A BT-led consortium, bidding to supply a massive radio network for the UK emergency services, has attracted interest from 90 manufacturers.
Quadrant - a joint venture between BT, Nokia, Motorola and systems integrator TRW - is the only bidder to supply a #1.5 billion radio communications network based on Tetra (Trans-European Trunked Radio).
Now it has attracted over 90 vendors to a suppliers? forum, from which users can specify their own equipment such as radio terminals and control room systems. The network infrastructure would be supplied by the consortium members.
The Home Office is expected to award Quadrant the 15-year contract by the end of the year. This would follow its acceptance of Quadrant?s current Project Definition Study, which outlines the network and its use, said Peter Warburton, Quadrant sales and marketing manager.
?We?ve already won the contract for the study. If this is successful the DTI will award us a licence to operate between the 380MHz and 400MHz band for public safety radio,? he said.
Quadrant expects the network will be rolled out for police forces in England and Wales from 1999, with Scotland online by 2004.
Tetra is a digital network that enables fleets of vehicles to communicate with each other, and with PTSN and mobile phones. Because users can also send data, and make calls to other networks, Tetra could potentially compete with traditional cellular and paging operators.
Earlier this month, Dolphin was launched in the UK to build and run a #200 million Tetra network for the commercial market. Quadrant will focus solely in the public safety world.
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