Tech developments in focus at NZ conference

Comms Connect (WFevents)

By Jonathan Nally
Wednesday, 27 February, 2019

Tech developments in focus at NZ conference

A must-attend event for everyone involved in business- and mission-critical communications.

Comms Connect brings radio and wireless communications industry users, dealers, consultants, manufacturers and other stakeholders together in order that they can network, learn, share ideas and do business together.

The combined conference and exhibition presents the very latest from the sector — from narrowband radio to PTT-over-cellular, from professional LTE to satellite communications — and is a must-attend event if you are a first responder; work in public safety, transport or utilities; operate in the mining, oil and gas or the wider resources sector; work in security, defence, a commercial enterprise or government department; or if you’re active in any other sector that uses radio and converged communications.

The conference will include technical presentations, case studies and workshops presented by a line-up of 30-plus top local and international speakers and subject matter experts.

TJ Kennedy, co-founder of US-based consultancy The Public Safety Network (and formerly president of the US First Responder Network Authority), will present a keynote address on ‘Why we need public safety broadband now’. Kennedy will share his personal experiences to help us all understand why we need reliable global public safety LTE networks and their accompanying solutions now, not in 3 or 5 or 10 more years.

A man on a stage giving a presentation

Two men standing next to each other, discussing equipment in front of them

The full speaker program can be found at, but here’s a small selection of sessions:

  • Chris Goldsmith (New Zealand Emergency Services) — Nationwide critical communications for New Zealand
  • Assistant Commissioner Jevon McSkimming (New Zealand Police) — Vision 2030: the future world of delivering emergency services
  • Aaron Prior (Aviat Networks) — Demystifying 5G wireless backhaul
  • Chris Stevens (CartGiS Pty Ltd) — The use of cellular SD-WAN for DMR linking
  • Geoff Waterhouse (NSW Ambulance) — The benefits of being a collaboration partner
  • Station Officer Graham Tait AFSM (Fire & Rescue NSW) — Transitioning to a data-enabled world
  • Grant Jamieson (Wireless Innovation) — Wireless mesh networks explained and applied
  • Jason Karp (The Public Safety Network) — Communications for preparedness before, during and after disasters
  • Lex Grubner (RF Test Solutions) — 5G and its over-the-air RF performance
  • Dr Murray Milner (Milner Consulting Ltd) — Next-gen critical comm — lessons from overseas jurisdictions
  • Sara Isoardo (Radio Activity) — Simulcast modulation options for P25 and DMR
  • Sarosh Dubash (Schneider Electric) — IP-based data radios for more efficient SCADA comms
  • TJ Kennedy (The Public Safety Network) — Public safety’s shift to mobile-first
  • Terry Burnworth (Pyramid Consulting) — LMR case study: A distributed architecture system


A special feature will be a workshop presented by TJ Kennedy and Jason Karp from US-based consultancy The Public Safety Network, which will look at the current, global landscape and will consider, during open, facilitated discussion, just what is required to ensure the very best communications solutions are available for first responders. In particular, the discussion will consider how to prepare for and respond to natural disasters and the planning and foresight needed to ensure critical communications systems are able to be leveraged during such events.

Another special workshop will comprise a briefing from MBIE Radio Spectrum Management on radio spectrum policy, licensing and compliance in New Zealand. The briefing will be given by Len Starling (Manager, Radio Spectrum Policy & Planning), Fadia Mudafar (National Manager, Radio Spectrum Management) and Siegmund Wieser (Manager, Radio Spectrum Management Licensing). There’ll be plenty of opportunity for delegates to ask questions.

A line of men seated at a table

Two men standing facing each other having a discussion


The exhibition will cover 1000 square metres and comprise more than 40 exhibitors, including all the big names in the Australasian comms market — led by the Gold Sponsor, Zetron — with an emphasis on innovative New Zealand firms. You can see a full list of exhibitors and sponsors at

RFUANZ AGM, awards and dinner

The RFUANZ is a non-profit organisation whose membership ranges from local government authorities to transport operators, consultancies to radio dealers, and network operators to private individuals. Its mission is to protect, promote and preserve the rights of organisations and individuals who require access to the radio spectrum.

The Association’s annual general meeting will take place on the morning of 1 May at the same venue as the conference, followed that evening by the RFUANZ Industry Excellence Awards and Gala Dinner (the venue for which will be the marvellous St Matthews in the City). For ticketing and other enquiries, send an email to or visit

Essential event

It’s vital that all users of radio and converged communications in business- and mission-critical working environments — as well as dealers, manufacturers or suppliers in this sector — seek out the very latest information, technologies and solutions, and build relationships. Comms Connect Auckland will deliver that opportunity for you and your colleagues. See you there!


Comms Connect Auckland 2019

Conference: 1 May (9.00am–5.00pm), 2 May (9.30am–5.00pm)

Exhibition: 1 May (9.00am–5.00pm), 2 May (9.00am–3.30pm)

Where: SKYCITY Auckland, 88 Federal St (

Who: More than 300 delegates and 40-plus exhibitors


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