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WiMAX on 95-Mile New Mexico RailRunner Train System
Posted: 31-Mar-2010 [Source: Azulstar]

[Nation's first WiMAX system for rail transit delivers wireless broadband Internet up to 6Mbps free to all passengers onboard the train as well as at the stations.]

Grand Haven, MI -- AzulStar, Inc today announces the completion of the world's premier WiMAX 4G rail network which provides high speed Internet services aboard the New Mexico Department of Transportation RailRunner Train System. The highly innovative network, which is one of the first of its kind on a rail transit system and one of the highest performing in the world, provides high speed Internet access for commuters while on the train and at the stations as well as supports a variety of on train system operations.

The RailRunner high speed train is a new service for New Mexico commuters, which runs 95 miles from Belen to Santa Fe with multiple stops in Albuquerque and Bernalillo. The New Mexico Department of Transportation (D.O.T.) will offer passengers free public wireless internet in all trains along the entire route and at all 15 stations to assist with the state goals to improve traffic congestion and make public transportation services more attractive to commuters.

Extensive field trials have been performed on the system with passenger service expected to begin within weeks. According to Andrew Cadwell, Vice President of Sales, INX, "INX is pleased to be part of the RailRunner project. The combined AzulStar-INX solution represents a best in class offering and will be a huge value to the commuters via the Internet on the train." Tyler van Houwelingen, CEO of AzulStar, added, "The State of New Mexico is a strategic partner for AzulStar and we are delighted to have participated in this highly innovative project."

New Mexico D.O.T. awarded the $2.7M contract to the team of INX and AzulStar in March 2009 after a multi-year RFP process. The combined team won the competitive contract based on their unique qualifications of local technical expertise, national manufacturer certifications and deep experience in mobile wireless technology. AzulStar has a proven track record for delivery within the field of intelligent transportation, having provided wireless network services to leading automakers and departments of transportation across the country.

The innovative network utilizes WiMAX (802.16) technology for the connection to the train and Wi-Fi (802.11) technology for passenger access within the train and at the stations. The network provides speeds up to 6Mbps download and 4Mbps upload on the train moving at speeds up to 90mph and can accommodate over 1000 simultaneous users. In addition to public broadband access, this level of performance provides a true 4G network experience sufficient for data-intensive rail applications such as: emergency phones, video displays in the trains and stations and video surveillance equipment.

As part of the project, AzulStar deployed twenty-two WIMAX base stations along the 95-mile route to achieve a superior level of performance and reliability compared to similar rail networks which use low bandwidth satellite or cellular Internet services. Hardware for the high performance network was provided by leaders Alvarion, Dragonwave Inc. and Cisco Systems.

Other successful AzulStar mobile intelligent transportation projects include:

* WiFi/WiMAX Intelligent transportation network for New Mexico Highway 550 which coordinates signals and counts traffic in real time, transports live video from 25 traffic cameras and provides secure mobile access to New Mexico D.O.T. field personnel.

* Mobile WiFi Network for Chrysler/Michigan D.O.T. in Auburn Hills which provides Wi-Fi and DSRC mobile access to over 1000 test vehicles.

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