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Transport for London awards O2 mobile networking services contract

Three-year services contract will see mobile network operator O2 supply bespoke mobile services and devices to Transport for London (TfL)

Transport for London (TfL) has awarded mobile network operator O2 a major networking services contract.

The £6.5m, three-year contract covers bespoke mobile network services, smartphone and tablet technology to give TfL staff up-to-date information to help support customers on the capital’s transport network.

It comes following a lengthy procurement process conducted jointly with the Greater London Authority (GLA).

TfL CIO Steve Townsend said: “This contract with Telefónica O2 will support our ongoing plans to equip staff with the modern technology needed for them to help and support customers.

“The competitive procurement process for the contract was designed to provide high-quality services while delivering value for fare- and taxpayers.”

Billy D’Arcy, managing director of O2’s public sector business, said: “Equipping employees with digital technology can have a huge impact – not only in improving customer service, but also in significantly boosting productivity. In fact, our research shows that providing staff with connectivity and access to online tools and information while they’re at work is helping the public sector save up to 2 million hours a week.

“We look forward to working with TfL over the coming years to ensure a smooth-running service which benefits the network’s passengers and staff alike.”

The award of the contract comes after TfL was issued with repeated warnings by the Independent Investment Programme Advisory Group (IIPAG), a body set up to advise the Mayor of London’s office about TfL’s projects and investments.

IIPAG said it believes TfL wastes £300m a year on fragmented and ageing telecoms services that are no longer fit for purpose.

It has issued numerous calls for TfL to restructure its telecoms model. In 2014 it recommended the creation of a single team to manage TfL’s system-wide telecoms assets and services, in an attempt to bring down its annual telecoms spending.

But one year on, a follow-up review found very little progress had been made.

TfL is currently undergoing a separate £400m networks tower procurement for a wide area network (WAN) and access network managed service, which will be awarded in June 2016.

The contract will cover networks tower ecosystem collaboration, service management, project delivery, design and technical assurance, network transformation, WAN provision, access network provision and support services.

The previous TfL networking contract, held by Fujitsu since 2004, was extended after it expired at the end of 2014.

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