Huawei and Alstom says French trials pave the way for LTE to make train operators more efficient
Huawei and train manufacturer Alstom claim to have taken a “major step forward” in the commercialisation of wireless railway signalling systems following a successful trial of 4G LTE multi-services in Northern France.
The joint-tests of on metro lines near Valenciennes in the Nord Pas-de-Calais region are intended to prove the suitability of eLTE, an enhanced version of LTE offering speeds of up to 50Mbps, for wireless-based Communications-based Train Control (CBTC).
The two companies conducted lab and static tests on trains as well as dynamic tests on metro tracks to see how LTE multi-service technology could improve the suitability of eLTE for the transport industry.
It is claimed LTE will provide rail operators with a single wireless system capable of providing voice communication, secure CBTC train signalling, Passenger Information System (PIS) and CCTV footage, allowing them to reduce operation and maintenance costs and increase train availability.
So far, Huawei says it has signed 111 eLTE network contracts around the world and has created 53 networks in 30 different countries. It says the rollout can help transport operators cope with growing demand for data.
eLTE has already been used in China on the Zhengzhou Metro Line 1, where it provides wireless ground-to-train voice, data and video channels, and on 600 kilometres of the Shuo Huang Railway (SHR), where wireless data communications and on-board video surveillance have boosted annual capacity from 200 million to 350 million tons.