Christchurch company wins lucrative $30 million contract with London bus fleet

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NZN

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

A bus driver at the wheel.

Privately-owned Tait has been selected by Transport for London to manufacture and replace both the communications infrastructure providing coverage across Greater London and the terminal equipment on the city's fleet, Tait says.

TfL's bus network consists of over 650 contracted bus routes served by more than 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 says the bulk of the $30m 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.

"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," Mr 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.

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