Southgate Shopping Centre Case Study
SouthGate Shopping Centre was developed by Multi Corporation and is more than double the size of its predecessor. It provides 37,000 sq metres of retail space, 3,500 sq metres of leisure space, 2,300 sq metres of restaurant space plus 99 residential units.
It was designed by Chapman Taylor to mimic Georgian architecture with a Bath stone facade; the infrastructure of the buildings is modern concrete. It is home to 60 stores and restaurants full of all your favourite high street brands, the latest looks and delicious food. From children’s fashion and technology to beauty and accessories. It also offers 860 car park spaces.
For many years Southgate Shopping Centre had been using analogue radios for site communications. Both security teams and cleaning teams relied heavily on the instant press-to-talk communications that two-way radios provide.
The analogue system consisted of 2 analogue repeaters, one for security and one for cleaning, housed in one location with each repeater having a distributed antenna system. Each repeater fed an antenna on the roof, focusing the radio signal down toward the Shopping Centre, and another in the lower basement levels providing coverage in these areas. Sadly despite this, the site still experienced ‘black spots’ around the site and in some areas there was no coverage at all.
Southgate Shopping Centre contacted Smye-Rumsby to discuss the benefits of digital radios. Site visits were made to discuss how the benefits of new technology could meet the shopping centre’s key requirements:
- Full site coverage had to be achieved
- Two independent simultaneous channels to be provided
- Batteries for the radios to last a minimum 12hrs
- A solution that could be added to, if required in the future
- Radios to be able to make individual calls to single and or groups of users
Management teams where supplied display radios which enable them to make private calls to individuals or groups of users. These radios also provide the ID numbers of the user currently transmitting on the system, therefore allowing the management team to have a better understanding of the team’s requirements.
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These radios are managed by the on site CCTV control room that monitor live CCTV feeds and direct the security and cleaning teams to where they are needed. A fixed mobile display radio was supplied and the ability to scan both cleaning and security channels was provided. Using the display built into the radio, ID numbers are displayed each time a call comes through enabling the control room to see exactly who’s talking.
Smye-Rumsby installed a full Motorola digital (MOTOTRBO) system with two repeaters into two separate locations at the shopping centre to increase site coverage. Motorola Digital repeaters provide two independent simultaneous voice paths from each unit.
Using the shopping centre’s LAN (local area network) these repeaters are connected and therefore the radios can be programmed to ‘roam’ between their designated voice paths across both repeaters. This allows for the coverage area of the system, as a whole, to be increased with the radios automatically swapping between repeaters, depending on which repeater is providing the stronger single strengths at that time.
20-30 hand held radios (Motorola DP2400/DP2600) were supplied initially with high capacity Impress Li-Ion batteries which not only provide very long charge intervals but the Impress technology contained within the batteries and chargers allows for the automatic reconditioning of the batteries without requiring human intervention. This technology ensures that the batteries are constantly working at their optimum levels.
Southgate Shopping Centre is now enjoying optimum audio clarity with coverage area exceeding their expectations. The units supplied have provided superior battery life and have proven themselves to be durable and reliable.
The addition of a future proof digital system means that should Southgate Shopping Centre grow, they now have a radio system that can be built upon and can be adapted to meet the demands of their business far into the future.