Tait extends long-term radio contract with London Buses

Transport for London is looking to migrate to digital radio sometime in the next two years, but with 10,000 buses to fit out it needs to extend Tait Communication’s existing MPT1327 radio contract

Tait extends long-term radio contract with London Buses

Tait Communications has announced it will continue to provide critical communications support to long-standing customer Transport for London (TfL) for the next five years with a multi-million pound contract extension.

TfL’s bus network, one of the world’s largest and most comprehensive urban transport systems, uses Tait’s TaitNet MPT1327 analogue trunked solution to help transport millions of passengers per day across the UK’s busy capital.

The extended contract will see Tait provide continued service and maintenance of the network in partnership with prime contractor Trapeze Switzerland and UK-based network support provider Magdalene. The new contract extension will allow TfL to extend the life of its ‘iBus’ radio system to ensure maximum return on investment in its wider network.

Hans van der Linde, regional general manager of Tait Europe, said that Tait’s ability to deliver cutting edge solutions and 24/7 support to customers helps secure on-going projects with customers such as TfL.

“The contract with TfL is a great example of Tait’s ability to provide value to its customers through strong, long-term partnerships. Working closely with Trapeze and Magdalene has allowed us to continue to provide services tailored to our customers’ needs.

”As part of the original contract with TfL signed in 2005, the TaitNet system was customised to integrate the Trapeze ITS dispatch equipment and TM8200 mobiles with the ‘iBus’ on- board bus computer, ensuring optimal voice communications between dispatchers and bus drivers.”

TfL is looking to go to tender possibly in Q1 2016 for a DMR (digital mobile radio) replacement of the Tait MPT1327 trunked analogue radio system. However, Wireless understands that the tender period is likely to be anything from six to 12 months, possibly longer if there are any challenges.

But 10,000 buses then need to be fitted out with new DMR mobile radios without being taken out of service, which gives installers something like only four hours a night per bus to implement the radio swop out. The original fit out of the Tait MPT radios took three years and that roll out was described as ‘aggressive’.

Hence, TfL’s decision to extend Tait’s existing contract by another five years. The driver behind the decision to switch to DMR is that London Buses needs more radio capacity fairly urgently. In fact, the radio system has already hit peak capacity on recent Tube strike days when the buses have to cope with a hugely increased number of passengers.

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