Burnsville, MN (June 2019) – Southern Linc, a subsidiary of Southern Company, recently completed the replacement of their 2G iDEN (Integrated Digital Enhanced Network) with a new mission-critical 4G LTE Advanced network known as CriticalLinc. To facilitate the transition to the new network, Telex upgraded existing C-Soft dispatch consoles for Southern Company electric utilities and government agencies that use PTT (push-to-talk) communications to dispatch field forces.
Southern Linc Engineering Operations Manager Tom Bedics and his team worked directly with Telex, wireless handset manufacturer Sonim Technologies, Inc. and Hurricane Electronics, Inc., Southern Company’s Telex console provider, to develop a console interface for the CriticalLinc network’s new PTT application.
“Dispatchers at our power companies, Alabama Power, Georgia Power and Mississippi Power, as well as our government customers, were already using Telex C-Soft consoles, which are computer-based,” noted Tom Bedics. “What we needed was an upgrade to the software on the consoles themselves, to connect the new LTE network to the console. Telex and Hurricane worked directly with us and with Sonim to develop the needed software coding for the consoles to connect to our Sonim handsets in the field.”
Sonim Technologies’ middleware enabled its ultra-rugged XP8 handset to serve as the donor radio at dispatch locations, interfacing with the C-Soft console via a IP-224 dual IP remote adapter panel – the Telex device that allows complete, customizable cross-platform ROIP/VOIP communications connectivity and control from a single position, all via Ethernet.
One key element in making a major technology change in mission-critical communications is ensuring that there is no downtime. Bedics was pleased with the way Telex handled their side of the 4G LTE network conversion: “Telex responded quickly and accurately to our software requirements and made sure none of our customers would be stranded as a result of the technology conversion. They made the upgrade as unobtrusive as possible to our end-users, which resulted in minimal training requirements.”