Washington Gas, which delivers natural gas service to more than one million residential, commercial and industrial customers throughout the Washington, D.C., metropolitan region, has upgraded to a new communications system that increases data and voice capabilities and connects approximately 1,000 utility personnel across company facilities.
The hybrid system by Harris Corporation (NYSE:HRS) consists of OpenSky2 and P25 communication technologies and enables seamless and reliable communications across 26 sites in Washington, D.C., Maryland, Virginia and West Virginia. The 22-site Harris OpenSky2 system in the Washington, D.C., and Maryland territories is fully interoperable with the standards-based VHF P25 system that covers the more challenging terrain of the Virginia and West Virginia territories. The Harris VIDA
network integrates the two systems to provide a single high-quality experience with digital voice trunking capabilities scalable to meet the wide range of user needs.
“It was clear that we needed to upgrade to a radio technology that would provide robust voice and data capabilities, as well as interoperable communications for our staff who serve our multi-state customer base. The Harris solution more than doubled our capacity while providing a robust data platform,” said Michael Marsters, Director, Gas Supply Operations, Washington Gas. “The added capacity allowed us to move data applications onto OpenSky2, saving money and increasing reliability.”
Integrating OpenSky2 with P25 through the VIDA network gives Washington Gas efficient 900 MHz OpenSky2 communications in metropolitan areas while taking advantage of VHF P25 in rural terrain-challenged regions. VIDA provides the backbone for seamless communications across both technologies.
“Washington Gas needed an integrated communication environment to meet the needs of a field team spread across thousands of miles of varied terrain,” said Steve Marschilok, president, Harris Public Safety and Professional Communications. “The new Harris hybrid system provides Washington Gas with the enhanced voice and data communications capabilities it needs, while meeting its challenging coverage requirements with a single system.”