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IDAS (NXDN) Repeater Network in Tonga

Icom deploy IDAS (NXDN) Repeater Network in Tonga

In early February 2018, Tonga was devasted by Cyclone Gita, the worst cyclone to pass so close to Tonga’s main islands in 60 years with winds reaching up to 233km/h.  Cyclone Gita damaged key infrastructure around the main island Tongatapu including power and water suppliers for a number of days. Gita also caused damage to buildings in the capital Nukuʻalofa, including the over 100year old Tongan government building.

 

Figure 1 . Satellite Image of Cyclone Gita
 

 

Figure 2 . Damaged building in Tonga after Cyclone Gita
 

 

Figure 3. Tongan Parliament Building after Cyclone Gita

 
Figure 4 . New Icom 2 channel NXDN repeater system Tongan Installation
 
Figure 5. Building housing the repeater system in Tonga
 

This is when the National Emergency Management Office (NEMO) which is part of the Tongan Ministry of Meteorology, Information, Disaster Management, Climate Change, Environment, Climate Change and Communications (MEIDECC) turned to RWB Communication’s dealer, Express Diesel for a new radio communications network solution.

RWB designed a 2 channel NXDN repeater system that allows the NEMO to have a system during normal operations and gives the versatility that in the event of an emergency to give them command and control over the Tongatapu. The system was designed with expansion in mind, partnering with RFI Industries for their expandable Multicouplers for both Transmit and Receive. This system also included deploying an Analogue Emergency Services Liaison Channel (same we use back in New Zealand).

RWB and Express Diesel travelled to Tonga in October to install and commission the communications network, working with MEIDECC Communications department training their staff on maintenance and support for the system once we are back in NZ.

The team installed Mobile units to vehicles and into houses a total of 40 radios and 2 repeaters are being utilised in Tonga for national emergency purposes. 20 Icom IC-F3400D, 10 Icom IC-5400D, and 10 IC-F52D units where installed in vehicles, home/offices and given to key personnel.

Icom handheld and mobile radios as well as repeaters have now been successfully installed across the entire main island of Tonga following their decision to choose a new radio communications network to ensure they have a stable, reliable communication network to utilise during national emergencies.

When told of the radio communications requirements for Tonga, Greg O’Dwyer, General Manager of one of RWB Communications’ dealers, Express Diesel couldn’t think of any other radio brand better suited for the job than Icom. As a global leader in radio communications, Icom is world renowned for providing catered solutions to their customers and providing outstanding support. Made in Japan under high quality control environments, Icom has over 300 engineers working in product development, Icom customers can be secure in the knowledge that they are getting the very best and latest technology. Additionally, Icom had already deployed several systems in Tonga prior to this so the team was able to check on these and make sure these were in top condition as well.

Icom’s latest IDAS range gives NEMO access to onboard GPS and Voice Recording as well as other features which make communication and monitoring a breeze. The Icom radios are delivering and surpassing expectations with demand for more - Reliable and built tough to stand the test of time there’s no comparison to Icom radios.

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