Brentwood has been contracted by P&O Ferries to kickstart a major overhaul of the company’s on ship communications systems.
The ferry operator is looking to upgrade all of the analogue radio networks on its passenger ferry services to digital. However, with 13 ships in operation, a full digital migration represents a major investment, so the company wants to phase in the switchover time.
With that in mind, P&O contacted Brentwood to enquire about the possibility of a gradual introduction of digital handsets. We responded that this was perfectly possible by programming digital models as analogue, so they can operate alongside the existing analogue fleet until a full turnaround had been completed. At that point, the whole network could be switched over to digital.
To start with, it was decided that we should supply new radios for two of P&O’s passenger ships, the Pride of Hull and the European Highlander.
When built in 2001, the Pride of Hull shared the title of world’s biggest passenger ferry with its sister vessel, the Pride of Rotterdam. Although overtaken in 2004, it is still one of the world’s largest ships in its category. The twin giants operate P&O’s hugely popular Hull to Rotterdam route, famous for its overnight mini cruises.
The European Highlander is operated by P&O Irish Sea between Cairnryan in Scotland and Larne in Northern Ireland. Ahead of the 2012 London Olympics, it carried the Olympic Flame across the Irish Sea from Northern Ireland to Scotland.
All Round Performance
Motorola Two way radios are used by all crew members on P&O Ferries, for everything from coordinating catering and hospitality to relaying messages between the ship’s bridge and works teams throughout the vessel.
We knew we needed to supply models which offered strong all-round performance, with outstanding reliability and call quality to ensure critical messages got through at sea.
We opted for the Motorola DP4400 and DP4401. Both models offer superb audio quality, with intelligent audio software cancelling out background noise and automatically adjusting call volume according to the environment. Whether working on a busy passenger deck or below deck close to the enormous engines, ferries can be noisy places, so this is a critical feature for maintaining clear communication.
Both models offer a range of features which will help to streamline on-board communications efficiently. Private calling means messages can be targeted to specific people rather than broadcast to the whole crew, while dispatching and work ticket features means tasks can be allocated to teams centrally without having to track them down throughout the ship. The DP4400 and DP4401 also support pre-programmed text messaging.
Finally, both models come with a range of safety features which will provide additional peace of mind on-board. A prominent Emergency Button means a distress alert can be sent to the entire network with a single push. Lone Worker and Man Down provide monitoring functions for users operating in hazardous places, for example, whilst operating machinery or working on deck in bad weather. The DP4401 also supports GPS location tracking, so if an alert is issued, the source can be found on ship quickly.
If you would like to find out more about how Brentwood can build a two way radio network to suit your needs, contact us on 01245 403520.
We have more than 40 years’ experience supplying two way radios to every sector of industry and specialise in designing bespoke solutions to fit the needs of every client.