In short it is the very latest data technology
and will be around forever. Telephone companies are spending enormous
amounts of money to build these fantastic networks as a result of the
prolific use of mobile phones across the globe for internet capacity. In
fact global data usage exceeds voice capacity and has done so for the last
For this reason alone Telstra will spend
enormous amounts of resource to keep these new networks operational and
generating income. It
makes sense for MTEL to piggy back off this technology to value add to
the existing picocell infrastructure. The spin off technologies in this
area will ensure Telstra will maintain these systems to the best of
their ability long into the future. Current future predictions are that
this technology will be around for a minimum of 20 years as the capacity
can be scaled up. Its called LTE or Long Term Evolution or in
Australia 4G. As an example of how far ahead these new technologies are
projecting, the 3GPP has recently released Specification 11 which is
337.5 Million/Bits per second. In Australia our cellphone technology is
using Specification 7, so there is plenty of long term development to
MTEL has contracts with Telstra to use a very
special part of the WBB network. Telstra has allocated in all its sites
a special part of the WBB to provide dedicated VPN connections INSTEAD
OF INTERNET to private carriers such as MTEL. These services use mobile
facilities dedicated to just the user. The VPN guarantees only the user
sees just their devices on the network, therefore the general public can
not access this part of the WBB.
This means we get all the features of the WBB,
and no connection to the internet therefore it is a PRIVATE and SECURE
service dedicated to MTEL.
What this gives MTEL is the ability to send
messages from its gateway across the Telstra network anywhere in Australia to the
picocell systems IN LESS THAN HALF A SECOND. The older systems
take a minimum 25 seconds, that's a major improvement.
For Emergency services this speed advantage is a
vital part in providing the fastest possible messaging to the end users.
There are several key advantages to using this
Always ON. This means
the picocell is always connected to the MTELGateway. This allows the
gateway to interrogate the picocell for important operational parameters
such as is the mains power on, is the RF power within specification, is the
link connected, did the message arrive, did the transmitter send the
message, is the DC levels OK, is the battery OK, etc.
More importantly if a site has a problem,
MTEL knows before a message is sent. In the past the only time a problem
at a picocell site was discovered was during the generation of a vital
message, or when MTELPage sent automated messages every 3 days.
Cheaper. The cost of
using WBB is the same for low volume PSTN messaging sites and
significantly cheaper for higher volume sites. Where it replaces ISDN it
is even cheaper again. The reason for this is the costs are fixed and
independent of call rate, as has been in the past with SMS and Paging.
Monitoring. The gateway
allows MTEL to monitor message throughput and operation. Alarming is set
on all key components of the process.
Central Database. The
messaging goes through a central database at the gateway so changes can be made
immediately and the information is available to all picocells in the
network instantly. A central database also provides consistency. The
older picocells had databases on every site and had to be manually
changed at each site when ever a new pager was added.
The other advantage of the database is each
pager now has its own specification so that the number or repeats and
how often the message is repeated can be set and tailored to the users
requirements. QAS pager use for example is very different to QFES usage.
In the older picocells this was fixed for all pagers in the picocell
Security. The old
picocells could be dialled into by equipment from anyone connected to
the telephone network. The WBB systems have very sophisticated protocols
and a private network. It is impossible to activate a picocell except
through the MTEL Gateway.
NON Blocking. The older
picocells are dialup services, so if QAS and QFES are both trying to
access the picocell at the same time then one services gets blocked as
the other has access. This can delay the message by minutes. In the WBB
system messages are sent via the gateway which can send messages for
both agencies simultaneously. The new picocell can send both messages
within 5 seconds, again a major improvement. Now all DCS Comms centres
can send messages to the same site as each has an independent connection
into the gateway, therefore no blocking occurs.
Logging. The gateway
has extensive logging to allow MTEL to trace any message through the
Networking. The gateway
can send a single message to a single picocell or a combination of some
or all the picocells. In the current configuration messages to a pager
have a home network and a home region. All messages for a single pager
are sent to all the picocells in a region. In the older picocells
message were individually dialled to all associated picocells.
Networking is very useful in regions where towns
are within tens of kilometers of each other. Often auxiliaries live in
one town and work in several others.
Networking benefits the management (such as an
area director pager) who require paging in each of these towns. In the
older picocells the message is dialled to all the associated picocells.
Advanced Protocol. The
new picocells are using a very advanced protocol which explicitly
details the pager message construction. This is only possible using WBB.
The older picocells do not have this advantage.