The National Grid has signed a three year, £5 million deal with Vodafone to run its voice and data network.

The electricity and gas utility, which operates Britain’s electricity system and pipes gas to 11 million homes, said the new service would help it provide a reliable, good service and rapid response times on repairs. It replaces an existing contract with both Orange and Vodafone.

National Grid uses embedded mobile SIM cards in its laptops and on its electricity and gas networks to help report and diagnose problems quickly. It also uses a mobile broadband network so that engineers in the field can access company data when they need.

Steve Samways, IT manager at the firm, said the network would provide “robust voice and data services”.

The utility has also been working to standardise processes to make its business more efficient following the acquisition of US energy firm KeySpan last year.

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