MDS Provides IP Backhaul for North Dakota Electric Cooperative's Serial Data

  • January 27, 2005
  • GE Digital
  • News

DISTRIBUTECH 2005, SAN DIEGO (January 27, 2005) - Microwave Data Systems (MDS), a world leader in industrial, wireless, networking solutions with applications in the supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA), public safety, automation, telecommunications, and online transactional markets, today announced it is providing a radio system to another electric utility using two-way automatic communication system (TWACS), adding to the company's growing customer base. Together with full service partner Larson Data Communications, MDS is providing an Internet Protocol (IP)/Ethernet and serial radio system to Mountrail-Williams Electric Cooperative (MWEC). Mountrail-Williams is using MDS iNET 900R radios as backhaul for the company's TWACS, which uses existing power lines for transmission of customer data, such as automatic meter reading (AMR), load control, and outage assessments. TWACS consists of a TWACS Net Server (TNS) and substation communications equipment (SCE); however, because the TWACS system is completely serial, terminal services and port redirection software are needed in order to transmit the TWACS data across an IP network. The MDS iNET provides those services, allowing Mountrail-Williams to bring serial information onto an IP network. Jason Brothen, IT manager at Mountrail-Williams, selected the MDS iNET for use in their system for several reasons. "There's one radio that does everything we need it to do, at one cost. And we own the network, which makes service and trouble-shooting so much easier than waiting for an outside party to react," Brothen said. "In addition, the radios provide a low-cost communications solution without paying an ongoing monthly fee." Brothen said speed was an additional consideration when selecting the MDS iNET. "The radios provide plenty of bandwidth for future uses, such as voice over IP (VoIP) at substations, which we're currently investigating." About Mountrail-Williams Electric Cooperative Mountrail-Williams Electric Cooperative provides power to customers in Mountrail and Williams counties in northwestern North Dakota. MWEC owns and maintains nearly 2,900 miles of overhead line and 320 miles of underground line. About Larson Data Communications Larson Data Communications, based in Mitchell, SD, serves customers in the upper Midwest United States and specializes in total solutions connectivity for industrial and commercial wireless and networked data systems. They are a MDS Full Service Partner, providing service to the states of Nebraska, South Dakota, North Dakota, and Montana. About Microwave Data Systems Microwave Data Systems Inc., headquartered in Rochester, N.Y., designs and manufactures networked high-speed, point-to-multipoint, and medium- and low-capacity point-to-point industrial, microwave radios for use in oil and gas, utility, lottery, traffic monitoring, public safety, and telecommunication provider industries. Learn more about the company at

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