Date: January 2015
The Cell on Wheels (COW) is a mobile base station used to provide extra temporary cellular network coverage for high-profile events and emergency services. ICS industries were engaged by Telstra to design and develop a "miniature" COW to expand their existing emergency response fleet that can be deployed to locations across Australia, resulting in a total of six being manufactured.
Additionally, a sea container factory fitted by ICS with Telstra equipment, air-conditioners and mast designed to be utilised for long-term network support, adding depth to Telstra's suite of portable network support equipment.
Small enough to be towed by a standard 4WD, the units were designed for rapid recovery of mobile network infrastructure when existing base stations became damaged, or during natural disasters such as bushfires and floods. The Mini COW also augments network performance at high traffic events such as New Year's Eve, or major sports and festivals.The Mini COW's smaller footprint has resulted in many design benefits including:
- Easily accessible equipment cabinets from the outside instead of a large shelter;
- a centrally mounted mast onto the chassis providing greater overall stability; and
- 360° mast access compared to the 180° access with traditional COWs.
ICS Industries successfully managed the project from design and engineer through to manufacture, fit-out and testing, dispatching the six newly designed COWs and sea container on time, enabling the expansion of Telstra's emergency response fleet ahead of the bushfire season.