Icom Two-Way Radio Solutions Assist Jaguar Land Rover Global Drive Team
Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) Global Drive Team recently used an Icom two-way radio system consisting of conventional VHF radios, LTE radios and satellite PTT to organise a sophisticated product launch for its new Land Rover Defender across West Africa. JLR Global Drive Team (consisting of JLR PR, Event Vehicle Operations and external stakeholders & suppliers) were conducting a media drive programme in Namibia, for the launch of the new Land Rover Defender. The team had a lot on their plate with the organisation of driving routes, hosting of guests across all stages, providing communications, internet & safety support whilst ensuring that the media guests received a premium experience. Twenty Land Rover Defenders were used along with support vehicles to navigate more than 750km of on and off-road routes (including the infamous Van Zyls Pass) split over three nights. The JLR Global Drive Team designed the routes to challenge the design and engineering capabilities of the new vehicles as well as providing the media with fantastic photo opportunities. Richard Mumford, Director of XTravaCom Ltd (XTC) and technical adviser to the JLR Drive Team Comms since 2003 said, ‘the new Defender launch in Namibia presented a huge challenge for logistics, safety and cultural sensitivity. Without decent communications and tracking, the event would not have been able to go ahead. The distances travelled and remote locations visited demanded the very best technology to gain coverage.’ After initial tests in the UK, Richard sourced a range of Icom two-way radio equipment including IC-F5012/ F5062 VHF mobiles, VE-PG4 RoIP gateway and IC-SAT100 Satellite PTT handheld radios. This equipment was installed in protective Peli-cases for transport and would be set up at each base camp/stopover. They would also be used in the new Defenders to communicate between the vehicles and base camps as well as linking this all via a VPN back to the UK. ‘Using Icom’s latest RoIP and Satellite PTT handheld radios, we were able to create a network to cover both safety and logistical demands over our complete route. The SAT100 was linked via a VE-PG4 to our VHF network to help give us the coverage we needed. ‘The equipment was easy to use, very reliable and stood up to the Namibian environment extremely well. We experienced temperatures of over 40 degrees, torrential rainstorms, dust, sand, and flooding. This was the exact environment that was sought to showcase the new Defenders off-road skills and technology – as well as testing the Icom equipment robust design which came through with flying colours. For our media guests, comms was transparent, and whilst their cell phones did not work the moment they left, they were always in contact with HQ or a support vehicle.’ ‘Not only this, but the VPN link also allowed communications with another event that was taking place simultaneously in Portugal which was utilising the Icom LTE Radio System.’ Richard went on to say, ‘The JLR Drive Team have used Icom equipment for several years. One of the main reasons for this was the outstanding technical backup and enthusiastic support of our projects which are very rarely out of the box solutions. Now, the equipment is back here in the UK, it will be cleaned and serviced ready for its next mission where it may be used in a completely different scenario. We are currently running a UK event using the LTE radios and RMS-IP Dispatcher which gives us live tracking of the radios and a virtual PC to communicate to them. I look forward to the next innovation!’ Richard Mumford runs XTC and has been involved since 1996 with JLR providing communications for many events and product launches across the globe such as the Camel Trophy, G4 Challenge and Land Rover Experience as well as varying locations such as Africa, Iceland, France, Spain and America. For more information about the services XTravaCom Ltd (XTC) provide, email firstname.lastname@example.org. Alternatively visit their website at XTravaCom Ltd (XTC). Photo credits R Mumford. Will Lyons.