Bechtel selects Cisco and USR for gas site networks

Separate Cisco and USRobotics networks are to be installed on the site of Gasco’s Asab Gas Plant during a 30-month US$1.2billion gas exploration project by Bechtel.

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By  Diana Milne Published  November 19, 2006

Separate Cisco and USRobotics networks are to be installed on the site of Gasco’s Asab Gas Plant during a 30-month US$1.2billion gas exploration project by Bechtel. The gas giant, which is part of the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC), has contracted engineering firm Bechtel to build a new gas plant on the site which is situated around 200km from Abu Dhabi. A USRobotics network will serve the needs of thousands of workers living temporarily on the site over the 30 month duration of the project while a Cisco network will be used to connect the site office of Bechtel to its head office in the US. Hishamul Hasheel, technical sales manager for USRobotics in the region, said the project was very challenging as it involved deploying a network that would cover an area of around 48,600 square metres in harsh environmental conditions. “Inside the desert area there are a lot of outdoor environment factors, like the temperature, the humidity, and the sandstorms that affects the ruggedness and the stability of the wireless network,” he pointed out, adding that the area the network needs to cover also presented a challenge. “In this case the challenge is to provide an optimal coverage and signal strength and also manageability from one single window from the network operations centre,” he said. USRobotics with its value added reseller InterNetwork Technology, deployed wireless outdoor bridging and access points designed to resist the effects of high temperatures. The firm deployed the USRobotics professional access point 5453 — a multi function access point which acts as a bridge to connect different areas and a repeater to boost the signal from one end of the network area to the other. “Instead of using different products for different functions we have a single access point that can work as a multi-function environment,” Hasheel explained to IT Weekly. The company also deployed wireless outdoor high gain antenna to connect the two ends of the network. The vendor deployed two parallel secure networks for the camp — one for guests and one for residents — that will run on the same network backbone. Those using the guest network will not be able to access the company’s internal resources such as its internal servers and will not be able to access the intranet. Adel Arteen, team leader of information systems and technology for Bechtel, described the benefits of the networks to the residents on the site. “This is will be used to cover our accommodation with WiFi and internet WiFi systems. “We have ADSL lines from Etisalat and we split it by WiFi to all the users in Bechtel who are able to use the internet. This will allow people using the internet to check e-mails after work and to connect with their families,” he said. Meanwhile the Cisco network providing connectivity for the Bechtel site office is already complete and provides a valuable link between engineers on the Gasco site and the head office in the US. It supports a WAN and LAN network and is accessible from 400 workstations in the site office.

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