Handheld Group Wins Large Public Transportation Tender for Rugged PDAs

AsiaNet 44160

LIDKOPING, Sweden, Apr. 12th/PRNewswire-AsiaNet/ —

– Handheld Will Supply Netherlands Railways (NS) With More Than 10,000 Rugged Handhelds, to be Used for Ticket Control, Travel Information and Support of Workflow Processes

The Handheld Group (http://www.handheldgroup.com/) has been awarded the contract to supply the Netherlands Railways (Nederlandse Spoorwegen, NS) with more than 10,000 devices of the rugged handheld Nautiz(R) of which 6000 with an Arcontia RFID module, known as the Nautiz eTicket Pro(R) (http://www.nautiz.com/eticketpro/facts.asp).

(Photo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20110412/448182-a )

(Photo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20110412/448182-b )

The NS European tender was the largest tender in the world for rugged PDA’s in the public transportation sector during the past 12 months as well as one of the largest projects in the world for rugged handheld devices, for all business verticals. Consisting of a technical and commercial evaluation, competition for the tender was spirited and included all the major global suppliers of rugged handheld devices. Even though the Handheld Nautiz eTicket Pro did not achieve the highest technical score, the e-ticketing knowledge of RFID partner Arcontia (http://www.arcontia.se/) and the attractive pricing played a key role in being awarded the contract.

“The Nautiz eTicket Pro provided the best of two worlds for us; a powerful PDA platform integrated with the latest generation Arcontia RFID module,” said Jasper van Zanten, NS Business consultant. “The combination met all the mandatory requirements in the tender and the commercial offer completed the package. Therefore, the complete picture suited our situation best.”

The contract was won by a consortium, HS Mobility, formed by Handheld Group together with the Dutch software partner company Sigmax B.V. (http://www.sigmax.nl/gb/content/5/0/0/home.aspx) Sigmax is a supplier of mobility software for the public transportation market and they contribute the third line support to the project. The contract to supply the more than 10 000 rugged PDAs extend over five years with the majority of and the rollout being concluded during 2011.

“We are extremely proud to have been awarded the contract to supply rugged handhelds for the Netherlands Railways,” said Jerker Hellstrom, CEO of the Handheld Group. “The tender and selection process has been very thorough and the competition for the contract has been fierce. This makes it especially rewarding to be declared the winner.”

The final round of the tender consisted of NS first line personnel evaluating the devices that had been selected from the contenders. In a direct comparison, an overwhelming choice for the excellent ergonomics of the Handheld Nautiz ensured tremendous initial user acceptance for the new Railpocket devices. All first line personnel will be issued their own personal device, which they will use on a daily basis to support their daily activities like ticket control and travel information.

“The Nautiz eTicket Pro from Handheld was selected by the personnel that will actually be using the device, after we determined it met the requirements set in the tender,” said Jasper van Zanten of Netherlands Railways. “Especially at this scale, consulting the end users during the tender process is a pro-active way to create a solid base of user acceptance.”

The Nautiz eTicket Pro rugged PDA, designed specifically for payment transactions and validations within the public transportation market, was developed in collaboration with Arcontia, a leading supplier of smart card readers for public transportation applications.

The integrated smart card reader supports NFC for mobile applications, smart posters and tickets, including both passive reader mode and active peer-to-peer (P2P) mode. The built-in reader complies with all the latest e-ticketing requirements in public transport, supporting a broad range of contactless standards, including the entire MiFare family.

The Nautiz eTicket Pro comes with an 806 MHz processor and advanced features such as an integrated 3-megapixel camera with autofocus, an integrated 2-D imager, WLAN, Bluetooth, 3G cellular capabilities and GPS. The operating system is Windows Mobile 6.1, and the device offers 256 MB of RAM and 512 MB of built-in Flash storage. It includes three integrated SAM (Secure Access Model) slots, which can work in parallel independently of each other for extended performance. The rechargeable 4400 mAh Li-ion battery provides more than a full day’s work on a single charge. The transflective VGA colour display and touch screen provide sharp and clear resolution even while working outdoors.

“Contracts and orders of this magnitude strengthen our position in the public transportation market in particular, but also in all industry verticals. Winning the single largest contract for PDAs in Europe is something we’re elated to have achieved,” says Hellstrom, CEO of the Handheld Group.

Deliveries to NS will commence shortly. The Nautiz eTicket Pro is shown at the UITP (http://www.uitpdubai2011.org/exhibition/welcome/) Public Transportation Conference and Exhibition in Dubai, during this week.

About Handheld:

The Handheld Group is a worldwide supplier of rugged mobile computers and PDAs. Handheld and its partners deliver complete mobility solutions to businesses in industries such as logistics, forestry, public transportation, construction, military and security. The Handheld Group of Sweden has local offices in Finland, the Netherlands, Italy, Australia and the USA. For more information, please see http://www.handheldgroup.com

SOURCE: Handheld Group