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Icom NZ Case Study: Icom in Tongan Prison

If you thought having to chase down fleeing prisoners is a tough job, imagine having to do it with unreliable radios! You wouldn't be sure if your calls for backup were getting through and alerting nearby guards would be a challenge especially in the dense built up remote areas of Tonga! That's why Tonga Prisons Department turned to Icom's dealer Express Diesel for a new radio communications solution.

When told of the radio communications requirements for the Tongan prison, Greg O’Dwyer, General Manager of one of Icom New Zealand’s dealers, Express Diesel couldn’t think of any other radio brand better suited for the job than Icom. As a global leader in radio communications, Icom is world renowned for providing catered solutions to their customers and providing outstanding support - Icom NZ has just won the 2015 RFUANZ Customer Service Award.

Made in Japan under high quality control environments, Icom has over 300 engineers working in product development, Icom customers can be secure in the knowledge that they are getting the very best and latest technology.

Icom radios have now been successfully installed into the Tongan Prisons Department following their decision to choose a new radio communications brand after their old radios were unable to meet their requirements. Due to the rigors of keeping a prison running smoothly, the Tongan Prisons Department needed radios that weren’t flimsy or easily damaged by misuse. The old radios had poor battery life, and easily affected by the humidity in Tonga, so these were big concerns that the Tongan Prisons Department wanted their new radios to address.

The Tongan prison also needed their radios to have clear, reliable communication to prison officers patrolling both inside and outside the prison as well as staff in offices and vehicles. The prison staff often had the prisoners outside of the prison on day work and had to chase down escapees on occasion so the communications range needed to cover at least 10kms across a mix of built up and remote areas.

Supplied in October 2014, a total of 25 Icom radios are now being used in the prison after replacing older radio models. 15 Icom IC-F5023’s along with 10 of the new IC-F1000’s have now been successfully installed into the Tongan Prisons Department. They were installed by a local contractor and were supported with 2.5m antennas, cabling and orange harnesses supplied by Icom.

Unlike the older radios that were used, Icom radios have a longer battery life, are lightweight with excellent range and are able to survive the Tongan humidity. Both Icom radio models are constructed for heavy-duty use and provide long term reliable operation in all manners of rugged environments thanks to rugged construction and MIL-STD810 rating which makes them perfect to handle the tough environments of a Tongan prison. They are also MDC-1200 compatible and the IC-F1000 is one of the slimmest Icom radios (24.5mm) and is IP-67 rated. Icom NZ are the only radio communications company that offers a five year warranty on all their land mobile radios so they are guaranteed to stand the test of time.

The Icom radios are delivering and surpassing expectations with demand for more - the Tongan Prisons Department are already planning to purchase more Icom radios in the coming months. Reliable and built tough to stand the test of time there’s no comparison to Icom radios.

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