Over the past decades, construction firms have been using several off-the-shelf telecommunication tools and techniques to provide the communication means necessary to their mobile personnel on the jobsite. It is obvious that two-way radio transceivers such as walkie-talkie were the de facto standard adopted within the industry at first sight and for many years for very good reasons i.e. inexpensive, ease of installation, etc. Today’s rapid expansion and advancements in the telecommunications field are changing the way people communicate. Moreover, while legacy systems including wired, mobile and wireless technologies are offering a wider range of communications to the construction industry, this is not without constraints; such constraints could be of a technological and financial nature, limiting their availability to a particular class of users in certain circumstances. Furthermore, it is well known that the construction industry is information intensive and all teams involved in a given construction project are dispersed. The need to communicate with one another must be done in an effective, financially affordable and easy to use way that should satisfy the project requirements. An alternative to such traditional systems is the use of IP (Internet Protocol) Telephony communications instead. This new and emerging technology could offer to the construction industry as a whole, benefits and values that are absent in the traditional telecommunications systems. This paper provides a summary of the telecommunications means and technologies used in construction with an overview of the advantages and drawbacks of each technology. It also describes the new communication paradigm that is the IP Telephony and its potential use at the jobsite. This includes the presentation and description of a generic integrated framework which utilizes existing technologies but its implementation offers increased benefits. The various modes of communications are described under this common framework and the paper outlines some of the implementation issues, including the business case for such an improved way of working. This paper is part of a research project undertaken by the authors at the University of Salford.
|Number of pages||20|
|Journal||Journal of Information Technology in Construction (ITCon)|
|Issue number||Special issue|
|Publication status||Published - Aug 2004|