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Sepura unleashes the power of data with new product

Telecommunications equipment company Sepura has had a successful history providing solutions in public safety, mining and transport. It now has a powerful new solution to aid bus and coach operators.

Bus and coach companies aren’t traditional customers for Sepura in Australia. Although it does already supply radio solutions to bus, metro and rail operators around the world, particularly in Asia and Europe, Sepura’s latest product caters directly to the industry.

The UK-based telecommunications company first started in 2002 as a supplier of mission-critical voice solutions to emergency services personnel and vehicles. After achieving significant global growth providing solutions to public safety organisations, Sepura then began supplying Australia’s mining industry.

“Around 15 years ago we started to grow the business here in Australia by tapping into the mining business,” Sepura’s senior business development manager Doug Bowden told ABC.

“Users here have similar needs to public safety users: tough, durable radios, with loud clear audio that can enhance an emergency response.

“Alongside providing radios to individual users, we also equip large fleets of buses, trucks and other support vehicles, as well as both individuals and vehicles in the loading and maintenance yards for these. This has enabled significant growth in our business.”

Having achieved significant success in the mining sector, Sepura is now looking at technology to support the growing transport sector.

The company has released the SCU3, a new broadband terminal that combines TETRA voice communication capability with the power to add operational data through Wi-Fi or 4G/5G connectivity.

“Our DNA is in mission critical voice and data communications and TETRA technology,” Bowden says.

“That digital standard has been ratified by the European Standards Organisations and we continue to see significant demand for these products.

“But technology evolves and, increasingly, organisations are looking to add data to their solution. The SCU3 is a dual mode device and offers users the best of both worlds – the security and reliability of TETRA voice communications, with the flexibility of mobile data. This is in response to the demand from the market and is especially suitable for transport operators such as bus companies.”


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The SCU3 provides a native Android capability, allowing operators and drivers to run apps all from the one device. Organisations with access to this data can benefit from live GPS reporting, telemetry reports on servicing or repair requirements and updates to journey planners, digital signage and other connected applications.

Bowden says the SCU3 comes in the form of a box that can be mounted anywhere in the bus or coach, with a vehicle handheld control unit or touch screen placed near the driver. This allows drivers to make push-to-talk voice calls and change talking groups while adjusting the volume.

“It gives us the opportunity to look at buses and other public transport vehicles with huge flexibility now it has that Android capability onboard,” Bowden says.

“A bus provider can now have just the one device in a bus instead of multiple handsets. This comes in handy with SIM card management, which we have found to be a significant operational issue.

“Instead, our SCU3 system manages everything with just the one SIM card. This reduces training needs, cost of ownership and the complexity of requiring purchase agreements with multiple devices.

“Operators can privately access our Sepura Device Manager [SDM]programming tool to control what goes on and off the device and what apps are run on the device,” says Sepura technical expert Theo Kalkandis.

“They decide what goes permanently onto the SCU3 as a pre-requisite when installed. This means bus companies are free to develop Android apps for dispatching and vehicle management that can be run from the SDM, ensuring the solution always works within the customer’s standard guideline and policy.”

Bowden says Sepura is keen to highlight the option that mobile data provides to operators.

“It’s a very power-efficient device,” Bowden says.

“Alongside apps, automated reports such as GPS and specific operational applications, it can also be used as a Wi-Fi hotspot within the vehicle. This ensures that data can be accumulated and communicated via one device. An example of this might be for on-board ticketing or payment devices, or for digital signage on the vehicle or en route.

Bowden sees this new technology as an opportunity to join the bus and coach industry and provide important solutions to companies looking to transition to zero-emissions vehicles that require lightweight technology.

“We see this as our chance to
tap into more commercial markets like the bus and coach sector,” Bowden says.

“It took a number of years to capture what the device can do and now it’s our time to get in the market and get the information out.

“We look forward to showcasing the device to bus and coach operators and working with them to power their future communications.”

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