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Active Control Plans to Install First Wi-Fi Mesh Network to Manage Mine Operations and Track Personnel and Equipment

3/25/09 - Active Control Technology Inc. (TSX-V:ACT) announced that it will install its first MSHA-approved ActiveMine network. The new system, to be installed in a West Virginia underground coal mine next month, will consist of a 50-node network, making it the largest MSHA-approved underground Wi-Fi network anywhere.

The installation will mark the first time a coal mine has deployed a full Wi-Fi standards-based communications network. This means that with ActiveMine, the premier wireless voice communications and tracking system for mines, the mine can utilize any Internet Protocol-based application over its network.

"ActiveMine's open standard frees mines from being locked into proprietary and antiquated wired networks," said Steve Barrett, President and CEO, Active Control. "We have brought the Internet to mining and made it 100 percent wireless, making possible a world of new applications and devices for mines."

The new system will replace a pre-MSHA approved ActiveMine system which has been in operation since May 2008 in a non-gassy area of the mine. ActiveMine's Wi-Fi telephones are expected to receive MSHA approval soon.

The ActiveMine communications, data and tracking system enables monitoring of production, personnel and equipment in all types of surface and underground mining environments, including coal and hard rock mines. ActiveMine is positioned to bring to mining what the Internet brought to the world. The system is designed to:

  • Provide the world's first standards-based Wi-Fi + IP network for the underground mining industry with a 54Mb wireless backhaul.
  • Provide full duplex, clear voice communications and tracking as required by law in US underground coal mines.
  • Provide ample bandwidth to move existing legacy applications onto a single standards-based network, eliminating multiple proprietary networks.
  • Enable the deployment of an unprecedented array of new IP-based applications in mines - applications that are not possible with proprietary and antiquated wired networks.
  • Enable the deployment of any Wi-Fi device in mines, thereby driving the availability of new devices, controlling costs, and freeing mine operators from being locked into proprietary technology.

    By Robert Hoskins

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