Christchurch-based Orion has been named the recipient of the international Apex Award for 2012 by the Utilities Telecommunications Council – the first time it has been granted outside of the United States.
The electricity network company got the nod for its private mission-critical radio communications network which withstood all of the Canterbury earthquakes, allowing teams to start to restore power immediately while maintaining communications in the field and reducing the duration of power cuts.
The technology was developed in conjunction with MiMOMax Wireless Limited.
"Seven years ago, after a worldwide search for a modern wireless communications solution, we found the solution right here in Christchurch with a technology developed by MiMOMax Wireless Limited," said Orion chief executive Rob Jamieson.
"The result was a world-first wireless network which has proved its resilience and value over the past 18 months."
The wireless solution allows Orion to 'talk to' various assets around the electricity network over a large and diverse geographical area, and operate and protect the network by remote control.
UTC acknowledged Orion's earthquake response was of a standard that would not normally be achievable.