Mississippi Utility Deploys TETRA Network from PowerTrunk, Bay Electronics
Thursday, March 07, 2019 | Comments

Cooperative Energy, a provider of wholesale electricity headquartered in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, selected Bay Electronics and PowerTrunk to deploy a digital TETRA radio network for its 11-member distribution cooperatives.

Cooperative Energy is a generation and transmission cooperative that provides electricity to more than 432,000 end users covering a service area that includes 55 of Mississippi’s 82 counties. The new 58-site TETRA radio system will provide advanced communication capability and radio coverage for roughly two-thirds the state of Mississippi.

“Our TETRA solution addresses the unique needs of Cooperative Energy and includes a highly advanced dispatch capability, landline telephone integration and recording, smartphone app and AVL integration to optimize field operations and workforce safety,” said Edward Kelly, PowerTrunk vice president of sales.

The contract was awarded based on a request for proposals (RFP) developed between Cooperative Energy and Omni Consulting Group. The RFP allowed for a comparison between TETRA and Digital Mobile Radio (DMR) technologies.

“This solution not only allows Cooperative Energy to modernize our communication systems but also adds additional services we can offer to our membership,” said Gary Hutson, vice president of power supply, Cooperative Energy. “Mission-critical communications that keep our employees connected at all times is essential to maintaining safe operations.”

Cooperative Energy chose Bay Electronics, working with PowerTrunk, to provide a complete communications system consisting of antenna systems and the latest TETRA portable radios with built-in repeater capability to extend direct mode operation (DMO). The system will consist of 58 UHF sites using triple diversity receivers, redundant multiple dispatch console locations, redundant digital voice logging for both radio and telephone systems, a smartphone push-to-talk (PTT) interface, vehicle tracking, and about 300 mobiles and 200 portables. While users are outside of the vehicles, they can communicate back to the radio network using the gateway mode of Sepura SRG3900 mobile radios.

“This is another validation and testimony for TETRA applications in North America,” said Rick Nielson, president of Bay Electronics. “Bay Electronics has long been a proponent for TETRA in North America, and we are pleased to bring TETRA technology to Cooperative Energy.”

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