This blog is by Wolfgang Nagel, head of Marketing for Railways and Government solutions, at Nokia Networks.
Isn’t it great when the TV we bought 10 years ago still works perfectly? Well, yes… but that new generation of TVs with the huge flat screen, higher resolution and cool interactive services is so darn tempting. And if we trade up, will we still be able to watch our beloved DVDs and connect to the old receiver and sound system?
Usually, manufacturers anticipate these issues and make sure that new devices are backwards compatible: Even if watching a DVD on a 45” full HD screen is not the ultimate viewing experience, at least it still works. As a vendor of mobile broadband networks, we have the same obligation.
GSM-R, the GSM standard for railways, is a relatively mature, but very reliable technology. We were the first to install a commercial GSM-R network in Sweden in 1998 and we are still developing our GSM-R portfolio and deploying new GSM-R networks — a very recent reference being Spain, for example. Outside the railway world, we are two technology generations ahead, deploying LTE networks for millions of users worldwide. We even believe that given its technological and economical advantages, LTE has the potential to replace GSM-R in the future. Nokia’s strategy is to reuse as many existing GSM-R components as possible while at the same time assuring reliable use of the most critical functions for railway customers with the next-generation technology (e.g. group calls).
Although this is still a few years away, we believe that now is the right time to ensure that the technology switch will go smoothly. At the upcoming InnoTrans fair in Berlin next week (Sept. 23-26, Hall 4.1, Stand 211), we will demonstrate a seamless handover between a VoLTE call from an LTE to a GSM network in less than 150 ms. This is crucial for a migration towards LTE in the future since all critical railway communication is floating through the GSM-R networks and the slightest service degradation or outage can have serious consequences on train safety.
Further highlights include our new and innovative Flexi base station for railway customers, together with our best-in-class geographical redundant Core solution based on R4 which significantly enhances the reliable network availability for critical communications.
So join us at our stand at InnoTrans (Hall 4.1, Stand 211) and learn more from our Railway Solutions experts in person or atttend our speaker event:
Tuesday, September 23, 15:00 / Speakers Corner, Hall 14.2 Entrance: “Ost”
Dirk Lewandowski, head of Nokia Networks Railway Solutions, will present “Communication networks requirements of railway operators – today and tomorrow”
We have more to share on Nokia’s GSM-Railway solutions here.
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