Greenfield Communications

Client: 
Galaxy Resources
Requirement: 

Openet was asked by the client to provision telephone, internet and corporate network services to a new mine being developed near Ravensthorpe in the south west region of Western Australia.

Being located only 3 kilometers from the established country town of Ravensthorpe, it was expected that there would be ready access to telephone and DSL internet services.

Challenges: 

Although the new mine was being built only 3km from the nearby town, there were no existing telecommunications services passing by the property. Infrastructure would need to be built to deliver the necessary services.

The only service provider with a presence in the town was Telstra, the country's main telecommunications carrier.

Telstra was asked to submit a proposal for the delivery of telephone and internet connectivity and subsequently responded with a proposal to deliver services to the site over fibre optic cable at a capital cost to the client of approximately $500,000. This did not fit within the client's budget.

Alternatives such as satellite communications would not meet network performance requirements.

Solution: 

Openet proposed the use of a point to point microwave radio link between a location within the town and the mine site enabling access to existing telecommunication services within the town and avoiding the high cost and lead times of the Telstra fibre optic proposal.

Access to an existing radio communication tower on the outskirts of the town was negotiated. A small demountable communications hut was placed adjacent to the tower to accommodate the necessary equipment and connection to telephone and data services. The voice and data services were then carried across the microwave link to the mine site.

A 3G wireless data connection was also provisioned for redundant network access and troubleshooting in case of a microwave link failure.

Openet coordinated activity between the various vendors and commissioned the overall service.

Outcomes: 

The alternate private microwave solution was completed with a capital investment of approximately $100,000 , a saving of approximately 80%.

By utilising the microwave link to access existing services within the town, there were substantially lower ongoing operating costs for the voice and data services.

The microwave solution allowed the delivery of services within the client's desired timeframe.