Huawei introduces LTE-M offering for railways

Carol Ko
Computerworld Hong Kong

The Guangzhou and Shenzhen sections of the Guangzhou-Shenzhen-Hong Kong Express Rail Link have implemented Huawei's Railway Operational Communication Solution a few years ago.

The system is ready for implementation by the Hong Kong section of the express rail link, if and when needed, said Yuan Xilin, president of Transport Sector of Enterprise Business Group, Huawei Technologies.

Under the family of Huawei Digital Rail Solutions, the company's Railway Operational Communication Solution combines the use of various network technologies including GSM-R, Hybrid MSTP and multi-service broadband access. Together these technologies help the Guangzhou and Shenzhen sections of the Express Rail Link to build highly reliable, flexible, and upgradable railway communications networks.

To ensure speedy transmission of signals between train drivers and ground-based controller, and to allow the safe extension of the length of heavy haul cargo trains, the system involves an installation of GSM-R transmission devices at the two ends of a train, which can be lengthened to 200-300 cabins, with four to five locomotives in between. To ensure network stability, Huawei can also pool the network resources from at least five internet service providers.

As for passenger safety, the system also features video surveillance inside and outside the train compartments. Using CCTV cameras, the data collected will be pooled together at a central repository in a cloud data center for real time analysis and detection for abnormal passenger behavior.

"By providing redundancy design in the network entities, together with Huawei's proprietary technologies and protection mechanisms, Huawei guarantees 99.999% system reliability for its railway operational communication solution," said Norman Frisch, chairman of the eLTE Industry Alliance and marketing director of the transport sector of Huawei's Enterprise Business Group.

Using six access methods to ensure reliable communication along railway lines, the Railway Operational Communication Solution provides broadband access and backhaul for over a dozen railway services. The set up is also said to allow for protection of customers' investments as GSM-R and Hybrid MSTP, thereby supporting an evolution to LTE-R and all-IP transmission networks.

The system has been deployed in a number of projects across the world, including the Deutsche Bahn's GSM-R modernization project of in Northern Germany, Sochi High-speed Railway's project in Russia, PRASA's GSM-R project in South Africa, and EKB High-speed Railway's project in Turkey.

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