Wireless & Mobile enablement
The wireless port of Pipavav
Gujarat Port of Pipavav (GPPL) is located in Saurashtra and
operated by APM Terminals. Being a relatively new port, its requirement included
applications without bottlenecks. One of the major objective of the deployment
was to enable Wi-Fi hot-spots within the port campus using
MIMO (Multiple Input-Multiple Output) technology. The bandwidth deployed is
10 Gbps uplink cable to avoid possible bottlenecks.
The Wire-Free Choice
The adoption of MIMO Wi-Fi was mainly due to unsatisfactory performance of PCMCIA
cards. It was also to enable the single mode fibre-based backbone to cover geographically
vast multiple remote locations with high bandwidth. This included implementation
of voice over fibre using IP-PBX solutions to converge internal video conferencing
and voice on the same data network.
Prior to the implementation there was no wireless network at the port. Jaspal
Bakshi, GPPLs President, IT, led the initiative to streamline various
critical business processes and build an IT infrastructure with a 24x7 redundant
backbone. The deployment was rolled out with GEO Integrators as the system integrators
and D-Link as consultants.
The network was scalable to complement convergence with all the possible IT
and business support requirements. The initial equipment included D-Links
DWL-120 11 Mbps, DWL-650+ 22 Mbps, DWL-630G 54 Mbps and DWL-650G+ 108 Mbps Wi-Fi
This equipment was shifted over to D-Links DWL-2100AP (access point),
2.4 GHz 802.11g high speed 108 Mbps access point with DWL-650M, and 108 Mbps
802.11g MIMO wireless card bus adapters with HDF-400 extension cable with Nplug
It was also observed that the coverage of the MIMO Wireless Card was six to
eight times better than the normal Wi-Fi-enabled devices if used with a MIMO
router and access point. Hence, to further improve the performance, MIMO routers
or access points was deployed.
For better signal reception and smooth data flow, ANT-24-1500 omni-directional
antenna was deployed that that coverd an approximate radius of 10 km. The deployment
included electrical safety equipments such as surge arrestors and protectors.
GPPL opted for 10 Gbps network speed with 1 Gbps redundancy
at the jetty due to dense network traffic there. Users at the jetty are presently
using an ERP package called TOS for yard management and vessel planning. MIMO
also contributed to run bandwidth-intensive applications such as ERP and video
conferencing. The user traffic pertaining to ERP is carried by the 10 Gigabit
uplink from the jetty to the fibre backbone. Intranet users were converged on
the same uplink.
- They have moved on from point to point,
to point to multipoint technology
- The range of connectivity has been increased
to three to four kilometres.
- To transfer data as well as voice, they
have started using VOIP.
- They have started using ERP for handling
- Overall the company is satisfied with
the performance of Wi-Fi using MIMO
The project was carried out in two phases. The first phase included fibre network
design and cabling followed by the deployment of X-Stack high-end switches with
redundancy at switch and fibre level. The 10 Gig uplink cable was pulled from
the new IT set-up up to the jetty. This in turn was connected to the GPPL server
The second phase included actual Wi-Fi MIMO technology-based deployment and
installation. To wirelessly connect from various remote locations, bridging
was also deployed which added better signal reception across the port premises.
Civil work was carried out by GPPL, while the installation and commissioning
of the entire network deployment was carried out by a team of professional from
GEO Integrators. Testing with quality assurance and control were jointly conducted
by an internal IT team of Port Pipavav and a team from GEO Integrators.