Siemens and Huawei test communication based train control over 4G

Laboratory tests covered communication based train control, passenger information system and CCTV services carried over an integrated Airlink LTE solution; live rail tests to follow

Siemens and Huawei test communication based train control over 4G

A joint Huawei and Siemens solution designed to test the suitability of LTE for communication based train control (CBTC) passed interoperability testing in France at the end of 2015, the former reported this week (29 March 2016).

During the testing, multiple types of service, including CBTC, passenger information system (PIS), and closed-circuit television (CCTV), were carried using LTE radio technology. Huawei argues the test lays a solid foundation for the commercial rollout of CBTC over LTE service for railways.

As a train to ground communication bearer technology for CBTC service, LTE enjoys a number of advantages against other options, such as large data bandwidth, high-speed mobility, Quality of Service (QoS) assurance for multiple services, and outstanding anti-interference performance.

While ensuring reliable transmission of mission-critical CBTC service, LTE can fully meet the transmission requirements of various other services, such as onboard CCTV and PIS. Siemens, the CBTC technology giant fully recognizes the strengths of LTE, and actively promoted co-operation with Huawei to carry out joint innovations and practice in railway transport services.

The collaboration between Huawei and Siemens started in March 2015, when the two companies discussed technical solutions and confirmed preliminary plans and schedule for cooperation in Huawei's Shanghai-based wireless R&D centre. In June 2015, the two companies set up a joint project plan, and a project team defining solution architecture and feasibility of testing in France.

In November 2015, with technical guidance and onsite support from Huawei, Siemens France completed a large number of laboratory tests, where CBTC, PIS, and CCTV services were successfully carried over an integrated Airlink LTE solution. The next step for this joint solution would be the on-site dynamic test, which will take place in the coming month.

Siemens developed an IP-based, secure and reliable continuous bi-directional track to train data communication which is a fundamental requirement of a CBTC system.

To meet the requirements of railway customers and passengers for safe operation, agile dispatch, and convenient transport, Huawei has developed the urban rail LTE-M solution based on 3GPP standards, provides a secure, reliable, open, and stable wireless platform for urban rail train-to-ground communication.

This platform carries critical service CBTC to ensure safe train operation. It also provides trunking voice dispatch and broadband data services, such as real-time PIS and CCTV, to enable refined operation of urban rail service.

In addition, the ultra-long distance coverage performance reduces the routine operation and maintenance costs of urban rail operators. As of the time of this report, this solution has been successfully verified at Metro Line One in Zhengzhou, China, and the Addis Ababa Light Rail in Ethiopia.

Huawei said it is willing to work with Siemens and customers to promote the development of its urban rail LTE-M solutions to facilitate the smooth transition of train-to-ground communication into the LTE era. After the very positive results of the lab tests, Huawei said it and Siemens are looking forward to taking the next step and testing the technology in a real world scenario.

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