After a busy couple of months and some unexpected stress caused by weather delays and global supply chain shortages, we are pleased to report that we have now installed and connected all 50 trial sites for the Alternative Voice Services Trial (AVST) Program.
The AVST Program is a wonderful opportunity for Zetifi to develop and validate our technology and processes as we scale the business. We’ve been able to test our ability to design, manufacture and deploy Wi-Fi solutions in a wide range of locations and coverage areas. At times, we probably wondered why we’d made it so hard for ourselves, but the lessons we’ve learnt are invaluable and will continue to inform our product development and design processes well into the future.
Some of the most difficult sites we took on during this project involved very hilly and remote properties with no mobile coverage inside or outside at the main residence. To provide these triallists with fast, reliable and low-latency internet and Wi-Fi, we’ve installed standalone solar-powered ZetiCell small cells on a hillside near the house so we can then send this signal to the house and surrounding area via a point-to-point link.
Another very unexpected challenge that we encountered and overcame during the rollout of our AVST trial sites was a global supply chain shortages that required us to source new suppliers and even apply some of our own ingenuity to design and manufacture our own masts. A steel shortage meant that many of the poles and brackets that we’d previously used to install masts and antennas were unavailable. Our quick-thinking and clever production team had to work overtime to design, test and manufacture our own masts, along with custom roof and antenna brackets to keep the project on schedule. True to the saying that “necessity is the mother of invention”, something that began as a critical need has resulted in a new mast design that is significantly better and cheaper than those which we were purchasing from suppliers. Among many other advantages, our new masts are lighter and can be transported in a small cylindrical box and they guarantee that antennas are installed with the correct orientation every time.