Just months after RailCorp NSW outsourced key IT services to Fujitsu, the state-owned rail corporation has revealed it is now working on an enterprise-wide strategy for the telecommunications side of its technology operations.
RailCorp operates the state's rail network, facilitating some 900,000 passenger journeys and 190,000 tonnes of freight movements daily, according to its Web site.
"The objective of the project will be to develop an enterprise-wide telecommunications strategy and implementation plan that is tightly linked to the corporate and strategic implementation plans, and will support RailCorp's long-term telecommunications needs," RailCorp said in tender documents released last week.
The new strategy will guide RailCorp's operation and development of its telecommunications assets from 2007 through 2015.
The strategy will address among other things issues such as technology life cycles and effective use of current assets, in addition to "cost effective sourcing strategies" and potential income streams.
RailCorp operates a number of current and legacy telecommunications platforms, including site infrastructure (for example towers), copper and fibre-optic cable networks, data and voice equipment, carrier links (example E1,VSAT, ISDN and Ethernet), and a variety of network management systems.
"Historically, these systems and the associated infrastructure have been developed specifically for NSW and the infrastructure supporting these systems is largely owned and managed internally," RailCorp's tender documents said.
The tender documents noted those platforms were used to carry business and operational voice and data, as well as support rail applications such as train monitoring and control systems, passenger information systems, electronic surveillance, ticketing and others.
"The convergence of IT and communications technology is rapidly occurring across many industries and RailCorp will need to adapt its applications to be flexible in this new environment," said RailCorp in the documents.
The company noted the new strategy would enable it to develop a more "modern and cost effective" telecomms infrastructure that would be capable of supporting future applications until 2015.
Despite the need to formulate a long-term strategy, RailCorp's telecomms environment has not sat still in 2006.
In the first half of this year the company went to market for more than half a million dollars worth of networking equipment. In addition, in recent weeks RailCorp started looking for a supplier to provide high-level support to its Ericsson PABX-based telephony network.
However, perhaps the biggest telecomms initiative on RailCorp's mind is the NSW government's announcement early this month that it would use radio spectrum from defunct telco One.Tel to build a new AU$200 million digital train radio system.
RailCorp had not responded to questions on its telecomms strategy by the time of publication. The company's technology operations are headed up by chief information officer Vicki Coleman.