LONDON – Britain’s Royal Mail is set to roll out 25,000 mobile devices to post vans.

Customers will have real time delivery tracking of “signed-for” post as a result of the move, Royal Mail said. It will also enable the elimination of paper-based systems, including for taking customer delivery signatures.

Using the technology, delivery staff will also have the ability to map routes and exchange messages with their base locations. Supply chain firm Intemec will provide its CN3 mobile computers, which will be installed by IT services firm CSC as well as subcontractor Blackbay, a mobile working specialist. CSC already maintains Royal Mail’s 42,000 desktop PCs and its servers, as well as developing applications for the company.

Signatures collected on the CN3 are sent via GPRS wireless technology to Royal Mail’s headquarters, allowing customers to confirm delivery and view the signature within 15 minutes

A further 70,000 postmen and women who deliver letters and parcels in the regular post service are expected to be equipped with the mobile devices in the coming years, in line with plans announced in February.

Robin Dargue, chief information officer at Royal Mail, said the mobile devices would play a part in “increasing our efficiency”. This is particularly important to Royal Mail as competition is widened in the postal marketplace.

Royal Mail is currently undergoing a wider