Comms Connect New Zealand returning to Christchurch

Comms Connect (WFevents)

By Lauren Davis
Friday, 10 May, 2024

Comms Connect New Zealand returning to Christchurch

The Southern Hemisphere’s premier critical communications and public safety event, Comms Connect, is gearing up for its first show of the year, with the New Zealand edition of the critical comms conference and expo running from 26–27 June at the Te Pae Christchurch Convention Centre.

Over 40 leading technology suppliers are set to showcase their wares at the exhibition, giving attendees the chance to see exclusive product demonstrations and ask any burning questions. The accompanying conference will meanwhile feature a range of industry experts presenting the latest technologies, applications and case studies in areas such as satellite comms, DMR Tier 3, PTT over cellular, professional LTE, AR/VR, IoT, private networks, transport, disaster response and more.

The opening keynote, co-presented by Michael Healy from Christchurch City Council, actually serves as something of a sequel to last year’s. In 2023 Healy spoke about the Smart Christchurch Programme’s Early Fire Detection and Environment Monitoring project, which deployed sensor arrays in local forests in order to detect the earliest possible sign of bushfire (and ideally prevent a repeat of the devastating 2017 Port Hills fires). In February 2024, the Port Hills caught fire once again — so how much of a difference did the detection network make? Join Healy and co-presenter Wayne Hamilton, from Fire & Emergency New Zealand, to find out.

Healy and Hamilton will be followed by Michael Appleyard, from Land Information New Zealand, speaking about SouthPAN — the Southern Positioning Augmentation Network. The positioning network compares satellite data against precisely measured positions to identify and correct any discrepancies; these corrections are sent to geostationary satellites and then broadcast to users throughout Australia and New Zealand. Appleyard’s presentation will be a great opportunity to get the latest updates on the network, which recently achieved 99.5% accurate service availability (up from 95% previously). This means its positioning services should be available 99.5% of the time, enabling better support for industries such as agriculture, transportation and spatial sciences.

There will also be plenty to say on the subject of P25 — the suite of standards for digital two-way radio products. A plenary session on day one will discuss the future of P25 for New Zealand public safety — having demonstrated its resilience time and again during natural disasters — while day two will feature a comprehensive, two-part P25 workshop. Day one will also see Tait Communications’ Managing Director for APAC, Dr Paul Elmes, explain how recent advances in technology are helping to fix the lack of interoperability between P25 and Digital Mobile Radio (DMR), which is expected to significantly enhance interagency and interstate radio communication. This breakthrough in interoperability will then be detailed in a case study from Surf Life Saving NSW.

The event will once again be run with the support of the Radio Frequency Users Association of New Zealand (RFUANZ), which will be holding its AGM at the conference venue after lunch on day one and its annual gala dinner following the day one networking drinks. As per tradition, the dinner will see the presentation of the RFUANZ Industry Excellence Awards, which recognise and acknowledge the many forms of excellence seen in the comms industry. Award nominations can be made at until 31 May, while registration for the dinner is available at

For more details on the conference and exhibition, or to register for your ticket, visit Early-bird rates close on 18 May, so get in quick!

What: Comms Connect New Zealand
When: 26–27 June 2024
Where: Te Pae Christchurch Convention Centre

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