O2 scores its biggest-ever corporate contract

The deal with Network Rail will see 23,000 numbers ported over from the rail-infrastructure company's previous supplier, Vodafone

O2 has won its largest-ever corporate contract, taking over 23,000 Network Rail connections from Vodafone.

According to O2, the contract marks the UK's most extensive port of numbers. The operator will be providing voice, BlackBerry and other mobile-data services for Network Rail, which owns and administers the country's rail infrastructure. It is likely that the services will be focused on "Network Rail engineers out in the field", an O2 spokesperson told ZDNet.co.uk on Thursday.

"This is an incredible win for O2 and provides us with another great example of how we are changing the face of the mobile marketplace," said Ben Dowd, O2's business sales director, on Thursday. "We genuinely believe that customer and employee satisfaction are intrinsically linked to business success and, together with Network Rail, we believe we can help the company achieve its objectives."

Network Rail's director of information management, Catherine Doran, said the deal would help the company "embrace new ways of communicating with our people and suppliers and changing the way we work by using new technology".

A spokesperson for Network Rail said the decision to drop Vodafone for O2 came about as part of a general overview of all the company's contracts. "We decided to put it out to tender and O2 come up with an effective proposition," the spokesperson said.

According to O2's spokesperson, it will take a couple of months to transfer all 23,000 connections. Further details on the services O2 will provide to its new customer are not yet available, as the operator is "currently working with Network Rail to understand their needs and develop bespoke solutions for them", the spokesperson added.

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