​This project report helps co-ops understand mobile technology applications and their potential values. Some think of mobile technology as only Mobile Workforce Management (MWM), an application now being developed by t​​​he electric utility industry (NISC and SEDC both offer MWM software). However, the scope of mobile technology is much wider. It includes vehicle diagnostics, onboard navigation, asset management, weather data, SCADA information, AVL, and other applications. This report helps co-ops determine what is right for their business needs. 

Approach

Mobile technology requires a telecommunication infrastructure, and co-ops have many options in this regard including Wi-Fi, Wi-Max, third-generation cellular, advanced spread-spectrum data radios, and others. However, decision-making is complicated by the fact that these technologies are constantly evolving. For instance, one development effecting mobile technology includes the adoption of Internet Protocol version 6 (IPv6), which will increase the number of addresses available for networked devices, allowing each mobile phone and mobile electronic device to have its own IP address.

This report draws on the experiences of six co-ops that have already rolled out some form of mobile technology. It presents different mobile devices and telecommunication options, the elements that should be included in a co-op’s five-year technology plan, examples of potential savings, and case studies of mobile technology projects at the six co-ops.

Audience

Engineering and Operations managers, IT managers, line superintendents 

Keywords

Mobile, communication, IT, mobile workforce management, radio, telecommunication

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