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TGS guide to communications equipment

Toyota Gibraltar Stockholdings (TGS) is committed to serve the communications needs of organisations that provide relief to developing communities affected by war, famine, natural disasters and political strife.
• Communications is a key element to help humanitarian workers confront the challenges they face on a daily basis
• Radio transmission is an inexpensive and reliable way for aid agencies to communicate over a wide range of distances when mobile phones or the internet are unavailable
• HF and VHF radios provide fast, simple and reliable voice and data communications in places that have no other means of communication


TGS strengths

  • Over 20 years experience supplying and fitting communications equipment (we have co-authored a fitting manual with UNHCR)
  • Full after sales service backed up by excellent relationships with all manufacturers
  • Flexibility to accommodate special requirements and determine made-to-measure solutions on a case-by-case basis
  • Official Codan distributor and installer
  • Large stock of equipment
  • Pre-programming of frequencies prior to vehicle shipment leading to faster deployment of vehicles once they arrive at end destination
  • Network set-up
  • Advice on best practise
  • Advice and on-site training for all types of equipment

Warranty and After Sales

  • Peace of mind knowing that all communications equipment supplied by TGS is renowned for its quality, strength, reliability and safety
  • Full one year’s warranty against manufacturing defects
  • TGS is the supplier of choice in the humanitarian market to provide HF and VHF radio solutions to the developing world, and is an official distributor and approved Codan radio installer

High Frequency (HF)

  • Medium to long range communications capability (up to 3,000km)
  • Minimal infrastructure requirements
  • Full mobility
  • Low ownership cost
  • Security of communications

Very High Frequency (VHF)

  • Short-range communications up to 50km
  • Portable
  • Interoperability with existing HF and UHF networks
  • Low ownership cost - usage cost is zero
  • Very easy to use

Satellite phones

  • Worldwide communication capability
  • Simple data transfer and internet access

Why HF radio?

In today’s world of instant voice, email, messaging, fax and gps navigation, what does HF radio have to offer?

Although HF radio will never replace fixed and mobile telephony as the first communications option for the general public, it provides the following features for organisations involved in emergency, remote and military communications making it a vital and irreplaceable wireless communications tool.

High Frequency (HF) radios are used for first-line and backup communications over long distances, mainly in remote regions of the developed world and in developing countries.

Aid agencies, government and private organisations are continuously searching for the most flexible, reliable and cost effective solutions for their remote, emergency and security communications needs HF radio can be used for the communication of voice, fax and data. Fax and data communications require a specific modem. A vehicle tracking system can also be added to the equipment uses, this is based on a GPS (Global Positioning System) device

Advances in technology have allowed HF SSB radio’s to access public switched telephone networks (PSTN). This development has changed the concept of remote communications to the extent that a HF radio can be considered the “telephone of the bush”. A mobile or a remote base station, hundreds of kilometres from any civilisation can make telephone calls just as any city subscriber.


Medium to long range communications capability

  • Whilst VHF and UHF radios are commonly used for short-range line-of-sight (LOS) communications, only HF radio is capable of communicating over distances of 3,000km or more (medium to long-range communication).

Minimal infrastructure requirements

  • Unlike conventional, Voice over IP (VoIP), cellular and satellite telephony, which all rely upon land-based infrastructure, an HF radio network can be used to communicate with other bases or to provide command and control for mobile (vehicle mounted) and portable (man pack) users in the field.

Full mobility

  • HF radios are simple and quick to deploy and provide communications capability for users no matter where they are. Fixed base stations can be used to communicate with other bases or to provide command and control for mobile (vehicle mounted) and portable (man pack) users in the field.

Interoperability

  • HF radios can be used to communicate with existing VHF and UHF radio systems, cellular telephones and land-based telephones through developments in cross-patching technology that make this as easy as dialing a telephone number.

Low cost of ownership

  • Compared with satellite telephony, the most common alternative technology for communications of last resort, HF radio is the economical choice. Once the initial investment in equipment is made, there are no call costs or on-going monthly line or equipment rentals. Also, HF equipment is built tough to withstand the extreme conditions, which proves to be very cost effective.

Command and control

  • The nature of emergency planning requires that simultaneous communications be made to and amongst a number of operators in a command and control style network. This facilitates situational awareness amongst the users and external organisations that can also be included in the network. HF radio provides this capability in all base station, mobile (vehicle mounted) and portable (man pack) configurations of the radio network.

Why VHF radio?

Very High Frequency (VHF) radios can be used for the communication of voice and data. A vehicle tracking system can be added to the equipment uses, this is based on a GPS (Global Positioning System) device. With the inclusion of additional technology a VHF radio has the possibility of connecting through a Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN) and thus be used as a telephone with an additional feature of a paging system. With the appropriate programming, the VHF network can be divided into separate work groups. This eliminates the need for individuals to have to listen to all the messages on one channel and that do not directly concern them.


Short-range communications capability

  • VHF radios use direct wave propagation to cover short range communications (3km to 5km), more specifically around a bush camp or inner city operations, in difficult areas of a city or a mountainous region and from handheld to handheld radio communications. The use of a repeater will improve the distance of up to 50km depending on terrain. This equipment is basically line of sight, buildings and other obstructions decrease the effectiveness of this system. A repeater is a base station which automatically retransmits the signal received on another frequency. Its location should be chosen carefully.

Minimal Infrastruture requirements

  • VHF radio transmission is an inexpensive and reliable communications medium, to cover short-range communications, usually where there is non-existent or poor local PTT infrastructure. The range and ef
  • ficiency of the system relies heavily on the use and suitable siting of a repeater. As the system relies on direct wave propagation, the equipment requires line of site and does not work at its best when surrounded by tall buildings especially of metal or granite construction.

Full mobility

  • VHF radios are simple and quick to deploy and provide communications capability in difficult areas of a city or a mountainous region and from handheld to handheld radio communications. Repeaters can be used to increase distances up to 50km or to provide signal capability for mobile (vehicle mounted) and portable (man pack) users in the field.

Interoperability

  • VHF radios can be used to communicate with existing VHF and UHF or in conjunction with HF radio systems through developments in cross-patching technology that make this as easy as dialing a telephone number.

Low cost of ownership

  • After paying the yearly license fees, unlike satellite and telephones, there are no additional communications costs. Each frequency used requires a license from the local government licensing body of the host country.

Why Satellite phone?

These phones can be used for voice, fax and data transmissions at varying speeds. They do not require additional hardware for data transmissions. They are not susceptible to atmospheric conditions or propagation problems.


Global range communications capability

  • Global – satellite phones only require a clear view of the satellite.

Minimal Infrastructure requirements and full mobility

  • Satellite phones can be carried around and used when and where required. They can be set-up for immediate deployment in less than 30 minutes. Little space is required to use them.

Interoperability

  • Satellite phones can communicate with other satellite phones, base stations, cellular telephones and land-based telephones.

Cost of ownership

  • Compared with HF and VHF radio, satellite phones are more expensive to use due to the cost of its use of “talk time”. There are recurring costs associated with operating any satellite phone, usually includes, a yearly subscription plus there is the per-minute talk-time when using it.

Command and control

  • A base station satellite phone is usually located in a secure room. It can communicate with other base stations, mobile satellite phones or terrestrial telephones. A satellite base station phone set-up can also be used as a switchboard to re-direct calls.

Communication is key