The 9,000 strong fleet of London Buses will be getting new digital in-cab radios from 2017.
Transport for London (TfL) has flagged up the project to replace the existing analogue MPT 1327 radio system by issuing a Prior Information Notice (PIN) in the Official Journal of the European Union (OJEU).
The PIN indicates that the actual contract for a new radio system will be advertised in the second quarter of 2017. A DMR Tier III trunked radio system will replace the MPT 1327 system, supplied by Tait Communications, which comprises 10 base stations deployed around the M25. These provide 76 VHS radio channels, 10 of which are control channels.
Speaking to Wireless earlier this year, Dr Dimitris Kaltakis, Radio Services Manager at London Buses, explained that the radio system, designed for 32-25,000 calls per day, is now carrying in excess of 65,000 calls. The system has reached capacity and needs to be replaced.
By moving to a DMR system, London Buses will be able to use its existing frequencies, base station sites and antennas, and by migrating to digital it will double the number of available radio channels.
The contract is likely to be keenly contested by professional mobile radio (PMR) manufacturers as it is not just a very large contract, but it will be one of the first uses of the relatively new DMR Tier III trunked digital radio standard in a major transportation system. A successful deployment will be a considerable advert for the winning company when other transportation look to use DMR.
London Buses gears up for DMR in-vehicle radio project
Keeping it real-time on the buses