Case study: The race is on
Cassidian rolls out Guangzhou's new TETRA network in just three months
Signing a contract for a new TETRA network is like placing your foot on the starting block for a marathon - it's the first, small step in a long-distance journey.
But when Cassidian agreed to provide a secure TETRA radio network for the Guangzhou municipal government in China, the race was on before the ink even dried on the document.
After all, Guangzhou needed the new system to provide event security for the 16th Asian Games, scheduled for November 2010. And the government was eager to improve overall security for its more than 10 million residents.
So when Guangzhou signed the contract in December 2009, Cassidian and its local partner, CETC7, had just three months to roll out the network.
First leg: equipment delivery
Three months was a luxury compared to the first deadline Cassidian faced: The corporation had just weeks to deliver the first consignments of equipment to China.
If Cassidian had missed the deadline, its import permits would have expired. Applying for replacements would have eaten up an entire month.
Because Cassidian leaders knew delivery deadlines were tight, team members began working on the project before receiving the contract.
But even the most careful planning can't engineer the weather. CASSIDIAN''s delivery window coincided with heavy snowstorms across Europe. That left equipment stranded for two weeks.
Worse still, the cargo company struggled to find enough capacity to carry all the equipment at once. Cassidian had to put contingency plans into action.
Despite the obstacles, the shipments arrived in Guangzhou on 26 December 2009, 42 days ahead of the deadline for starting the roll-out.
Second leg: Teamwork and training
The next phase of the plan was to roll out the network. That involved deploying and integrating 195 base stations and two digital exchanges.
CETC7 and Guangdong Telecom personnel had never worked with TETRA technology. So the first step was for experienced Cassidian engineers to deliver on-site training.
The result: Virtually all the partner engineers are now able to install and commission base station sites independently.
Quality control was especially important with so many team members learning on the job. Cassidian engineers scrutinized each installation and highlighted issues in daily meetings to make sure time-consuming mistakes didn't get repeated.
Finish line: Event security
The hard work paid off: The project met its three-month delivery schedule.
The new TETRA network now covers an area of more than 7,400 square kilometres. It is designed to provide secure radio communications for more than 60,000 users.
The race is over. Let the games begin.
by Haibin Li, project manager for Cassidian in China
Want to know how the event went? Read "TETRA system helps secure Asian Games in Guanzhou" on page 14 in Key Touch 1/2011 (view pdf)