Morrison Hershfield provided the turnkey wireless deployment for over 200 wireless sites, from initial inception to network ready client hand-over. The site diversity requirements included sites located over a large geographical area and sites varying in implementation methods, since locations ranged from rural town and city centers to fly-in-only First Nation communities. Sites required diverse infrastructure from new raw-land tower sites to existing infrastructure co-location sites, for both transport and local access class links. Services provided include: site acquisition, leasing and permitting; RF network and link design; architectural, structural, electrical and mechanical site design and engineering; civil infrastructure and radio equipment build deployment; construction management of civil infrastructure and radio equipment installation; and overall program management to ensure financial responsibility, on-track scheduling and risk management.
Morrison Hershfield provided services to the lead proponent on the outside plant engineering contract in the extended area of the network. The network is fiber-optic based and involved construction of 5000 km of the total 9,000 route-km of fiber required for the network. Our services included route selection, municipal approvals, detailed design (route, duct and manhole placement) and customer premise engineering (building entrance considerations). Morrison Hershfield offered additional resources, keeping the project on track and achieving savings for the overall project due to our knowledge and involvement on the wireless deployment portion of the network.
The Longest Link:
The biggest challenge of designing the wireless network was engineering connectivity to the most remote community connected to the network. The community is geographically isolated, situated on a lake, with the only year round access being by air, and in winter, via ice roads. The surrounding terrain is dominated by wetlands, environmentally sensitive marshlands and muskeg. Due to the wet soil conditions and environmental concerns, fiber-optic facilities were not possible. Numerous design alternatives and technologies were investigated and evaluated, with the ultimate solution being high bandwidth (OC3) microwave radio. The system is highlighted by a 121 km wireless link, believed to be the longest link of its kind.