China Ministry of Railways and Nortel Networks have signed an agreement under which Nortel Networks will provide a GSM for Railways (GSM-R) digital wireless communications network for trial on the world's highest rail line -- the Qinghai-Tibet Railway.
GSM-R is a radio-communications system that expands on the GSM (Global System for Mobile Communications) digital wireless standard to provide additional features specifically intended for railway operations.
A landmark project for China's West Development Strategy, the Qinghai-Tibet GSM-R trial is expected to be one of the first in China. More than 84 percent of the 1,142-kilometer Qinghai-Tibet Railway is 4,000 meters or more above sea level. Nearly half is built on perennially frozen earth, requiring advanced technology and extensive experience in network deployment, operation and maintenance.
Plans call for the Qinghai-Tibet Railway trial to cover 186 kilometers. It is expected to be the first test track in Asia supported solely by GSM-R -- with no analogue radio system for back-up. It is also expected to be the first in Asia to use GSM-R to transmit safety data for train control, and the first to adopt double coverage solutions to enhance system availability.
Nortel Networks GSM-R infrastructure is designed to enable railway operators to enhance emergency procedures, improve operational efficiency and safety of existing transport systems, and reduce overall cost of operations. It includes GPRS (General Packet Radio Service) for data applications and supports wireless LANs (local area networks) and location-specific services.
Nortel Networks GSM-R infrastructure is also designed to improve network performance, enhance Quality of Service and reliability, and provide clear voice and data communications on trains traveling up to 500 kilometers per hour.
Under the agreement with China Ministry of Railways, Nortel Networks will provide advanced wireless equipment including Intelligent Network (IN), Mobile Switching Center (MSC), Base Station Controllers (BSC) and Base Transceiver Stations (BTS). Nortel Networks will also supply related software and services.