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Mon 1 Jan 2007 11:31 AM

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USRobotics wins its first Wi-Fi project in the oil and gas sector

Secure internet access for visitors on the move is the aim of USRobotics’ first foray into the local oil and gas market with Gasco

Chicago-based, USRobotics (USR) has launched its campaign to implement campus-wide wireless internet access for oil and gas projects by winning its first Wi-Fi project in the field.

USR secured the contract to implement its Professional Access Points at the gas processing plant in the onshore field at Asab, in Abu Dhabi. The plant is being built for Abu Dhabi Gas Industries (Gasco) by Bechtel, who describes the biggest challenge as providing internet access to its guests without compromising the network security, by preventing access to intranet resources.

USR’s system will initially provide Wi-Fi connectivity to more than 100 Gasco executives at the plant.

“Our services will be important to the oil and gas market because many of the onshore and offshore gas fields require wireless technology. Wireless has been accepted in this industry and companies see a direct return of their investment in wireless capabilities,” said Hishamul Hasheel, technical sales manager, Middle East and North Africa, USRobotics.

When the project is completed, three areas of 162 metres squared will have Wi-Fi connectivity using multiple Professional Access Points, which offer secure access as a guest user.

“We are glad to have this opportunity to work in the oil and gas industry as it helps us to demonstrate our versatility,” said Sumit Kumar, regional manager, Middle East and North Africa, USRobotics. “For people working in the onshore field at Asab, Wi-Fi connectivity…will ensure data transmissions throughout the facilities are secure, reliable and fast.”

USR plans to expand across the Middle East and is soon expected to announce details of projects in Saudi Arabia and Qatar. The company, which has recently been working with ADNOC, has already started to receive enquires from Saudi companies as well as petrochemical and crude oil companies in Dubai.

“We have also been trying to get into ARAMCO, which is a key area for us. We already have three or four projects of similar size lined up in the Abu Dhabi market,” said Hasheel.

Challenging environmental conditions have a huge bearing on wireless outdoor deployment, but USR claim it has been maximising its engineering resources to increase the ruggedness and stability of its designs.

“We offer products which can withstand extreme weather conditions. We can cope with humidity and high temperatures. We are trying to ensure that from the design stage up, the wireless outdoor Access Points are put through rigorous heating and humidity tests. We ensure an international level of testing and security certification from external regulatory bodies,” added Hasheel. One of the stipulations of the Bechtel contract was that it provided USR with appropriate test labs.

Bechtel is currently working on phase one of the project, which is expected to be completed by the end of December.

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