T&D World Magazine

Nashville Electric Service Deploys Mobile Networking and Fleet Management

Nashville Electric Service has deployed In Motion's end-to-end mobile networking and fleet management solution to improve dispatches, communications, and customer service.

"When we began our search for a new mobile communications technology, we set very demanding specifications,” said Vic Hatridge, Nashville’s Chief Information Officer. “We found the onBoard Mobile Gateway to be far superior to laptop-based devices,” said Hatridge.

“Data cards are enclosed in steel and mounted in vehicles, so they are not easily broken, lost or stolen. In Motion Technology’s solution integrates seamlessly with our management and dispatch system to track vehicles, while providing high-bandwidth mobile communications over any wireless network. The solution is helping us improve operations and enhance customer service, and provides a platform on which we can deploy new applications.”

Nashville Electric Service, one of the largest publicly owned electric utilities in the nation, serves more than 357,000 residential and business customers across seven counties in north-central Tennessee. This year, the American Public Power Association awarded NES the Reliable Public Power Providers (RP3) Diamond status, the electric industry’s highest designation for reliability, safety, workforce development and system improvement.

NES installed In Motion’s onBoard Mobile Gateways in 146 bucket trucks and supervisory vehicles. The Gateway turns vehicles into mobile hotspots, providing wireless connectivity to laptops and other devices in and around the vehicle. The Gateway can roam across wireless networks to provide the highest bandwidth and most reliable communications anywhere. It is easy to install, maintain and upgrade, and requires no user intervention.

The Gateway is GPS-enabled, allowing NES dispatchers to track all vehicles on a single screen and dispatch the closet truck to an outage or service call – a capability that will reduce response times and fuel use, while improving efficiency and customer service.

In Motion’s web-based onBoard Mobility Manager scans and analyzes information from Gateway equipped vehicles to provide NES with real time and historical information about its operations and communications. If a vehicle leaves its designated service area or exceeds speed limits, dispatchers receive email alerts. NES also used the onBoard Mobility Manager to map all available wireless networks in its service area and select the one with the best coverage. In the future, NES may use the management system to monitor vehicle telemetry and other information from the field in real time.

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