The Algerian Railways operator SNTF has selected Nortel for the first phase of its national GSM-R project to provide a new wireless communication system.
It aims to enhance emergency procedures, improve operational efficiency, increase safety and reduce the overall cost of operations.
Nortel will deploy a GSM for Railways (GSM-R) network that will make SNTF the first African railway operator to adopt the new global GSM-R standard.
The new system will allow train drivers, station controllers and other railway employees to communicate with each other instantly, either individually or as separate groups. In the first phase, the network will be deployed along the El Gourzi-Touggourt line in Eastern Algeria.
“The internationally-adopted GSM-R standard is a key component to upgrading the Algerian railway communication infrastructure,” says Ali Leulmi, central director of infrastructures at SNTF. “It is part of a much larger railway infrastructure project, including the construction of new conventional and high-speed lines, upgrades of signalling systems and other railway infrastructure.”
“Nortel has been challenged by SNTF to provide a solution that matches the growing need for communication in a fast expanding network,” says Michel Clement, president Southern Europe and Africa, Nortel.
“This contract is a result of Nortel’s long-term commitment to the Algerian market and our role as a major telecom player in Africa for more than 20 years.”
Nortel will provide design and engineering services for SNTF’s GSM-R network from the Nortel Global Services portfolio. Its local channel partner, SNEF Algeria, will supply construction, installation and commissioning support.
With this new contract win, Nortel is the first supplier deploying GSM-R networks in the three continents of Europe, Asia and Africa. These include national deployments in France for RFF, in the UK for Network Rail and in Germany for Deutsche Bahn.
Nortel has also supplied the high-speed line between Rome and Naples, for SIRTI. Nortel is also deploying a GSM-R network for the world’s highest rail line, the Tibet-Qinghai high-speed line in China.
Nortel has been a pioneer in the GSM-R standards process since 1992, and has worked with UIC (Union Internationale des Chemins de Fer) and ETSI (European Telecommunications Standards Institute). Nortel also supplied equipment for the MORANE (Mobile Radio for Railways Networks in Europe) trial and was a major contributor to the EIRENE (European Integrated railway radio Enhanced Network) GSM-R standard.