Adequate alerting and communication for field service Waternet

From passing out in the sewers and being attacked by poachers in the dunes to entrapment by defaulters, these are real dangers for Waternet’s field workers. The network-priority push-to-talk service combined with Flash Smart Com’s LoneWorker Protect application enables rapid and effective alerting and communication, with the emergency room having immediate access to the emergency location.

‘Solution to very important problem’

“Waternet is a wonderful customer for us because our solution is used in specific situations, solving a very basic problem,” believes Marco Morelis, senior account manager at Flash Private Mobile Networks. Waternet is the only water company in the country responsible for the entire water cycle: drinking water supply, sewerage and water management. As a result, field staff can find themselves in numerous dangerous situations. Thanks to Flash’s push-to-talk solution, the field service and control room can quickly and effectively raise the alarm and communicate in emergencies.

From devices and peripherals to applications

At Waternet, Flash has implemented almost the entire spectrum of Flash Smart Com. This secured push-to-talk service, which is based on technology from our partner PrioCom, operates within a shielded part of T-Mobile’s network and guarantees priority over other users. This allows field staff and the control room to raise mission-critical alarms and communicate. Even in places with fewer set-up points, such as dune areas.

What exactly does that look like? Field service employees and the control room use push-to-talk over cellular (PoC) via the 4G and 5G networks. This allows them to communicate one-to-one and one-to-more, automatically share their location and exchange messages and photos. Employees have ultra rugged Android phones with physical emergency buttons for this purpose. Some of these ‘walkie-talkies 2.0’ can even be used in explosive-sensitive situations – no luxury given the danger of explosion in sewers by XTC waste, among other things.

The radios feature PrioCom’s LoneWorker Protect application. This allows automatic or manual alerting via emergency button, inactivity, man down and fall detection. Alarms come in on a dispatcher provided by Flash in the control room. Because the dispatcher can see on his screen where the user is located, quick and effective action can be taken.

The push-to-talk application, LoneWorker Protect and location tracking come from PrioCom. Flash not only provided the devices, peripherals and infrastructure, but also did the setup. Think of setting up call groups and adjusting user names. Finally, Flash manages and maintains the devices. Thanks to mobile device management (MDM), remote management takes place. All in all, this approach ensures that the management burden for Waternet is minimal.

‘Incidents prove value Flash Smart Com’

Flash Smart Com has already proven its value on several occasions, says senior control room at Waternet Wesley Lelieveld. “Thanks to the portos we can see in the control room where our guys are, which is of great value especially in the evening and at night. After an alert, we can immediately call the emergency services or a nearby colleague. Some incidents have already been alerted through the new system. For example, someone became unwell while descending into the sewer and someone fell down the stairs.”

On one occasion no alarm was raised. Lelieveld: “A colleague went to turn off the water at the homes of non-payers. As it turned out, the walkie-talkie was still in the car because the colleague thought he didn’t need it. This was a very wise lesson for all of us: always carry a walkie-talkie.”

‘Everything about the collaboration suffices’

Morelis explains that Flash first formed a clear picture of Waternet’s problem and its consequences. “For example, if someone presses an emergency button, you need to know how the organization wants to get emergency troops on site next so you can adjust the set-up of the system accordingly.” Morelis’ philosophy is: learn all about your customer, know their business and find out all the bottlenecks. This often results in new solutions to the pain points that have surfaced (more on that later).

Partly because of this deep digging and proactive thinking along, Lelieveld states that there is “not a single downside” in terms of solutions and service from and contact with Flash. “Everything about the cooperation is pleasing. If there is a problem or malfunction, someone comes to check it out immediately. Even at night and on weekends.”

Plans on the horizon

Now that the contracted work is all done, there are plenty of plans on the table for expanding cooperation. For example, there is talk of equipping boats and chlorine containers with Flash Smart Com so that they can be easily tracked and alarms can always be raised immediately. Lelieveld: “We are also looking at whether the control room can be further professionalized, where we want to integrate Flash services into the digital system. In addition, we would like to see that push-to-talk allows immediate contact to be made with the security company we work with.”

Whatever else will be implemented: according to Morelis, Waternet has chosen a future-proof solution anyway. “Waternet creates a lot of flexibility in the domain of mission-critical solutions, partly because there are many possibilities for using other applications on the devices. So they have not only purchased a ready-to-use solution, but also paved the path toward the future.”

Marco Morelis

Marco Morelis

Senior Account Manager

Send a message or call +31 (0) 181 25 00 25

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Marco Morelis

Marco Morelis

Senior Account Manager

Send a message or call +31 (0) 181 25 00 25

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