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London Underground seeks advice about ICT infrastructure

Will hold talks with tech suppliers on future tube system

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London Underground (LU) has invited technology suppliers to discussions aimed at helping it understand how to develop a communications infrastructure for its next generation of tube railway systems.

The organisation says it wants to talk about trends and innovation, particularly in communications and networking technology, such as switching and routing, network processors and wireless technologies. The technology will be used in an environment that requires high levels of security across a range of sites and by mobile users.

In a notice in the Official Journal of the European Union, LU says that the new railway system is not expected to be fully operational before 2018 at the earliest. The rapid pace of change in technology means it needs an insight into current developments so that the solutions designed are not obsolete before the new railway is introduced.

LU says that its new tube system will rely far more heavily on secure, resilient and fully integrated systems than it does now. Its biggest challenges are that all the components of the new systems are reliable, with no unplanned downtime. They should be protected against malicious attacks as well as being capable of supporting safety-critical functions.

They will also need to manage large volumes of real time as well as historical information from distributed video, voice and data sources, and work equally well above and more than 5.5 metre underground.

The solutions could also be used by other parts of the Transport for London Group.

Once LU has completed a strategic review and developed its associated specification for the future, it will invite tenders for the supply of a communications infrastructure. The procurement process is set to begin in June 2012.

This article was originally published at Guardian Government Computing.

Guardian Government Computing is a business division of Guardian Professional, and covers the latest news and analysis of public sector technology. For updates on public sector IT, join the Government Computing Network here.

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