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Tait chosen for $30m London bus radio upgrade

Christchurch-based Tait Communications has won a contract worth $30 million over several years to replace the British capital city’s bus radio communications with a new digital mobile radio system.

Privately-owned Tait Communications has been selected by Transport for London to manufacture and replace both the communications infrastructure (which provides radio coverage across Greater London) and the terminal equipment on London’s huge bus fleet, Tait said.

TfL’s bus network consists of over 650 contracted bus routes served by over 9500 vehicles with a network of over 19,000 bus stops. Every day, more than 31 million journeys are made across Transport for London's public transport and main road networks.

Tait chief executive Garry Diack said the bulk of the $30 million will come in the first year to get the equipment installed and the network up and running.

The on-bus equipment is based on Tait’s UnifyVehicle platform, which gives access to multiple carrier standards in addition to mobile radio (ie, next-generation cellular and WiFi), and the ability to run customised data applications to improve operational efficiency and the service provided to travellers, the company said.

Unlike a traditional analog radio communication system "by putting a digital radio system into busses it can connect not only through radio but through wifi and satellite to the internet," Diack told BusinessDesk. "When you do that, you can put sensors on the busses to gather data with Internet of Things sensors that can be sent through the digital network."

"That's really what they are investing in for the future," he said.

Tait is already operating in the Irish bus system and is focused on four main markets globally which include public transport, public safety - including police, fire and ambulance infrastructure, utilities around the globe, with a large presence in the US and finally the mining industry.

"Where you have a communications system that is critical to human life, productivity or property protection, that's where Tait's expertise lies," he said.

BusinessDesk

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