Digitalization in Railway is Coming, are we Ready for That?

Ethiopia’s light rail project marks the first time that Huawei’s LTE technologies have been applied to light rail voice dispatch and ticketing data transmission.

Train
Train. Photo by JJ Jordan from Pexels

Due to the global outbreak of COVID-19, most railway companies have been forced to stop services. In light of this, railway operators seek the help of new technologies to navigate these difficulties.

Hao Guoqiang, President of Global Transportation Development Dept in Huawei Enterprise Business Group shared some ideas from China experience.

How to fight against with COVID-19 and how to use this opportunity to accelerate digital transformation in rail industry.

He shared some of the lessons Huawei learned from clients.

Lesson 1: The pandemic will accelerate the digital transformation of the rail industry.

Lesson 2: After the pandemic, the rail industry will rapidly help economic recovery, requiring advanced and unified technology.

“With these lessons in mind, Huawei is addressing how railways can use new technologies to speed up digitalization, while helping customers at the same time. The new technology like 5G, AI will be used in rail industry.,” he said.

Guoqiang was speaking at the first Africa Digital Rail Forum 2020 hosted by Southern African Railways Association (SARA), Siemens Mobility and Huawei Technologies.

Fang Jun, Senior Transportation Solution Manger in Huawei Enterprise Business Group, commented “The COVID 19 epidemic is surely a challenge but also an opportunity for railway industry. The ‘new normal’ state of the epidemic poses new requirements including agile business deployment. This further accelerates the digital transformation trend of railway industry.”

Huawei has provided services to over 50 railway builders and operators on 50,000 km globally.

Huawei has been actively involved in the railway modernization process in Africa and is dedicated to providing world-class technologies and services for local communications. Huawei digital railway solution has been serving in South Africa, Kenya, Nigeria, and other countries.

Ethiopia’s light rail project

Ethiopia’s light rail project marks the first time that Huawei’s LTE technologies have been applied to light rail voice dispatch and ticketing data transmission. Huawei won the project with its innovative LTE technologies featuring powerful broadband voice and data concurrent transmission, and multi-product solutions, providing a comprehensive, integrated communications network and basic support for Ethiopia’s light rail transit project.

Ethiopia-Urban-Rail
Ethiopia Deploys Rail Services with Huawei 4G LTE Technologies

The Huawei Digital Urban Rail Solution integrates sub-solutions such as urban rail LTE-M, and dedicated urban rail communication networks for delivering HD video surveillance. The network enables rich services such as wireless dispatch, video surveillance, data storage, and unified communication telephony. The solution provides a comprehensive and integrated communications network with basic support for Ethiopia’s light rail transit project.

Huawei Boosts Digital Speed for Morocco Rails

Lying at the northwest corner of Africa, Morocco has a long coastline along the Atlantic Ocean and Mediterranean Sea, while the interior of the country consists of rugged mountains and large areas of desert. To provide transportation across this expansive landscape, Morocco has a highly developed railway network, with the main lines alone covering 2,109 kilometres.

The railways have no unified dispatching network, which has limited operating efficiency. To address this issue, the government decided to build a unified GSM-R dispatching network covering more than 1,800 kilometres of the railways.

The Huawei solution enables nationwide, all-weather, real-time railway operational dispatching in all traffic conditions.

To adapt to the harsh and varied geographic environments along the railway, the GSM-R network makes use of both distributed base stations and macro base stations. This flexibility will ensure that the GSM-R network delivers a consistent level of performance everywhere in the country.

Strong redundancy features protect the GSM-R network’s reliability: Double radio coverage with geographic redundancy of the core network nodes and BSCs. Huawei designed this solution to meet ONCF’s requirement that the GSM-R network delivers 99.99% reliability for the high-speed lines and 99.73% for the conventional lines.

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