Airwave Solutions Australia welcomes Marc Colborne to the company as the new General Manager. Marc joins the Australian team from Airwave Solutions in the UK, where he has been involved in many aspects of the business, including network deployment and operations. Significantly, he managed the delivery of the Airwave network to the southern regions of the UK, and further spearheaded a site resilience program for multiple agencies.
During his eight years with Airwave in the UK, Colborne has gained invaluable experience in a number of different roles. “Public Safety agencies in Australia face similar challenges as in the UK,” he said. “These include funding network capacity expansion, extracting operational advantages from network features, implementing interoperability on shared networks, and enabling open standards-based competition for the radio equipment.”
The rollout of the Airwave communications platform in the Southern regions of the UK entailed the building of 1600 base stations, four major switch locations, four standby switch locations, and system deployment for 28 of the 52 police forces in England, Scotland and Wales. “The insights this has given me will be extremely relevant to a number of agencies here in Australia,” said Colborne.
Once the network delivery was completed in the UK, Colborne’s role became more operational—supervising the delivery of service to public safety agencies, end-user interfacing, and managing major incidents, such as the Gloucester floods in 2007. “This incident—along with the London bombings in 2005—served to highlight the absolute necessity for various key agencies to be able to communicate with each other,” he said. “Here, the Airwave communications system contributed significantly to the delivery of a coordinated, effective and timely response by the emergency services.”
From 2007, Colborne was also involved in improving the resilience of various elements of the UK network, particularly the optimisation of the system for Airwave’s fire project. Following on from this, he began working with the international team to appraise how Airwave’s Service Management expertise could benefit public sector communications requirements in other countries. “The move to Airwave Solutions Australia was very much a natural progression of this,” he said.
Colborne sees the deployment of shared networks as crucial to ensure optimised communications between agencies, and between separate elements of the same agency. “A deep understanding of interoperability is one of the many strengths of the Airwave can bring to its customers,” he said. “Part of my role is to leverage the expertise we have developed in the UK in this area, so we can apply it to maximum effect in Australia.”