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Cairns City Council, Australia

Cairns is a regional city of over 120,000 people in tropical far north Queensland, Australia. The Cairns City Council is a local government body responsible for administering a long, narrow coastal strip between the Coral Sea and the Great Dividing Range, covering more than 1,670 square kilometers.

"Tait delivers very reliable products that are able to provide a flexible fit to the needs of the organization."

Communications TechnicianFederal Government


The council required reliable, seamless and continuous communications over a mountainous region affected by adverse weather conditions, and where repeater stations are located at extremely remote sites. Cairns City Council required a competitive alternative to mobile telephone communications. The council’s work teams (such as water, works and services) required a system that provided inter work-group and one-on-one communication, as well as an interface with the public telephone network. The council also indicated a future need for data transmissions, such as GPS vehicle tracking.


Tait, together with Pagex Communications, established a Biscom wide area trunked radio network in the Cairns region, from which Cairns City Council rents airtime. As a result the council incurred no costs to establish or maintain the network infrastructure. As Cairns City Council was to be the first customer for the network, Tait was able to guarantee coverage, and tailor the network to the council’s needs.

The Biscom network uses Tait manufactured MPT 1327 trunking equipment. It handles data transmissions such as job dispatch or e-mail, and provides the ability for extensive use of PABX interface with PSTN access.

The system uses two trunked sites with a fully backed up power supply, supporting around 430 council trunked radios, including 100 handheld portables. Trunked radio is easy to use - there’s no need to change channels depending on geographic location since the trunked radio roams and logs on to the most appropriate site.


The system provides for multiple call types ranging from one-on-one calls to group and emergency calls. The PABX provides a high grade of service with seamless connection. Trunked mobile radios are now used by lifeguards at Cairns City Council’s new ‘lagoon’ tourist swimming area, and also at their new waste and recycling plant. The council also uses a number of conventional Tait portable radios for road works use (including traffic control) on simplex channels.

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