Network + Engineering
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Digital Solutions are changing networks
Tuesday 26 February 2019 - The Australian Financial Review
L-R: Gerald Molenkamp and Robert Green of CommTel Network Solutions.
If your business phone line goes down, it’s not the
end of the world. But if it’s a communication
system to land a plane, control a train, or guide
and assist emergency services personnel, then
network failure is not an option.
With a major power transmission network, a
safety monitoring system failure for a fraction of
a second can result in catastrophic burnout. If the
communication system used to automate a huge
mining site fails, it can cost millions of dollars for
every hour the conveyor belts are not running.
These sorts of communication systems are
called mission and business critical networks.
They don’t necessarily have to be fast, they don’t
always have to transmit huge amounts of
information – although that is rapidly changing –
what they need to be is reliable. They need to
work. Always. For the 10 to 20-year life of the
network and as the service expands and evolves.
To achieve this, critical networks have to be
carefully planned, engineered and constructed so
that if there is an issue, the network immediately
corrects itself to ensure continuity. Each solution
requires different capabilities and responses.
It’s a highly technical and specialised area used
extensively in the mining, oil and gas, transport
and utilities sectors, as well as for public safety
and emergency services.
It’s also booming at the moment as industries
and services automate and embrace digital
technology. As they become more technically
complex, so do the critical communication
networks required to monitor and control them.
For Robert Green, chief executive of
communication network solutions provider
CommTel Network Solutions, it’s exciting times.
For more than 20 years CommTel has been a
leading provider of mission and business critical
networks in Australia and overseas. He says for 15
of those years, the technology they were
successfully implementing remained pretty much
unchanged. But in the past five, it’s become a
whole new digital ball game – and there is
potential for huge benefits.
There is so much going on in our industry right
now,” Green says. “We’re seeing an avalanche of
activity as these new digital solutions achieve
proof of concept and are gradually being adapted
CommTel is playing an integral role bringing
new digital solutions to market, ensuring they are
industry-ready and creating new solutions by
acting as an intermediary between major
equipment vendors and sectors such as the power
So what will this digital transformation
eventually mean? An example Green gives is in
the emergency services area, which is set to be
transformed over the next five to 10 years.
“Emergency services fundamentally use radios
to interact and report, so the mission critical
network we need to provide today has to deliver
high availability for radio signals. Moving forward
with digital transformation, the fire fighters of the
future will have cameras in their helmets, and
things like telemetrics on their body, so the
control centre will be able to see what is going on,
will know their location exactly, and will be able to
monitor their heartbeat and the temperatures
they are experiencing.
“To transmit all that data in the field, all that
high-speed digital information, is an order of
magnitude more complex than just radio.”
The infrastructure for these new critical
networks is already being implemented.
CommTel is today supplying advanced IP-based
systems, shelters, towers and related
infrastructure as an integrated solution for large
projects for utilities, mining, oil and gas, and
The power industry is another in the process of
“It used to be that there was a power station
hundreds of kilometres or so away from a city,
and the priority was fundamentally to protect the
transmission line back to the city,” Green says.
“Today we have multiple power generation
sources –many generators, solar arrays, wind
generation, household solar – and you need to be
able to monitor and control the grid to manage
the flow of power. You need intelligence in the
grid, and the requirements for that are far more
complex than 10 years ago.”
Most of the industries undergoing
transformation have existing critical networks
that need to be migrated without interruption,
and those undertaking the move are finding the
new digital technology can have considerably
higher operating expenditure if deployed without
a suitable centralised network operations and
This is where CommTel comes into its own,
“We’re unique in the market as we have solid
credentials in the current legacy technology and
really sound engineering capability in the new.
Our network management platform gives you the
ability to manage legacy and new technologies at
the same time, and, as an independent partner,
we work with our customers to design, source
and build the critical systems needed. We are
really strong in this space.
"‘The next time you turn on the electric light
switch, cook a meal with gas, take the train, land
safely in an aeroplane or contact emergency
services, it is quite possible that a CommTel
designed, engineered and supported mission
critical communications network is enabling that
“We’re seeing an avalanche of activity as these new digital solutions are being adapted for industry.”
Melbourne, Australia - 2 November 2017
CommTel Network Solutions, a leading international provider of advanced and engineered solutions for mission and business critical networks, is pleased to announce that it has successfully attained the International Organisation for Standardisation certification for ISO/IEC 27001:2013.
CommTel Network Solutions design, engineer and implement carrier-grade networks, providing reliable integration and
aftersales service for national and international clients. They are experts in advanced telecommunications technologies.
Avara Technologies was established in 2002 by Nokia Siemens Networks’ Australian Channel Partner, CommTel Network
Solutions, and former Nokia R&D Engineers, as an independent research and development enterprise.
CommTel Network Solutions has successfully delivered a complete turnkey communications project to a major Australian
Utility, including network management, installation, training and technical support.
CommTel Network Solutions Australia, a value added re-seller of Nokia's network solutions, has signed an agreement for the
supply and implementation of Nokia broadband DSL solutions and related services to the Soul group of companies all
operating in Australia.
CommTel Network Solutions Australia, a value added reseller of Nokia's network solutions, has signed an agreement for the
supply of Nokia broadband DSL solutions and related services to a new customer, Telecom Cook Islands Ltd in the Pacic,
marking a new market entry for Nokia.