WESTbahn chooses Nokia’s train-to-ground communications network
Nokia has been selected by Austrian rail operator WESTbahn to implement a secure, high-performance and high-bandwidth train-to-ground communications solution across the operator’s new expanded fleet of intercity trains.
Following the recent commission of 15 Stadler trains for WESTbahn’s Vienna/Salzburg line, Nokia has been chosen to supply, deploy and maintain Wi-Fi access points, intelligent multi-path switching and control systems at WESTbahn’s Operations Control Center (OCC). The Nokia solution will ensure enhanced customer experience with continuous, resilient wireless broadband connectivity for passengers and on-board operations across the latest additions to the WESTbahn fleet.
WESTbahn Management GmbH, a subsidiary of RAIL Holding AG, is an open access railway company operating express train services between Vienna and Salzburg on Austria’s Western Railway since 2011.
Christian Pettauer, CIO of WESTbahn, said: “The WESTbahn brand experience is based on a superior level of customer service, with continuous high-speed Wi-Fi connectivity an important part of our offering. Nokia’s train-to-ground solution delivers the necessary reliability, speed and capacity that our passengers rely on to stay connected – whether their journey is for business or leisure.
“In addition, we are committed to best-in-class on-board experience that includes paperless ticketing, reservations and information services. With WESTbahn stewards working exclusively from handheld wireless devices, this means that uninterrupted connectivity is absolutely essential for efficient on-board operations.”
Christian Watzinger, Head of Enterprise Sales Austria, Nokia Cloud and Network Services, said: “With this latest agreement, our relationship with WESTbahn will extend to more than a decade. During this time, by providing high-speed Wi-Fi throughout its fleet, WESTbahn has successfully differentiated in the marketplace with a commitment to outstanding levels of operational performance and customer service.”
Nokia, a market leader in GSM-R and FRMCS, has also deployed its train-to-ground solution in several urban/metro rail networks. It provides extreme resilience, assured throughput, end-to-end security and outstanding quality of service. It is backhaul agnostic and works with Wi-Fi, LTE or a hybrid access infrastructure.
To deliver the level of quality of service required by WESTbahn, Nokia maintains best possible on-board connectivity by utilising intelligent switching – a unique multi-path connectivity algorithm that routes traffic optimally via redundant network gateways.
These gateways simultaneously connect to multiple local mobile operator networks and maintain high quality on-board connectivity by selecting and aggregating available bandwidth across the best performing channels. End-to-end security mechanisms ensure secure operations data exchange between the trains and WESTbahn’s OCC.
Richard Kitts, Global SVP Enterprise Services, Nokia Cloud and Network Services added: “Our train-to-ground solution accelerates railway’s digital transformation, enabling operators to envision innovative ways to operate more efficiently while delivering value for passengers. Our technology is complemented by a digital services delivery model and extensive professional services expertise based on deploying and managing mission-critical communication networks, applications and associated subsystems for more than 100 railway customers worldwide.”