What a fantastic event! Thank you to everyone who joined us in Perth.
On Wednesday 22nd March, we got the critical communications community back together for a one-day conference and Networking Dinner in Perth.
The Perth conference featured two half-day workshops running concurrently with a jam-packed conference stream of shorter presentations at the Aloft Perth Hotel in Rivervale.
The overwhelming response to the speakers and presentations offered at this event proved there is a thirst for more of this kind for this community. Paul Davis, CEO ARCIA said, “We couldn’t have been more pleased with the support for our first one-day critical communications conference, that ran the same day as the WA State networking dinner. With almost 80 for the conference and workshops and just under 120 for the dinner, it was a great turnout, and far better than we had expected. Perhaps it was the fact that we hadn’t been able to run anything since 2020, but whatever the reason, we’re committed to returning next March, with the aim of delivering another solid day for the sector and can now look forward to our conferences in Sydney on 31 May and Brisbane on 27 July,” Paul Davis, CEO of ARCIA.
Highlights of the day were the end-user presentations from WA Police (Unified Communications) and Roy Hill (Case study with Radlink), who shared real-world examples of innovative solutions in use today, and also the expert panel discussion on the Future of Critical Communications.
A huge thank you to all of our presenters and partners—with your participation and support, ARCIA can continue to deliver events like this to the critical communications community.
WA State Industry Award Winner
Each year, ARCIA presents a State Industry Professional of the Year Award at the regional events in Perth, Sydney, Brisbane, Adelaide and Melbourne. Individual state winners each receive a trophy and an invitation to attend the Industry Gala dinner in Melbourne, and become the nominees for the national ‘Peter Wallace Industry Advancement Award’.
At the ARCIA WA State Networking Dinner, which followed the Perth conference, we announced the WA State Professional of the Year Award winner. John Florenca, former Omnitronics CEO, was a very worthy winner of this year’s award.
John Florenca was recognised for his innovative leadership throughout his 18-year tenure as CEO of Omnitronics and his commitment to driving growth in Australia and beyond. During his 28 years with the organisation, John steered Omnitronics from a national electronics engineering company to an internationally recognised manufacturer and software developer in the Radio over IP, Radio Interoperability and Console Dispatch space.
“It is an incredible honour to be awarded this prestigious award,” said John Florenca. “I am humbled by this recognition and grateful for all those who have been part of my journey with Omnitronics over the years. I count myself fortunate and proud to be part of an industry that plays a vital role in our communities and our business sector.”
2023 Perth Conference Agenda:
Half-day workshops | 9:00 am-5:00 pm
Conference stream | 9:00 am-4:30 pm
- Hybrid LMR/LTE devices bring new life to the LMR market
- LTE Network security for private networks
- P25: Still relevant after 30 years?
- The modern control and command room—How Radio over IP and cloud technology change the critical communications landscape
- Unified communications—Reducing Western Australia Police Force communication black spots
- Velocity IoT platform paving the way for Mining 4.0
- Case Study: Co-site LTE with digital radio [Roy Hill and Radlink]
- Panel discussion: The future of critical communications
- Efficient Site Design
- Is LORA WAN a viable option for critical messaging?
View the presentations abstracts below or jump to the presenter biographies
Workshop 1: Radio spectrum management—what’s trending in 2023? | 9:00 am-12:30 pm
This half-day workshop will include a range of topics covering various facets of the licensing of radio communications services, including land mobile, fixed links, satellite and wireless broadband. It will also provide an update on the ACMA’s regulatory arrangements.
This workshop will be of interest to anyone involved in the planning and licensing of radio systems in Australia, and in particular, anyone having responsibilities for the management of the radio licences needed for the operation of their networks.
Workshop 2: Designing and planning microwave networks | 1:30 pm-5:00 pm
Whether you are new to microwave and planning fundamentals or you are looking for a refresher, this workshop will deliver an up-to-date overview of microwave radio that will assist you with planning and deployment efforts. This will be a live interactive session, where you will have the opportunity to ask questions on all things microwave.
- Presentation outline:
- Microwave Fundamentals
- Transmission Line
- Fresnel Zones
- Water and Flat Earth!
- Important Equations
- Availability and Performance Objectives
- Industry Myths—Getting back on track!
- Use planning tools, such as LINKPlanner to bring it all together!
- Microwave Fundamentals
Conference stream | 9:00 am-4:30 pm
Hybrid LMR/LTE devices bring new life to the LMR market | 9:00 am-9:30 am
This session will look at how new devices allow users to get the best of both LMR and LTE networks to achieve benefits beyond voice.
LTE Network security for private networks | 9:30 am-10:00 am
Presented by: Simon Lardner | Co-Founder, Challenge Networks
Private mobile (4G/5G) networks are becoming prevalent in the command and control of critical industrial devices and public safety solutions. As such, the security of systems is becoming a critical design and operational consideration.
This presentation discusses some of the key security considerations both in the design and operation of such networks. It also discusses how security for private networks compared to consumer networks needs to be approached quite differently. This high-level, relatively non-technical presentation is designed for those who already have or are planning to build a private LTE and wish to understand the key considerations and features associated with security.
P25: Still relevant after 30 years? | 10:00 am-10:30 am
An objective view of the P25 standard for digital communications. A mature standard by any measure, P25 has become a good case study in user driven standards development and multi-vendor interoperability. The P25 standard continues to evolve and users continue to invest in P25 solutions to meet their current and future communications needs.
This presentation will consider how the standard has evolved over the past three decades—with specific reference to major milestones in Australia and New Zealand. It will also touch on the growing demand by end users for interoperability with LTE.
The modern control and command room—How Radio over IP and cloud technology change the critical communications landscape | 11:00 am-11:30 am
Presented by: Kor Snyman | Engineering Manager, Omnitronics
Organisations and teams can benefit from greater flexibility when they use Radio over IP (RoIP) technology to interconnect their remote sites or systems. This presentation will explore the advantages of deploying a RoIP solution, as well as review case studies of its successful applications in public safety operations—both day-to-day activities and disaster preparedness scenarios.
Learn how organisations have used RoIP’s capability for situational adaptability, enabling team members the flexibility and agility necessary for mission-critical responsiveness. As a critical-communications expert, Kor will examine both temporary and long-term implications, including interoperability options and alternatives mitigating the risk of vendor lock-in through cleverly designed systems that set organisations up for future expansion and scalability both in on-premise and cloud scenarios.
Unified communications—Reducing Western Australia Police Force (WAPF) communication black spots
| 11:30 am-12:00 pm
Unified Communications begins at the 000 call and ensures our police response is the best it can be, involving ‘anywhere’ voice and data communications (Satellite/4G/Radio), live-streaming video (Body Worn Camera, Remotely Piloted Air System, other Aircraft, CCTV), real time alerting, deconfliction and big data analytics.
Unified Communications is the integration of voice, video, and/or data services delivered universally across the WA Police network infrastructure, to provide increased situational awareness and effectiveness to the frontline. The end game is to provide officers with the information they need to solve the crime or find the person at risk ‘FASTER’, involving a multi-agency response where required.
Exmouth Proof of Concept (PoC):
- In partnership with Wireless Innovation
- Starlink on the move
- Installed on two operational vehicles
- Integrated voice communications through Harris Technology portables and mobile radios
- The use of WAPF smartphones and devices outside LTE coverage areas
- Hypha Mesh trial to test the effectiveness of a WIFI mesh solution to extend the range of the vehicle’s WIFI range
This PoC will help our Officers to remain connected beyond the Land Mobile and LTE networks to be able to carry out their duties effectively and safely.
Velocity IoT platform paving the way for Mining 4.0 | 12:00 pm-12:30 pm
Presented by: Peter Scarlata | CEO, Simoco Australasia
The mining industry is going through an era of digital transformation with the advent of technologies like the Internet of Things (IoT) which aim to provide cost efficiencies and improve worker safety. In this presentation, we explore the benefits this can bring, and how intelligent communications solutions like Velocity can play a leading role in enabling these improvements.
Case Study: Co-site LTE with digital radio [Roy Hill and Radlink] | 1:30 pm-2:00 pm
In 2020 Roy Hill commissioned a project to design, engineer and construct world-class communications infrastructure that involved co-siting LTE with digital radio (i.e., TETRA). The brief was specific to Roy Hill’s communication and business needs in line with their five-year mine plan and took into account a range of factors including the harsh Pilbara conditions.
Roy Hill engaged Aqura for the associated design work and partnered with Radlink Communications for the engineering, construction, deployment, testing and commissioning of this project.
Subsequently, Roy Hill is the first miner to co-site LTE with digital radio and thus share backhauls, towers, power etc. This groundbreaking project was done safely, on-time and on-budget with Roy Hill seeing this as not only a cost-saving exercise but low risk to their operations.
Panel Discussion: The future of critical communications—from narrowband to broadband and everything in between | 2:00 pm-3:00 pm
Hosted by: Hamish Duff | Managing Director, Mastercom and President ARCIA
- Simon Lardner | Co-Founder, Challenge Networks
- Brett Pearson | Assistant Manager, Radio and Electronic Services, WAPF
- Peter Scarlata | CEO, Simoco Australasia
- Dale Stacey | Managing Director, SAT Pty Ltd
- Jason Cox | Director of Engineering, Tait Communications
The critical communications landscape has evolved in the last ten years and will continue to develop over the coming years as new and emerging technologies are applied to solve communications challenges faced in various market segments. This panel of experts will explore and discuss where they see the future of critical communications and why.
Efficient Site Design | 3:30 pm-4:00 pm
Presented by: Dale Stacey | Managing Director, SAT Pty Ltd
The greatest spend in establishing new mobile radio/telecommunication sites is invariably in the real estate. In particular, access, civil works, and the establishment of tower/building structures and buildings and power. Experience shows that this can equate to >90% of the capital cost. So why is this part of the project so often poorly considered in our build of radio infrastructure projects?
This presentation deals with some lessons learned, oversights and pitfalls in establishing sites and some future strategies and building checklists to capture fundamentals of what we need.
- Presentation outline:
- Regulations governing site builds
- Concept of right sizing
- Number of sites growing
- Concept of the value of a site and tower in real estate terms
- Building site and tower structural survey databases
- Practical trumps theoretical
- Impact of increasing regulation (tickets, inductions, grinding pegs off, fencing)
- Increasing environmentalism (managing aesthetics, radiation to public)
- Checklist for site surveys
Is LORA WAN a viable option for critical messaging? | 4:00 pm-4:30 pm
Presented by: Brad Welch | General Manager Asia Pacific, TPL Systems
Over the last 50+ years there are many various ways critical messages have been delivered to handheld devices to alert Emergency Responders to critical situations. From the early technologies of Golay, 2-Tone, 5-tone POCSAG and Flex paging, to cellular technologies such as SMS, 2/3/4G data to Smart Phone Apps. All of these have advantages and disadvantages depending on the situational requirement, type of emergency or disaster. In reality, using a combination of these technologies gives the best results for reliability and resilience, meaning messages are delivered quickly to ensure rapid repose when needed.
LoRa WAN is another technology that can be added to this mix and is currently being used by some agencies in Europe. In this presentation we will look at what the possibilities are for using this technology in Australia, what infrastructure is available now as well as advantages and limitations.
- Presentation outline:
- LoRa WAN Overview—what is it and how is it currently used?
- LoRa Wan Networks in Australia
- How LoRa WAN can work for Critical Messaging—Advantages/ Disadvantages?
- Case studies of how LoRa Wan is being used in Critical Messaging
- Summary and questions
EXECUTIVE MANAGER | Spectrum Engineering Australia
Andrew is the Executive Manager of Spectrum Engineering Australia and has been with Spectrum Engineering for 19 years. During this time he has amassed a broad and intimate working knowledge of the regulatory environment and the coordination and licensing requirements for radio services in Australia. He now leads a team of professional engineers who provide licensing solutions to all sectors of the radio industry including the major carriers, government and the private sector.
Andrew holds a Bachelor of Computer Engineering with First Class Honours from the University of Wollongong. He holds accreditation under the Australian Communications and Media Authority to issue Frequency Assignment Certificates and Interference Impact Certificates, and holds Approved Radio Certifier (ARC) status under New Zealand’s Radio Spectrum Management (RSM) branch.
DIRECTOR | Spectrum Engineering Australia
Peter Hilly is an engineer and the Director of Spectrum Engineering Australia. He spent the early years of his professional engineering career working for Government, including a five year period with the then Department of Communications, Radio Frequency Management Division, eventually occupying the position of Head of the Spectrum Planning Group.
He left the Department in 1986 to establish Spectrum Engineering Australia as the first independent provider of frequency management services in this country. In 1995 he became the first person to become “accredited” under the new Radiocommunications Act to issue frequency assignment certificates.
Peter has a background of some 40 years of continuous “hands on” experience in spectrum management in Australia and has been involved in this business on both sides of the counter. He has followed the development of the spectrum regulatory process in Australia over the lifetime of five regulatory bodies since to Post & Telecommunications Department of the late nineteen-seventies and was witness at the birth of the two Radiocommunications Acts, 1983 and 1992.
Peter holds a Bachelor of Engineering degree from the University of NSW, and an MBA from the University of Canberra.
REGIONAL TECHNICAL MANAGER AU/NZ & PACIFIC | Cambium Networks
Eddie Stephanou is Cambium Networks’ Regional Technical Manager for Australia, New Zealand and Pacific Islands. He is responsible for technical development, support and growth of fixed wireless solutions portfolio.
With almost 20 years Australian industry experience in fixed digital microwave systems, Eddie has worked with, and alongside, leaders in the microwave space both locally and abroad. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree and a Master of Engineering Degree in Telecommunications.
MANAGING DIRECTOR | Mastercom; PRESIDENT | ARCIA
Hamish is the Managing Director of Mastercom and a founding Director of the Orion Network. A specialist in wide–area radio networks, Hamish has a genuine understanding of the pressures faced out in the field and the role that efficient communications plays to help people every day.
With a career in communications spanning more than 40 years, Hamish is skilled in making the complex, simple–engineering communication solutions to support the needs of all users—from the control room to the field.
CO-FOUNDER | Challenge Networks
Simon is the co-founder of Challenge Networks, a telecommunications system integrator specialising in the design, build and management of small-scale carrier networks around the world. More recently, Challenge has become a world leader in the deployment of private LTE networks for the resources sector. Simon has over 27 years of international experience in the telecommunications industry specialising in mobile network design and implementation.
MANAGING DIRECTOR (ASIA-PACIFIC) | Tait Communications
Originally from the UK, Paul emigrated to New Zealand in 2006 where he worked for Tait Communications as a product manager and principal engineer until early 2010.
An engineer by training, Paul began his career as a research scientist at the UK’s Defence Evaluation and Research Agency. During this time, Paul completed a doctorate on the development of novel sonar transducers for the Royal Navy.
Paul has a broad background of experience across both the public and private sectors, holding senior positions in government departments, educational establishments and commercial enterprises.
Paul returned to Tait Communications in 2016 as the Product Line Manager for the P25 portfolio. Most recently, he was the VP of Product Management, responsible for Tait’s global product portfolio.
ENGINEERING MANAGER | Omnitronics
Kor is responsible for the management of the Omnitronics Engineering department. He has extensive international experience as a design engineer and manager in a variety of industries including communication, defense, transport, electronics and aeronautics.
Kor has been with Omnitronics for over 15 years and his formal qualifications include MBA and MEng degrees.
Jodie Pearson APM
ACTING COMMANDER, STATE INTELLIGENCE AND COMMAND PORTFOLIO | Western Australia Police Force
Jodie joined the WA Police Force as a Police Cadet in September 1987. She graduated from the Police Academy in 1990 and served at a variety of metropolitan police stations, before being appointed as a Tactical Intelligence Officer within the Tactical Response Group (TRG) in 1997.
After a long and distinguished career that has included time serving as a Bomb Technician within the TRG, being awarded the Australasian Council of Women and Policing “Bev Lawson Memorial Award”, time spent as both Superintendent, leading the team at the State Operations Command Centre and at the Office of the Commissioner of Police as Staff Officer to Commissioner Col Blanch to deliver capability to aligned to the SILVA ethos of Safety, Identify, Locate, Visualise and Associate, Jodie has been placed into the role of Commander, State Intelligence & Command as the Acting Commander.
In her new role, Jodie has command of State Communications (Call Taking & Dispatch), the State Operations Command Centre, Radio & Electronic Services, the Interagency Collaboration Program (Communications Infrastructure Project, Emergency Services Radio Network Project, CAD Replacement Project) and Forensic Services. Jodie is passionate about using data to solve crime quickly and to achieve good outcomes for the community. In order to achieve these outcomes, Jodie believes all Public Services Agencies need to have modern and reliable communication eco-systems.
ASSISTANT MANAGER, RADIO AND ELECTRONIC SERVICES | Western Australia Police Force
Brett has been contributing to the telecommunications industry since joining the Royal Australian Navy in 1991. Brett served on Patrol Boats stationed in Darwin and Perth, HMAS Coonawarra, HMAS Stirling and the Submarine Escape Training Facility before leaving The Navy to the join the Western Australia Police Force (WA Police Force) Radio Communication Unit in 2003.
During his time with the WA Police Force Brett has performed several roles including Field Technician, Network Maintenance Supervisor and Assistant Manager. Brett was a key member of the project team that converted the WA Police Regional Analogue Radio Network to a P25 Simulcast Trunked and Conventional Digital Network.
Brett’s current role includes management of the installation and maintenance of the WA Police Automatic Number Plate Recognition capability, utilising WIFI networks with satellite backhaul for operational support applications and satellite communications on the move to give frontline officers voice and data communications everywhere in Western Australia.
CEO | Simoco Australasia
Peter Scarlata has over 25 years of experience working at senior levels in national and multinational engineering, system integration, product management, sales and marketing and general management in companies such as Bosch, Intelematics, CNG Systems and most recently Simoco Wireless Solutions.
Peter’s qualifications include a Bachelor of Engineering (B.Eng.), Electrical, Electronics and Communications Engineering and a Bachelor of Applied Science (B.App.Sci) in Computer Science. He has led system integrator CNG Systems, where he drove the organisation into a period of significant company growth focused on the transport infrastructure and government verticals. Furthermore, Peter has held several senior positions over a 17 year period at multinational company Bosch in both the automotive and proaudio sectors and has spent time globally in Germany, US, China and Australia leading teams of product managers, engineers and purchasing personnel in driving high volume, quality and value electronic, audio and RF products to market.
Peter has been the CEO of Simoco Australasia for over 3 years and is responsible for business growth within the Australasia division. His focus is on important infrastructure projects and overseeing all management, system engineering, sales and marketing activity, as well as national and multinational product management and development. Peter is a strong advocate for Australian R&D and manufacturing which Simoco Australasia contribute to.
SUPERINTENDENT OF COMMUNICATIONS | Roy Hill
With over 35 years’ experience in the communications and technology industries, Glenn has worked in both technical and leadership roles for defence, the UN, a number of technology vendors, and various mining companies.
The past five years Glenn has been in a leadership role at Roy Hill. Glenn also holds Master’s degrees in both Engineering and Business from Curtin University.
SENIOR COMMUNICATIONS SPECIALIST | Roy Hill
Dan has been at Roy Hill for over five years as a Senior Communications Specialist.
Prior to joining Roy Hill Dan was a Senior Communications Engineer with Calibre.
Working across the Project phase and now in the operational delivery of the LTE and TETRA co-sited system, Dan has in-depth knowledge of the system and operational requirements
NATIONAL MARKETING AND CLIENT EXPERIENCE MANAGER | Radlink
David is the National Marketing and Client Experience Manager at Radlink.
Before joining Radlink, David worked in the IT sector in a similar role looking after a number of high-profile managed services clients in a wide range of industries.
Whilst not having a technical background, David was involved at various stages of the project to assist facilitate the collaboration and cooperation of the key stakeholders
MANAGING DIRECTOR | SAT Pty Ltd
Dale Stacey has spent more than 25 years in the telecommunications industry. He is a Chartered Engineer (IET,UK and IEAust, Australia and a member of IEEE,USA) and has an extensive range of knowledge and experience in the worldwide radio communications sector.
Dale has managed and delivered many major projects through all phases of their life cycle, from concept and strategy, through development of the business case, design, optimisation, installation, integration, test and commission, acceptance and maintenance. Dale has gained experience of such projects from a number of perspectives, including that of the supplier, vendor, buyer, user, integrator and consultant.
Dale’s previous experience includes numerous design and implementation assignments for major public utilities both worldwide and within Australia (electricity, gas, oil and water), and telecommunications carrier projects (GSM, 3G and microwave projects for Telstra, Optus, Vodafone, BT).
More recently, he has been involved in extensive coverage analysis, optimisation and drive testing of private networks, and 3G and 4G networks. He is currently working on the 5G revolution and other private network innovations in emergency services, smart city and IoT.
GENERAL MANAGER | TPL Systems Asia Pacific
Starting as an Apprentice Radio Technician in Mt Isa, Brad has over 30 years’ experience in the Critical Communications industry including over 25 years’ experience in Critical Messaging. This experience has seen him working for companies such as Hutchison Telecoms (now Vodafone Messaging), Selective Communications in New Zealand, WiPath Communications Australia and now TPL Systems Asia Pacific. Brad has been heavily involved with providing critical response solutions and support in the Emergency Services and Healthcare markets.
Brad’s strength is listening to the customer and their requirements, using his experience to provide the most suitable outcomes to shorten critical response times and maximise the customer experience.
DIRECTOR OF ENGINEERING | Tait Communications
With over 30 years of radio communications experience, Jason has deployed and commissioned radio networks in over 25 countries.
Jason has extensive experience working with large radio networks and was part of the initial team of engineers involved in the development and deployment of the first wide-area MPT1327 networks in the late ‘80s and early ‘90s.