Tag Archives: Business News

Telent awarded Smart Highway contract

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Highway to the future.

Innovative service approach keeping the country’s traffic moving is about to get a whole lot smarter.

Congratulations from everyone at Co-Star to Telent for winning the Smart Higway contact.

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.”

Source: Telent

Rakuten Japan’s answer to Amazon plans to build its own cell-phone network

Japan’s largest e-commerce company wants to shake up the country’s wireless market.

Rakuten (RKUNF) said in a statement Thursday that it’s working on plans to build its own mobile network, aiming to launch services in 2019 and eventually sign up at least 15 million subscribers.

It’s a bold move from a company that started out 20 years ago with just six employees. Rakuten is now a $14 billion internet giant that employs more than 14,000 people.

Like its U.S. counterpart, Amazon (AMZN), Rakuten is best known for its internet shopping portals. Run by its billionaire founder, Hiroshi Mikitani, it also has a hand in a variety of other services, including video streaming, messaging apps and payment services.

The announcement of its wireless ambitions comes at a time when many carriers around the world are trying to build up their digital content businesses in search of more revenue.

Verizon (VZ) recently bought Yahoo, and AT&T (T) is trying to buy Time Warner (TWX), the parent company of CNN. Meanwhile, one of Japan’s top wireless providers, SoftBank (SFTBF), is aggressively investing in internet and technology companies around the world.

Rakuten wants to go in the opposite direction.

It said moving into the wireless industry will give it “a new engine for further growth” and make it “one of the few companies in the world that can provide a comprehensive package of services” in e-commerce, internet finance, digital content and mobile communications.

Delivering beers by drone
Delivering beers by drone

But Rakuten will face some stiff challenges taking on SoftBank and the two other wireless carriers that dominate the Japanese market, NTT DoCoMo (DCM) and KDDI (KDDIF).

Those three companies are all several times the size of Rakuten, which will have to spend heavily to build out a network across Japan.

Related: SoftBank is the new kingmaker in tech

Rakuten on Thursday estimated it would have to borrow as much as 600 billion yen ($5.3 billion) in the coming years to pay for its plans.

Investors seemed unsettled by the announcement. Rakuten shares fell nearly 5% in Tokyo on Thursday.

An upstart fourth player could inject some competition into the Japanese market, which Rakuten described as “a coordinated oligopoly.”

The Japanese government and other critics have repeatedly slammed the big three carriers over skyrocketing prices, pressing them to offer cheaper plans.

Rakuten thinks it can make a difference if the government decides to give it a chunk of 4G frequencies.

“The group will be ideally positioned to provide affordable and easy-to-use mobile communications services, as well as maximize the benefits to consumers,” it said.

Rakuten already has some experience in the wireless industry. It launched Rakuten Mobile in 2014, but that involves renting capacity on DoCoMo’s network rather building its own.

Source: Sharisse Pham CNN