The UK’s largest transport operator, FirstGroup, has selected glbc for a nationwide secure WAN. I must admit that from this side of the Atlantic, I actually thought ‘transport operator? I wonder if they own fiber or lease wavelengths’. But of course I soon found that FirstGroup specializes in transporting people and things rather than mere photons. Their business include a quarter of the passenger rail network in the UK as well as a host of bus services in both the US and the UK.
The £8.2, four year contract will span some 700 sites, and key elements include Global Crossing’s managed security solutions and implementation project management. 700 is a lot of sites, and a solid WAN is critical to the operation of a modern transport network. It’s not a new win though, as FirstGroup has leveraged Global Crossing’s managed voice services for some time. It’s more of an upgrade, bringing data networks into the fold with an eye on a converged IP network down the line somewhere.
According to the PR, a key differentiator for Global Crossing on this deal was its existing experience with networks for railroads, including a similar 800 site deployment – and I’m curious who that one was with. I didn’t find that one in a quick search – it’s probably not one that has been announced – but I did find this 200 site one with National Express Group a couple of years ago. The company serves some 90% of rail operators in the UK, so it is obviously one of the company’s core markets there. That presence surely derives from the former Racal assets.
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