can cost a company far in excess the cost of a two-way radio system

 

Remember the 3 rules of making money in real estate, Location, Location and Location.  The 3 Cs of radio communications are Coverage, Coverage and more Coverage.  Our customers demand coverage.  Every utility provider has their own need for coverage which is never the same as another provider.  By providing more coverage in Southern California than any other radio company, we can provide solutions when the others can’t do it.  By using the Diga-Talk Network, we can provide our operation with the coverage you need and the coverage for your key personnel to use at home.  Read more…

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