Power-line-based broadband offers security advantages

3rd November 2006 By: thamashni naidoo

Broadband power-line communication (PLC), which converts an existing electrical grid into a high-speed data, voice and video network offersnumerous security advantagessays broadband services company Goal Technology Services (GTS) CFO Adrian McGuire.

Users, he adds, have a complete choice of equipment bothupstream and downstream of thePLC network.

“The system has high levels of security and has the ability to integrate it to remote power metering and control,” McGuire adds.

The broadband technology is the enabler of a number of commercial services that GTS has incorporated in its portfolio.

This includes internal telephony,broadband Intranet and Internet, email and messaging services,security services that contain enhanced remote surveillance monitoring and access control, video-on-demand and video streaming, automated meter readingand prepaid electricity, online computer gaming and frail care that links home-based patients By developing integrated solu-tions, the two main markets that are targeted in South Africa are local government and securehousing estates.

The government solution isdriven by the most cost-effective way to provide basic services.

“The drive for secure housing estates is the need to provide afutureproof solution that meetstoday’s sophisticated requirements,” McGuire explains.

More than just a pipeline for broadband, GTS provides a complete range of services and applications to the client.

Telephony
In a security estate, private community or an office complex, calls to and from the guardhouse andbetween residents become internal,therefore, reducing connection fees, while the PLC broadbandallows for video telephony.

Voice-over-Internet protocol (IP) telephony gives cheaper calls both locally and internationally.

“Quality of service is guaranteed through the telco-grade network,” McGuire comments, “and incoming and outgoing calls are always accessible.” The broadband IP networkpermits the fast and flexible deployment of surveillance cameras.

Linking to other security systems, like electric fences, motion andseismic detectors, and armedresponse, is possible.

With the flexibility of the IP network, monitoring can be completed from a control centre.

In the meantime, included in the GTS service is biometrics access control, which is commonly known as fingerprint access control.

McGuire says that the service runs comfortably on the IP-based PLC network and users are easilyregistered or removed from the system by means of an enrolment reader.

“Real-time statistics are providedto comprehensively manage access to an environment, significantlyimproving security and reducing the potential of crime,” he adds.

Benefits
Any electricity user can benefit from the conversion of the power grid into a broadband communicationsnetwork, without the use of additional cabling.

The technology can be either built into a new facility or retrofitted into existing ones.

Used in housing estates, the technology provides free communication with the guard house andother residents, Intranet, external telephony through VoIP, improved security through the fast imple-mentation of surveillance andaccess control systems as well asthe remote metering of utilities.

Video streaming and video-on-demand are also available options.

In the meantime, office developments have a different type of technology design.

These include portability of the broadband network, immediateavailability, the movement forpersonnel without the need for rewiring, internal and externaltelephony through VoIP and theoption of video conferencing.

Hotels and centres
GTS provides hotels with upgraded communications with the hotel rooms having the option of video streaming and video-on-demand.

“We also offer availability of broadband connection for guests,” he adds.

Shopping centres are supplied with the linkage of point-of-salesystems, Internet and Intranet, security systems as well as internal and external telephony through VoIP.

In addition, municipalities are also benefiting from GTS systems.

The company supplies substantial reduction of electricity and water theft and wastage.

“Reduction of power outage owing to to overloading and thedeployment of Telco-Metro are othersecurity measures.” GTS originates from a spin-off from the PLC division of Grintek Telecom, one of the leading ICT companies in South Africa.

Working for the Grintek Telecom, the GTS team was involved in PLC for the two years prior to the creation of GTS in September 2004.

GTS is part of the internationalMikcor group of companies and through the group and Telecel, GTS has access to the know-how todeploy and maintain large telecommunications networks.