Under an exclusive reseller agreement, the Georgia company has launched the Strata Wi-Fi network, which has both voice and data capabilities to allow underground workers to use any standard 802.11 Wi-Fi-ready device for communication.
The system features two types of access points, one that leverages fiber and one that is fully wireless and battery powered.
Miners can now make private, direct-dial voice communications from anywhere in the mine using an Mine Safety and Health Administration-approved voice-over internet protocol (VoIP) handheld phone.
The handsets also enable miner-to-miner, miner-to-surface and miner-to-outside communications.
“With Strata’s addition of digital Wi-Fi, we can now offer customers a comprehensive communications package that is extremely flexible,” national sales director Chris Adkins said.
“Strata CommTrac, our proprietary wireless data communications and tracking system, covers MSHA’s PPL [program policy letter] requirements and the digital Wi-Fi phones deliver stand-alone voice communications.”
The company is planning to offer intrinsically safe digital Wi-Fi tablets and PDA devices, meaning that individuals will now be able to access corporate intranet and the internet from underground.
The capabilities will grant real-time access to important documents including maintenance manuals, up-to-date equipment schematics, mine maps, productivity reports and time cards.