Wireless Rail

Why dedicated private wireless networks matter in the rail industry

The wireless network is not a new development within the rail industry, but one which has presented a range of additional opportunities to those investing in the space.

As Nokia – one of the key providers of these networks within the rail industry – explains, these deployments typically come in three common forms:

  • Main line rail
  • Metro and urban rail
  • Campus networks

In particular, Nokia is seeing significant growth in the campus network and metro or urban rail deployments, with many organisations and urban transport projects requiring robust connectivity across their sites and routes.

Karsten Oberle, Head of Rail – Digital Industries at Nokia explains: “These [private wireless networks] must be reliable and secure as they carry among others mission-critical services, and they also have to be scalable with future readiness.

“What I mean by this is that we sometimes see deployments, for instance with Wi-Fi networks, in metro mass transit areas, where we’ve got multiple networks in parallel running. There is one network for signalling, a dedicated network with CCTV, a dedicated network for passenger entertainment, and so on.

“It comes down to reliability and security. If you imagine the network carrying the signalling traffic for the trains. If we lose connectivity, even for just 300 milliseconds, the train has to stop for safety reasons. It is a huge impact on operations.”

Having a reliable digital network is therefore essential to the smooth operation of these services, and in many cases requires additional investment to ensure that it is not only effective today but futureproofed too.

Want to learn more? Download Rail Technology Magazine’s latest whitepaper report on the power of wireless networks in rail, in association with Nokia.

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