Huawei and French transport company Alstom have held the first successful pilot of ground-to-train LTE communication.
Alstom became the first company to integrate LTE into its signalling system solution, which is based on the Communications-based Train Control (CBTC) standards. This solution provides a ground-to-train wireless network for train operators.
The pilot uses Huawei's eLTE broadband trunking solution, which Huawei said allows train operators to reduce operation and maintenance costs, as well as improve their fleet's service. It allows train operators to run their networks safely by using eLTE-based CBTC signals to provide mission critical voice trunking dispatching. It also allows operators to run broadband data services, such as live video streaming of CCTV and providing passengers with relevant information.
The project was launched after the two companies signed a memorandum of understanding in April last year. Huawei provided the eLTE network and Alstom build the train and related onboard LTE equipment. The trial took place in the Valenciennes commune area in France, after Huawei optimised the network planning, broadband data services and mission critical voice trunking services. Alstom provided technology integration support.
Huawei has signed 111 eLTE network contracts and set up 53 commercial eLTE networks in over countries.
France is expected to improve connectivity across its rail networks in the coming years, after its regulator identified it as a priority for mobile operators who will take part in the forthcoming 700MHz spectrum auction.
Last month, Greek train operator OSE said it was planning to use Nokia's GSM-R technology to bring passengers online.