The Höft & Wessel Group is the leading German IT and engineering group; specialising in mobile data, ticketing and parking solutions. Established in 1978 by the two entrepreneurs of the same name, today Höft & Wessel generates sales revenues of nearly €100 million with a workforce of 500 employees based at their headquarters in Hanover, Germany and Swindon, UK. In Europe, the Almex division is among the leading providers of ticketing and telematic systems for public transport and check-in solutions for the airline industry.
Within Scotland, the Almex business division have supplied and support large operating companies such as First Group and Arriva, as well as other independent Scottish bus operators and local authorities as part on Transport Scotland Concessionary Travel Project.
With an on vehicle ticket machine install base exceeding 3,500 units distributed across in excess of 120 depots, Höft & Wessel were looking for a partner to design, supply and install a wireless LAN solution able to provide connectivity throughout every bus depot in Scotland.
The aim of the wireless network was to streamline business processes and increase the efficiency of the current bus ticketing system by seamlessly connecting all of the wireless ticketing devices. Due to the vast number of locations and devices encompassed in the project, Höft & Wessel were looking for a company who were both experts in the field of wireless technology and had a background to suit the specific requirements of the challenging project.
Collaborating with Höft & Wessel, Boston Networks Ltd carried out detailed cabling and radio frequency planning throughout all of the necessary bus depots. Providing qualified design and engineering resources over a sustained period, Boston Networks Ltd surveyed and analysed each depot independently to ascertain exactly how many access points were required to provide the coverage required by the customer.
Deploying hundreds of Cisco® wireless access points, Boston Networks Ltd designed installed and commissioned a bespoke solution that provides connectivity to over 120 bus depots throughout Scotland, as well as for other projects in the UK and Europe.
The intelligent wireless network provides cost effective, secure connectivity to all of the Almex on bus ticketing devices. Each device now connects to the network wirelessly when a bus enters the depot and the system then downloads all passenger and fare information from the ticket device whilst also uploading any new fare rates or special promotions.
The supplied wireless solution has streamlined the process for the flow of information from the Almex on-vehicle ticketing system to the 120+ depots, with the added benefit of improving the immediacy of data availability for operator management reporting and business performance analysis, in addition to reducing the manual procedures for bus drivers.
As part of the support phase of the project, Boston Networks also provide Höft & Wessel with ongoing pro-active and preventative maintenance services guaranteeing 24/7 business continuity.
“We have built a strong working relationship with Boston since the projects inception in 2007. Boston has accommodated the networking requirements of each of Almex’s 60 plus customers in Scotland while dealing with each operating company’s specific operational procedures and preferences.
In addition, throughout the implementation, Boston has provided the flexibility needed meet the changing needs of the project.
Having reached project completion, we look forward to working with Boston as part of our on going commitment to Scottish operators, as well as future opportunities as they arise.” – Clive Bates, Contracts Manager Almex UK.