TfL launches massive radio system tender

Transport for London (TfL) launched a tender on 19 April worth an estimated £25-35 million for a robust digital voice radio system with resilient emergency communications that will be DMR Tier III compliant and 9,500 bus radios. It will replace the current analogue MPT1327 system used by London buses, which is provided by Tait Communications, acting as a subcontractor to Trapeze, the holder of the iBus contract.

The tender focuses on addressing the capacity issues with the current system and scaling with the forecasted growth of TfL’s bus network over the next 10 years and its implications for call volumes (the current system handles an average of 62,000 calls per day, rising to more than 74,000 during major events or disruption). The successful bidder must reuse many of the existing system’s asset, significantly improve voice quality, provide encryption security and bring functionality improvements.

In addition, the tender requires that the eventual winner develops a bridge/gateway solution that will enable radio communication between radio system users, and users with broadband devices or smartphone applications, “to deal with incidents and major events, such as the London Marathon and Prudential Ride London or industrial action and extreme weather.”

There must also be options to include other transport services within the TfL Group, “including but not limited to DLR and Trams.

Image copyright: TfL

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