Why the annual Christmas period shutdown is the ideal opportunity to review and assess your connectivity

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Why the annual Christmas period shutdown is the ideal opportunity to review and assess your connectivity
It’s early December and across the country, the mercury is rising. The combination of the heat, Cyclone season and a common desire for staff to spend time with family over the Christmas period sees many resources sites move to essential staff only.

With sites commonly found in arid and hot areas like Western Australia and Queensland, mining activity becomes too high risk to continue during the peak of the summer months.

During this time, owners and operators tend to reduce their onsite staffing and retain only a skeleton crew, should the size and scope of essential works require it. This presents a number of opportunities for organisations including:

  • Review your existing connectivity solutions
  • Assess the technology and solutions available in the market
  • Scale back your bandwidth to reduce paying for unwanted data

Why should you do this? Let us explain.

What has and hasn’t been working?

 The break presents time to look at and tweak the solutions in place. This should include reviewing any challenges that have occurred in the last 12 months and how they were resolved.

“In the midst of a mining project, there are a lot of moving parts to manage. As a result, challenges are often resolved with short-term fixes instead of digging deep to identify a root cause. But this digging still needs to happen,” says David Spencer, Sales Manager for Western Australia, Orion.

When reviewing challenges, it is important to also consider upcoming plans and how this may affect your connectivity. Will your existing connection support these plans? By doing some groundwork now, you can ensure you set yourself up for success in the future.

What else is on the market and has the technology evolved?

If you have a solution in place that has served you well for the past couple of years then it may be tempting to push on without making changes. However, the satellite industry is a rapidly evolving one and new tech is constantly emerging. The result? There may be a more suitable or cost-efficient solution out there.

Likewise, when was the last time you upgraded your bandwidth? You might find by upgrading your plan your technology works more efficiently and saves time in the long run.

“Whether you are off-contract or not, doing some due diligence in the market is always sensible. For those out of contract, you should be looking at what is available and how flexible the solution terms are that come with a particular service. And for those on-contract, it still makes sense to ensure you are getting a competitive price,” advises David.

Does your provider allow you to scale down your bandwidth?

One of the key advantages of satellite connectivity is that it is always on. As a result, it is very simple to turn on and off.

“Unlike fixed connectivity, a satellite isn’t going anywhere. If your satellite provider is saying it is hard to scale up or down this is most likely a decision driven by the carrier, not the technology,” says David.

This is important to understand during the mining shutdown, as the ability to scale down your bandwidth could save you a considerable amount of money.

“Orion has always enabled customers to turn off their data connection or dial it right down to a monitoring level. In fact, we have built plans specifically to do that. By giving organisations flexibility to adapt their service based on changes on the ground, they no longer pay peak costs to provide bandwidth to an empty mine site,” adds David.

Any existing Orion customers should contact their account manager to make sure they are on a plan to enable them to scale back their bandwidth.

Need help assessing your solution?

During December and January, Orion also shift focus away from service installations and instead focus on innovation and upgrades that will improve customer experiences.

“We use the time to assess equipment, test it and ensure it is working efficiently. We are asking satellite users to audit their service and do what they can to eliminate the risk of future frustrations caused by a solution that isn’t fit for purpose,” says David.

To assist with this, Orion have created a free audit service. Available to all satellite connectivity users, the audit will identify key points for you to consider. For example, last year Orion discovered a client shuttling one mobile connection between three sites. It proved to be more efficient to provide connection to all three sites instead. Over six months, hundreds of hours were saved.

What opportunities are you missing? Whether you are an Orion customer or not, we will help you identify how to refine and improve your solution.

Complete your free satellite connectivity audit now, click here to find out more.


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