U.K. Police Sign $4B Digital Radio Deal with BT

PARIS (03/08/2000) - Police officers across the U.K. are to be linked by a single nationwide wireless digital voice and data network, which will replace a patchwork of aging analog systems in use by local police forces.

A consortium led by U.K. telecommunications operator British Telecommunications PLC (BT) announced today that it has won a contract to supply digital mobile radio services to the U.K.'s police forces under the government-sponsored Public Safety Radio Communications Project (PSRCP).

The contract is estimated to be worth 2.5 billion pounds (US$4 billion) over a 19-year period, according to a statement from Motorola, Inc., a member of the winning Quadrant consortium. The other consortium members are BT and system integrator TRW, Inc.

Quadrant has been the sole bidder for the PSRCP contract since a rival group fell apart in 1998.

Under the contract, BT will provide a nationwide network based on the TETRA (Terrestrial Trunked Radio) digital mobile radio standard. Each of the 53 police services in England, Scotland and Wales will be able to subscribe to integrated voice and data services on the network. The system will replace the patchwork of incompatible regional radio systems currently in use.

Motorola said it has won a sub-contract worth hundreds of millions of pounds from BT to build the radio infrastructure which BT will subsequently operate.

The company expects nationwide roll-out of the network to be complete by 2005, with the first police force due to begin migration to the service later this year.

Quadrant, based in London, can be reached at +44 207 932 7489 or found on the Web at http://www.quadrant.org.uk/. BT, based in London, can be reached at +44 207 356 5000 or on the Web at http://www.bt.com/. Motorola, based in Schaumberg, Ill., can be reached on the Web at http://www.motorola.com/. TRW can be reached on the web at http://www.trw.com/.

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