August 17, 2009
Washington Gas Selects Harris Corporation's VIDA Network for Multi-State Communications System
Internet Protocol-based Network to Integrate Multiple Wireless Sites in Washington, D.C., Maryland, Virginia and West Virginia to Power Mission-Critical Communications for One of the Nation's Largest Utilities
LAS VEGAS, NV/BOSTON, MA, — Harris Corporation (NYSE:HRS), an international communications and information technology company, has been selected by Washington Gas to provide a VIDA® (Voice, Interoperability, Data, Access) network to provide seamless and reliable land mobile radio (LMR) communications for the utility's multi-state sites. Washington Gas directly delivers natural gas to more than one million residential, commercial and industrial customers throughout Washington, D.C., and in parts of Virginia and Maryland. The IP-based network will integrate a 20-site, 900MHz OpenSky® system serving the Washington, D.C., Maryland and Virginia portions of the service territory and a four-site VHF P25 system that will cover a small portion of the Virginia area.
"This new integrated wireless network is intended to maximize the use of our available assets, and enable our personnel in multiple states to communicate quickly, safely and reliably, ensuring that our customers will continue to receive the high level of support and customer service they have come to expect from us," said Mike Marsters, manager, Gas Supply Operations at Washington Gas. "In addition, the much larger OpenSky portion of the network is data-ready to meet our data communication needs in the future. We are anxious to take advantage of the capabilities and related benefits that this technology has demonstrated throughout North America."
The new wireless network allows the utility to create talkgroups of unlimited size and affords the ability to configure radios, site equipment and other components from anywhere on the utility's secure IP WAN. The system fully supports both voice and data messages, is GPS-capable, and allows for over-the-air programming (OTAP) of radios.
900MHz OpenSky uses two-slot TDMA technology on the licensed 12.5KHz channels, providing considerably more integrated voice and data capacity than afforded by analog or other digital systems. In addition, OpenSky networks are based on the widely-accepted IS-732 protocol to support mobile applications with end-to-end TCP/IP connectivity, simplifying application-to-network integration.
The 4-site VHF portion of the network uses standard P25 digital technology. VHF is used in the far northwest portion of the territory because of its better coverage in that more mountainous terrain.
"Unique to Harris is the VIDA network's ability to seamlessly integrate the P25 sites with the OpenSky sites, even across large and diverse terrain. Washington Gas' new radio system will meet the communication needs of the company, while providing an infrastructure that is forward and backward compatible, scalable and flexible," said Tom Hoyne, director, Utility Markets, Harris Public Safety and Professional Communications.
Harris Public Safety and Professional Communications is a leading supplier of assured communications® systems and equipment for public safety, federal, utility, commercial and transportation markets, with products ranging from the most advanced IP voice and data networks, to industry leading multiband, multimode radios, to public safety-grade broadband video and data solutions. With more than 80 years of experience, Harris supports over 500 systems around the world.
About Harris Corporation
Harris is an international communications and information technology company serving government and commercial markets in more than 150 countries. Headquartered in Melbourne, Florida, the company has approximately $5 billion of annual revenue and 15,000 employees — including nearly 7,000 engineers and scientists. Harris is dedicated to developing best-in-class assured communications® products, systems, and services. Additional information about Harris Corporation is available at www.harris.com.