Highway to the future

Highway to the future

Highways England has awarded a contract worth nearly half a billion pounds to UK technology and network services company, telent Technology Services, to help keep England moving into the future.

Highways England has awarded the contract for the operation and management of National Roads Telecommunication Services (NRTS), 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.

Commencing spring 2018, telent, together with its technology partners, will collaborate with Highways England to transform the NRTS network and roll-out innovative, carrier grade network technology, which will support the provision of new telecommunication services. The project’s aim is to increase safety for road workers and users, helping to 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, says, “This large, seven-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.

Currently, 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.

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