Private Mobile Network Covers All Bases

Private Mobile Networks (PMN), the UK provider of private GSM network technology, has announced that Saint-Gobain Glass has successfully deployed its solution at the company’s North Yorkshire manufacturing and warehousing facility.

“The deployment of a Private Mobile Network as a DECT replacement solution using standard mobile handsets has been highly successful, removing the major issues we had previously experienced with patchy coverage around the site,” commented Steve Laithwaite, IT Support Manager, Saint-Gobain Glass UK.

Coverage has increased, from 50-60% achieved with DECT, to almost 100% coverage across all parts of the site. This has been achieved using just 8 BTS (Base Transceiver Station) units compared to the 17 base stations previously required for the DECT installation.

According to Laithwaite, “User acceptance of the PMN solution has been excellent. As they are now confident that their phone will work across the site and provide a reliable and clear connection, staff don’t hesitate in carrying their phone around the site with them.”

Since the PMN solution is based on standard GSM technology, a future option being considered by Saint-Gobain is to integrate the network with the plant control room, enabling relevant key staff to be immediately notified by SMS text message in the event of a plant alarm. Currently, it is the responsibility of control room staff to notify staff by telephone.

Many of the staff at the Saint-Gobain Glass facility move around the vast site in the course of carrying out their duties. Being able to communicate with colleagues quickly and efficiently is critical to the efficient running of the site which extends from the furnace through to the float line, laminating and coating lines as well as offices and extensive warehousing. Moreover, for an organisation that is very safety conscious, effective communication services on-site are seen as essential for staff welfare.

DECT (Digital Enhanced Cordless Telecommunications) handsets had been available but were often not carried around by staff as there was a high probability of them not working due to poor signal coverage and interference due to machinery, building infrastructure and other obstacles. The company therefore sought a more reliable solution.

The PMN installation integrates with the Saint-Gobain PBX, enabling calls to external destinations to be made from a mobile at the company’s standard landline tariff while internal calls incur no call charges. Saint-Gobain opted to have the solution configured such that incoming calls ring at the employee’s desk phone and mobile concurrently, enabling calls to be answered using either device.