Bluewater, the UK’s leading retail and leisure destination, is the premier retail destination in the Landsec portfolio. The centre totals 1.8m square feet and offers guests over 300 retailers and places to eat, plus a Showcase Cinema de Lux and a number of permanent and seasonal leisure activities.
Business Critical Operations
Orchestrating operations at Bluewater is no easy task. The smooth running of the site depends on everyone – security, engineering and housekeeping teams, car parking attendants, control centre staff and retailers – being able to communicate quickly and easily at any given moment, no matter what the situation or where they are located.
From mopping up spills to monitoring suspicious activities, reliable and clear communications are critical. Ensuring footfall and retail spend is optimised whilst protecting the safety and well-being of all on site. So when Bluewater took the decision to upgrade to a digital two-way radio system, it had to take into account the needs of multiple departments and user groups.
Alongside instant calling and text messaging capabilities to individuals or groups, communication prioritisation and support for lone workers were all important safety requirements needed to protect staff in emergency situations. Bluewater also needed to ensure its new solution featured easy-to-use radio handsets that deliver these all-important transmissions with clarity – regardless of background noise.
Alongside enabling managers to coordinate teams across the complex, the new digital radio system had to seamlessly integrate with the site’s Everbridge mass communications platform which keeps everyone – including retailers – informed in real-time of routine events and incidents.
Communicating Anytime, Anywhere, Anyway
Hytera’s DMR offering, comprising of digital handsets, repeaters and XPT digital trunking technology, was integrated with the CALM solution developed by Hytera Partner Chatterbox, delivering all the integration, coverage and connectivity Bluewater needs, supporting a host of advanced communication applications. And should wireless or mobile networks be compromised during a major incident, the Hytera DMR radio solution ensures uninterrupted crisis communications can be maintained between all parties at all times.
Dynamically assigning resource to maximise channel capacity, the Hytera system supports a rich variety of voice and data services – including man down, lone worker monitoring and high speed emergency response coordination. Caller ID ensures central control teams can immediately identify every radio user, taking advantage of caller interrupt to break into radio traffic to send out priority transmissions.
Control room teams can use text messaging to send short custom or pre-set messages to groups, or give users the option to speak or text on a one-to-one or one-to-many basis. Meanwhile, real-time tracking assures the safety of every handset user, with all transmissions being monitored and recorded.
Hytera’s innovative XPT digital trunking technology effectively doubles existing spectrum resources to maximise available traffic channels and capacity. It’s enabled Bluewater to leverage its existing infrastructure and give end users access to more user groups and shared channels – all of which has increased operational efficiency.
The intelligent XPT system automatically assigns available channel resources, ensuring multiple users across various departments can quickly and easily contact each other, even when voice and data traffic across the site is high, without the need to change channel.
Security and facilities personnel are now equipped with Hytera X1P digital radios, with in-built GPS and Bluetooth, complemented with Bluetooth earpieces to assure discrete and clear communications:
- Reliable noise cancellation technology ensure the handsets deliver crisp and clear communications, essential in high density environments where background noise is an issue
- Rugged and easy to operate, users can rely on the intuitive interface for easy operation – regardless of whether they are working inside or outside
- Lightweight with a long battery life, comfortable to carry and operate, easily outlasting a shift with a single charge to ensure communications are always on hand.
Meanwhile, retailers rely on their Hytera PD785G portable digital radio handsets to keep abreast of in-the-moment events with in-built GPS:
- Simple intelligent design, easy to grab and communicate instantly, with a large push-to-talk (PTT), emergency button and programmed keys to initiate instant comms.
- Superior voice communication and noise cancellation, even on busy shop floors where ambient noise can prove problematic
- Rugged and reliable, dust and waterproof, as well as drop tested, to sustain performance in hard working environments