Pye Telecom Story

Pye Telecom and Pye Sports & Social Club, St Andrews Road, Cambridge

With thanks and acknowledgements to Richard Howes (Pye Telecom) Copyright © Richard Howes for Pye Telecom material acknowledged

Pye Telecom

Pye Telecommunications Ltd grew from 20 staff in 1945 to more than 2500 and became the largest and most profitable part of the Pye Group of companies over the next 70+ years.

Pye Telecom

Corporate Identities

over the years

over the years

1944-1947 Telecoms Division of Pye Ltd

1947–1986 Pye Telecom Ltd

1986–1992 PRCS

1992–1996 Philips Telecom PMR

1996–2002 Simoco International

2002–today Team Simoco

2002–today Sepura PLC

Some of the things Pye Telecom did ...

• Radio systems and networks

• HF VHF and UHF radio transmitters and receivers

• VHF UHF and microwave link equipment

• Sales, via own sales force, dealers and agents

• Installation, commissioning & maintenance worldwide

• Systems, Service and Spares divisions

Newmarket Road mobile radio production lines

How big was Pye Telecom?

Grew from 20 to 1500 employees in first 10 years.

2500 UK employees in 1985 and 3500 worldwide in 1997.

Contributed 60% of Pye profits.

85% of the UK radio communications market.

Responsible for 60% of all radio communications exports from the UK.

Cambridge from 1947
Haverhill from 1956
Cambridge from 1979

Main Company Locations

UK production in Cambridge, Haverhill, Airdrie, Dublin.

Secondary production in Cambridge, Leiston.

Sales offices, distributors and agents in 93 countries.

Overseas Pye production in India, Australia.

Later, design and production in Australia, France, Spain, Germany, Denmark, India, UK.

First in many fields

UK mobile radiotelephone – 1946

UK marine business radio – 1946.

Instrument Landing System – 1946

Dash mounted radiotelephone – 1948

Marine radiotelephone – 1948

Radiotelephone up Mount Everest – 1953

Worlds longest VHF radio link - 1955-1957

UK car-phone system – 1960

Transistorised radiotelephones – 1962

UHF handheld portable – 1964

Electronic telephone exchange PABX – 1966

All semi-conductor radiotelephone – 1967

Transatlantic tropo-scatter system -1955

Moon-bounce communication

UK analogue trunking systems

Tetra mobiles and portables

Radio staff in Pye Labs
Radio Tower and Hut

Where did Pye Telecom begin?


Pye Ltd engineering staff who had worked on Army radio equipment during WW2 transferred from Pye Labs to form a separate mobile radio team.

How did Pye Telecom sell?

Own dedicated UK sales force, organised by professional market sectors:

• Police & Fire

• Home Office

• Fuel & Power

• Water Authorities

• Transportation

• Business & Industry

• Others

In addition there were overseas sales teams

Pye exhibition vehicle

What happened next?

In 1986, Philips amalgamated all its mobile radio activities worldwide into one business unit – Philips Radio Communications Systems (PRCS).

Cambridge was made the Corporate Headquarters.

PRCS became a £200M group with 3500 staff.

PRCS had design & supply centres in Cambridge, Paris, Copenhagen, Melbourne, Dublin, Nuremburg, Bilbao, plus Indelec, Brazil

In 1996 Philips Electronics UK sold the PRCS Group to a Private Equity company, Cinven.

The group was re-named Simoco International Ltd

(Systems Integration Mobile Communication).

After owning Simoco International for five years, in 2002, Cinven wished to sell its investment in the Company but no buyer was found for the entire worldwide group.

Simoco was broken up and some parts were sold, some parts closed down.

Today, Team Simoco operates the Radio Systems business.

Sepura PLC operates the Tetra digital radio product business.

Ian McKenzie, MD Simoco International
Team Simoco Radio Systems & Service Depot, Huntingdon
Sepura digital portable radio product

For more information on Pye Telecom ...