Highway to the future: innovative service approach keeping the country’s traffic moving is about to get a whole lot smarter
Highways England has awarded a contract worth nearly half a billion pounds to leading UK technology and network services company, telent Technology Services, to help keep England moving into the future.
Highways England today announced it has awarded the contract for the operation and management of NRTS (National Roads Telecommunication Services), a critical component of national infrastructure supporting the country’s 4,400 mile strategic road network, to telent Technology Services Ltd (telent).
The contract will see telent take over the current NRTS network and provide an end-to-end managed service from the 24-hour network operations centre at Quinton, Birmingham. Field services will transition from the current suppliers to telent, including current staff that will transfer under TUPE to join the telent team.
Additionally, telecommunications project works involving changes to and extensions of the network to support the government’s Road Investment Strategy, including telecommunications services supporting the rollout of smart motorways and expressways will transfer to telent.
From spring 2018, telent, together with its world class technology partners, will collaborate with Highways England to transform the NRTS network and roll-out innovative, world-class, carrier grade network technology, which will support the provision of new telecommunication services. This will increase safety for road workers and users, help ensure that drivers and their passengers can travel with minimal delays, and facilitate the development of future communications-based services alongside the strategic road network.
telent CEO, Mark Plato, said: “This large, 7 year contract is an outstanding accomplishment. With telent’s proven capability designing, delivering and supporting England’s critical national infrastructure, we are uniquely positioned to support Highways England who we have had a relationship with for over 20 years. We are excited to begin work transforming the NRTS network, ensuring we deliver a service that consistently upholds health and safety standards and delivers the required performance.
“Our technology innovation of NRTS will provide a world class, superfast network to support Highways England’s plans for upgrading the strategic road network. The scale and capability of the transformed NRTS network will be on a par with all but the very largest ISPs’ networks, and this reflects telent’ proven track record of working with service providers to transform their networks.”
NRTS is used to connect Highways England’s seven regional control centres with over 30,000 roadside devices, including CCTV cameras, message signs, emergency roadside phones and smart motorway equipment. Today NRTS comprises approximately 6,000 miles of fibre and copper networks, 145 transmission stations and almost 5,000 roadside cabinets.
Highways England’s requirements for the new contract included effective service continuity and the ability to undertake a transformation programme without impacting on the service, whilst also reducing roadside maintenance activity. The upgraded programme will improve reliability, increase remote services, and support the introduction of new services such as wireless and IP CCTV.
Chief Information Officer at Highways England, Tony Malone said:
“We are pleased to announce the award of the second National Roads Telecommunications Service contract to telent Technology Services Ltd. With their proactive approach to innovation and collaboration, they will help Highways England deliver a service that will provide improvements in safety, customer service and delivery, as well as enable us to support emerging technologies such as connected vehicles and 5G.”