International Trade Secretary Anne-Marie Trevelyan has announced the formation of a new £1bn communications infrastructure partnership between Transport for London (TfL) and BAI Communications.

The partnership claims it will “transform London into a smart city and boost connectivity across the capital” creating 600 jobs.

The deal formed part of broader collaborative talks between the UK and Australian governments. Trevelyan announced the partnership at a launch event at the Leadenhall Building in the City of London alongside Australian Minister Dan Tehan.

Trevelyan said: “As we strike ambitious trade deals across the globe, including with our good friends Australia we are opening up even more opportunities for investors, exporters and businesses to grow, creating jobs and boosting the economy.”

Earlier this year, TfL awarded a 20-year contract to BAI Communications to deliver uninterrupted 4G coverage across all London Underground stations and tunnels, by the end of 2024. As part of the enhanced partnership announced by the International Trade Secretary, BAI has pledged to upgrade and add 4G and 5G-capable mobile network capacity across the Underground in a move it claims will “end one of the key ‘not spots’ in the UK”.

Billy D’Arcy, CEO of BAI Communications UK, said: ”We are proud to be making such a significant investment into an incredible partnership with Transport for London, that will transform London into a leading smart city. Our Australian experience in managing critical communications and our wider global experience in delivering large-scale, connectivity infrastructure projects that will ensure people in London can stay connected in the moments that matter. It will also create a city-wide innovation platform for creative and digital entrepreneurs in the UK and worldwide to build upon, making London a smarter and safer place to live in, work in and visit.”

Total trade between the UK and Australia was worth £13.9bn last year.

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Author: Richard Hook