Telent takes over all operational telecommunications services for Highways England


One of the UK’s leading mission-critical network systems providers, Telent Technology Services, has announced the successful transition of its contract to manage and transform Highways England’s road telecommunications network.

The £450m (US$586m) National Roads Telecommunications Service (NRTS) contract will enable Highways England (HE) to transform its network and deliver the next generation of telecommunications services to meet the needs of the business and support development of future technologies such as 5G. During the 26-week transition period since the contract commenced on March 16, Telent has stood up a 270-person organization (with half of this number transferring under TUPE), a 50-company supply chain, a nationwide logistics infrastructure with 240 delivery locations, a 24/7/365 Networks Operations Center, a new technology development center, and transferred 39 in-life project schemes, all without any impact on operational service.

The contract also includes a new initiative – a technology transformation program – which was a fundamental requirement in the HE contract. Comprising of 11 technology projects, including the introduction of new wireless and IP CCTV services, new management systems, and the next-generation upgrade of all technology, the transformation program will ultimately enable HE to prepare for the future and enable safer roads, more efficient delivery and a better road-user experience.

The seven-year deal has seen Telent take over the current NRTS, which connects over 30,000 roadside devices, such as CCTV cameras and roadside phones, to HE’s seven regional control centers. The move will support the UK government’s Roads Investment Strategy, which will create free-flowing, smart and sustainable roads. The network covers over 3,730 miles (6,000km) of cabling, 145 transmission stations, more than 10,000 roadside cabinets, and 17,000 pieces of telecommunications equipment.

“The digital transformation of England’s motorways and major A roads is finally a reality. We’re dedicated to introducing the next generation of communications technology for drivers, with associated long-term economic benefits for UK PLC,” said Chris Metcalfe, managing director for NRTS at Telent. “Our foundations are with our people, without whom we wouldn’t be able to continue driving technology innovation. As InfraTech comes of age, introducing a new era of infrastructure development, we look forward to continuing our work with Highways England. This project fully epitomizes the Telent ethos of innovation, collaboration and transformation.”

Telent’s CEO, Mark Plato, added, “Our strength lies in our experience and processes, with a proven track-record of taking over networks and transforming them, so they are fit for the future. It is with great pleasure and pride that I can announce that we have successfully commenced full delivery of the NRTS services. Ultimately, we will provide the world-class technology and services needed to develop and operate the intelligent highways of the future, thereby enabling safer roads, more efficient delivery, and an improved experience for drivers.”

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Adam joined the company in 1994, and has been News Editor of TTT since 2009. In his other role as Circulation Manager, he helped create the original Traffic Technology International distribution list 23 years ago, and has been working on it ever since. Outside of work, he is a keen fisherman, runs a drumming band, and plays an ancient version of cricket.