China's Ministry of Railways has selected Nortel to provide a digital wireless communications network for the world's highest altitude rail service - the Qinghai-Tibet Railway.
This will be the first commercial use of GSM for Railways (GSM-R) technology in China, following a pioneering, year-long trial of Nortel's technology over more than 186 kilometers of track built on perennially frozen land at altitudes up to 4,780 meters above sea level.
The 1,142-kilometer Qinghai-Tibet Railway will be the first in China supported solely by GSM-R communications with no traditional analog system available for back-up. It will also be the first railway in China to use GSM-R to transmit safety data for train control and the first to adopt double coverage solutions to enhance system safety, reliability and availability. In addition, it will be the first GSM-R infrastructure in China to incorporate GPRS (General Packet Radio Service) for data applications.
"The trial conducted by Nortel successfully passed all required tests meeting our strict standards. It demonstrates Nortel's breadth of expertise and experience in GSM-R technology and ability to work with difficult conditions and terrain," said Shu Kai Hu, vice chief executive, National Quinghai-Tibet Railway Construction Administration Office. "This new wireless network represents the most up-to-date communications technology available to the railway industry worldwide and we are pleased to move beyond the trial to now fully implement the Nortel GSM-R solution"
In 2004, Nortel began the GSM-R digital wireless communications network trial for the Ministry of Railways creating the first test track in Asia supported solely by GSM-R. During the trial, Nortel successfully demonstrated the ability to develop system test plans, conduct GSM-R integration, and perform network optimization and troubleshooting adapted to the challenging environmental conditions along the Qinghai-Tibet Railway.