The Saudi Electricity Company needed to replace several out-of-date radio networks with a single modern digital system in the Southern Region of Saudi Arabia. Hytera supplied a DMR Trunking Lite solution, which provides unified indoor and outdoor communications across widely varied terrain and harsh environments.
National Grid Telecommunication Dept. of Saudi Electricity Company (SEC)
Mobile Switching Office (MSO)
The Saudi Electricity Company (SEC) is the biggest electricity energy company responsible for generation, transmission and distribution of electric power in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA). The National Grid SA, a wholly owned subsidiary of SEC, is responsible for the planning, design, development, operation and maintenance of the transmission network in Saudi Arabia. The transmission network spans more than 90,000 circuit-kilometres (CKM) to cover more than 13,000 cities and villages.
Delivering a unified, reliable and secure DMR network across the region’s varied environments to support excellent indoor and outdoor coverage
National Grid SA’s existing communication system consisted of several separate P25 and analog networks, some of which dated back to 2010. These networks were no longer able to satisfy the diversified communication needs of modern national grid operation and maintenance. The communications system needed to be upgraded for a number of reasons.
First, the various radio networks were not unified into a single system, so it was difficult for National Grid staff to achieve cross-regional communications. There was also insufficient network capacity, so as traffic increased the systems were gradually becoming unable to meet the daily communications requirements of the company. In addition, the signal coverage was poor, especially indoors. Finally, the radio equipment was old and difficult to operate and maintain.
The varied terrain created some enormous challenges in terms of implementing the new communications project. The project mainly covers the three southern regions of Asir, Najran and Jazan, which account for approximately 17% of the Saudi population. The region includes a wide range of terrain including Saudi Arabia’s highest mountains, the 3,133m high Jebel Al Souda, and its largest islands, the Farasan Islands in the Red Sea. The region also contains around half of the Kingdom’s rain-fed agricultural land (50,000 hectares).
The project also had to meet key performance demands set by SEC. Firstly, the project had to adhere to the KSA High Commission for Industrial Security (HCIS) standard for system reliability with full redundancy, including MSO, base station main units, dispatching and recording system, and also link redundancy. Secondly, the new network had to provide better coverage across the whole region of southern KSA.
Before publishing the tender, SEC undertook research into several manufacturers and different radio technologies including TETRA, P25 and DMR. Eventually, Hytera was awarded the contract as its DMR Tier III trunking communications solution was deemed the most advantageous in terms of coverage, safety, reliability and cost.
The solution is based on high-power (100w) DMR trunking base stations, which reduces the number of base stations required as they deliver enhanced coverage and therefore reduces the investment cost. The DMR network provides a joint indoor and outdoor networking solution, which effectively reduces coverage holes and improves indoor signal coverage.
The Hytera DMR trunking base stations provide a complete encryption solution and authentication scheme to ensure the security of the customer’s communications. Hytera meets the HCIS standard and all core networks, base stations and command and dispatch systems achieve complete redundancy backup to improve system reliability.
In addition to basic voice services, Hytera DMR trunking system also provides data services that improve daily communication efficiency. Intrinsically safe DMR radio terminals were also provided to meet the communication needs of staff working in potentially explosive environments.
Unified and modern digital network
The DMR Tier III trunking network replaced multiple separate old networks to provide much more efficient communications across the region.
Optimum indoor and outdoor coverage
Besides implementing the end-to-end DMR trunking solution, Hytera was also able to offer professional network planning and design services to ensure the optimum coverage for both indoor and outdoor areas.
Expanded coverage and reduced infrastructure costs
Hytera’s 100w trunking base station and site design solutions deliver a high level of reliability and wide coverage to ensure that the overall system is efficient, stable and easy to maintain. Due to the high-power feature, it requires fewer base stations to cover the same area. Therefore, less infrastructure investment is required.
Rugged ATEX terminals for safe communications
Hytera’s rugged explosion-proof DMR terminals are able to cope well with various harsh environments and meet the communication requirements of radio operations where there is combustible dust and explosive gas.