Network Rail, whose infrastructure carries some 2.75 million passengers every day, is porting 23,000 numbers from Vodafone to rival network O2, in a move the latter is claiming is the UK's largest ever porting of such volume, in addition to being its biggest corporate customer win.
Under the terms of the deal, O2 will provide the rail infrastructure giant with voice, BlackBerry and other mobile data services, with a longer term view of helping Network Rail to create bespoke solutions to demonstrate a new benchmark for mobile services in the rail industry in general.
The main aim of the partnership will be to provide benefits to both the bottom line and customers by identifying areas of the business where mobile technology can play a valuable role, according to O2.
Modernisation was a key aspect in Network Rail's takeover of the railway network in late 2002 and its mission remains to "provide a safe, reliable and efficient railway fit for the 21st century".
Technology will clearly play a key role in achieving this vision, as the company's website states: "Network Rail represents a new beginning, a new vision and a new way of delivering Britain's railway. We are investing in our workforce and introducing new technologies".
"We are keen to embrace new ways of communicating with our people and suppliers and changing the way we work by using new technology," said Catherine Doran, Network Rail's director of information management. "O2 has demonstrated the same passion and drive to help us achieve these bold targets, by showing great innovation, good customer service and commercial capability."
Ben Dowd, business sales director at O2 UK, added: "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."
"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," he said.
Get the ITPro. daily newsletter
Receive our latest news, industry updates, featured resources and more. Sign up today to receive our FREE report on AI cyber crime & security - newly updated for 2023.
Maggie has been a journalist since 1999, starting her career as an editorial assistant on then-weekly magazine Computing, before working her way up to senior reporter level. In 2006, just weeks before ITPro was launched, Maggie joined Dennis Publishing as a reporter. Having worked her way up to editor of ITPro, she was appointed group editor of CloudPro and ITPro in April 2012. She became the editorial director and took responsibility for ChannelPro, in 2016.
Her areas of particular interest, aside from cloud, include management and C-level issues, the business value of technology, green and environmental issues and careers to name but a few.