The Public Transport Authority is investing in Perth’s future rail transport needs with a major upgrade of its radio system.
The Radio Systems Replacement project will involve the design and build of a new digital radio system, to replace the existing analogue system. Unlike the analogue system, which only allows audio (i.e. voice) transmissions, the new digital system will also allow for the transmission of data, which is becoming increasingly important for train operations. It will also provide increased reliability and flexibility, allowing for a more efficient rail network and supporting plans for future expansion.
The new digital radio system will consist of fixed infrastructure (radio masts) at various locations across the rail network. All radio devices in trains, security vehicles and handheld radios for mobile staff will also be replaced with new digital-friendly equipment. Significant commissioning and testing will be carried out to ensure the new system integrates with existing systems.
In July 2018 the PTA awarded a contract for the project’s design and build to the HUGL Consortium – a joint venture between Huawei Australia and UGL. In March 2020 the PTA determined that the project would not be delivered under the current arrangement, due to trade restrictions imposed on Huawei Australia by the U.S. Government. The PTA remains committed to delivering a high-quality digital radio system for its expanding public transport network and is currently working with the Consortium to transition to a new arrangement which will allow this to occur without breaching the U.S. trade restrictions.