PCN Professionals provides a number of services relating to communications systems used by electric, gas and water utilities. Our services address fixed point-to-point and point-to-multipoint systems, and mobile radio systems. They also include outdoor Wide Area Networks (WANs) used in workforce automation. These services offered include:

Demand Studies
Feasibility Analyses
System Design
RFP Development & Contract Award
Project Management
Test Plan Development
Performance Verification
Modifications & Operational Support

Each of the services above is normally offered as part of a larger project, but can also be provided as a stand-alone service if desired. Click on one of the items in the list above to learn about the services offered.

Demand Studies

An analyses of current system utilization, in terms of communications traffic, is usually the first step in any planning or evaluations process. Included in the analysis is an estimate of capacity exhaustion based on the growth in current services and the addition of new services. Where possible, demand studies for radio system analyses consider the originating and terminating locations, and routing for each circuit, and then "roll up" the results to determine the impact on individual radio link capacities. Demand studies are normally performed to:

  • Plan for future system growth and for new services
  • Assess system exhaustion due to:
    • Growth in existing power system
    • Implementation or extension of a WAN
    • Addition of video surveillance
    • Workforce automation
  • Plan for replacement technologies
  • Support alternate routing and communications survivability studies
  • Examine routing and multiplexing efficiency studies

Demand studies can be performed for both fixed and mobile radio systems. For more information on how demand studies can be used to support your planning and analysis activities, please contact us.

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Feasibility Analyses

A feasibility analysis in normally the first part of any major communications project. PCN Professionals has conducted feasibility analyses for both fixed and mobile networks.  The following is a "top-level" list of the items normally covered in a feasibility analysis.

  • Review & analysis of current status & future plans
  • Demand analysis
    • Current demand & normal growth
    • Additional capacity for future services
  • Current state of the industry
  • Technology analysis
    • Currently available products
    • New products about to become available
    • Technological direction of the industry
  • Industry best practices analysis
  • Definition of functional & operational requirements
    • Current & future services
    • Current capacity & future demand
    • Current & future coverage & connectivity
    • Reliability & survivability
  • Development of system design options
    • Owned infrastructure
    • Shared infrastructure
    • Leased services
    • Combinations of owned, shared or leased
  • Comparative analysis of design options
    • Construction & operational costs, including cash flow
    • Maintainability, reliability & survivability
  • Roll-out plan development
    • Deployment of new radio systems
    • Migration of existing systems to new technologies
  • Recommendations with discussion of justification
    • System design
    • Manufacturers

Feasibility analyses can be performed for both fixed and mobile radio systems. For more information on how feasibility analyses can be used to support your planning and analysis activities, please contact us.

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System Design

System design is normally performed once a decision has been made to proceed with deployment of a new system or the modernization of an existing system, and develops the information needed to write the RFP. Depending on the type of system involved, fixed vs. mobile, the process will vary, but generally include the following components:

  • Development of technical requirements from the functional & operational requirements
  • Site & infrastructure surveys
  • Radio system design
    • Path analysis & coordination for point-to-point & MW systems
    • Coverage analysis for mobile and point-to-multipoint systems
  • Capacity design
    • Near-term traffic demands
    • Future demands & enhanced services
  • Equipment selection & specification
  • System design drawings & documentation
  • Implementation plan, budget & cash flow

System designs can be performed for both fixed and mobile radio systems. For more information on how we can support your system design activities, please contact us.

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RFP Development & Contract Award

Most of our clients are managing radio systems as part of the day-to-day operations of the utility. As a result, they do not often get involved in large new system deployments or major upgrades to existing systems, nor do they have close contact with all of the major equipment suppliers in the industry. Since PCN Professionals works with a number of clients, we have close contact with all of the principal suppliers. As a result, we are knowledgeable of the key players and the ways they prefer to operate. This familiarity allow us to structure the technical and implementations of a Request For Proposal (RFP) for a new system in a manner that the these aspects are clearly spelled out in terms universally used throughout the industry. The services offered in developing the RFP for a large project include:

  • Developing the technical sections of the RFP using the the system design requirements
  • Assisting in developing the RFP sections on:
    • Safety
    • Service outages
    • Work practices
    • Materials handling
    • Workmanship & quality
    • Access to client facilities
    • Contact individuals & reporting requirements
  • Qualifying potential vendors
  • Participating in pre-bid meeting
  • Responding to questions during the bid preparation interval
  • Assisting in evaluating proposals & making an award
  • Assisting in contract negotiations

RFP development and contract support normally are associated with, and immediately follow system design activities. They can be performed for both fixed and mobile radio systems. For more information on how we can support you in this area, please contact us.

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Project Management

Project Management (PM) is essential for the successful completion of any infrastructure construction or modernization effort. PM is not isolated part of the implementation process, but normally begins with the feasibility analysis, and is used to develop the schedule and budget data during the planning and design phases of the project. PCN Professionals can take the preliminary plan created during the previous phases of the project and develop it into a "full blown" project plan suitable for managing, tracking and reporting on the progress of the deployment, and then provide the staff to actively manage the project. The services offered in developing and managing projects include:

  • Develop the detailed project plan
  • Estimate resource requirements
    • Human
    • Material
  • Manage project
    • Coordinate activities
    • Track progress
    • Produce reports
    • Respond to & resolve exceptions
  • Forecast actual completion
    • Predicted completion date
    • Estimated final cost
  • Close out project
    • Collect "red-lined" drawings
    • Inspect & audit sites
    • Inventory spares & test equipment
    • Insure client has received all deliverables due

For more information on our project planning and management services, please contact us.

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Test Plan Development

An integral component of any radio system deployment is the verification test plan. Test plans need to be developed with full knowledge of the requirements the system has been engineered to meet. At PCN Professionals, we begin with the functional and technical requirements, and the equipment specification to develop an overall test plan as well as individual test procedures designed to assure the system being implemented does in fact meet its requirements. The components of a typical test plan includes:

  • An overall test plan outlining:
    • Purpose the plan
    • Scope of testing
    • Components of the plan
  • Individual test procedures beginning with subsystems & progressing to the system level 
    • Test equipment requirements
    • Test setup & calibration
    • Detailed test procedure
    • Formal test data sheets
  • Instructions for repeating or altering test procedures

For more information on test plans for fixed and mobile radio systems, please contact us.

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Performance Verification

Actual testing is normally performed by the equipment providers, and witnessed by the system owner, operator or designated representative. Since the level of testing done during verification is more comprehensive that that done during normal operations, most owners or operators prefer to use a consultant as an advisor during the verification process. The staff at PCN Professionals have tested a variety of radio systems, ranging from small local systems to those covering large metropolitan areas or multiple states. The areas of performance verification covered include:

  • Review of the overall test plan
    • Test procedures
    • Equipment & calibration
    • Personnel qualifications
  • Verification that the equipment has been properly commissioned
    • Software loads
    • Configuration data
  • Witness equipment test set-up calibration
  • Observe measurement & data collection processes
  • Review test results
  • Determine if test criteria have been met
  • Assure results are documented for future reference

For more information on our performance verification services, please contact us.

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Modifications & Operational Support

PCN Professionals offers a number of support services to system operators covering a variety of areas. These include:

  • RF channel additions
    • Existing MW radio systems
    • Existing mobile radio systems
  • FCC & FAA licensing support
  • Interference analyses
  • Support in radio system relocations for new services
  • Assistance in moves & changes due to 800 MHz rebanding
  • FCC auction support
  • Special studies & evaluations

For more information on these and other support services, please contact us.

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Version 1.0 Revised 2/07/2005

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