The railway operational communications network built by Huawei and partners for Kenya’s Mombasa-Nairobi rail project commonly known as SGR is now officially in commercial use, while a similar network across several cities in South Africa will go live in October 2017.
The multinational ICT company announced that the Global System for Mobile Communications-Railway (GSM-R) network, which is already in use in other parts of the world, will enable multiple communications tasks – including mission-critical train dispatch, emergency communications, section maintenance communications, secure transmission, and a secure power supply along train lines.
Based on mature hardware platforms, the next-generation BTS3900 GSM-R base stations support smooth migration to LTE-R. enables multiple communications tasks, including mission-critical train dispatch, emergency communications, section maintenance communications, secure transmission, and ensures stable power supply along the entire line.
ItWeb Africa reports that the solution will meet customer requirements for safe, stable, and efficient railway operations and ensure highly reliable communications for the railway. Huawei has 60% shareholding in the consortium according to PRASA. The 800km rail line covered by the GSM-R system covers only 35% of PRASA’s 2300km-long rail network in South Africa.
The GSM-R system will also provide communication services to automatic train protection systems and introduce the ability for semi-automatic train driving capacity in the network in order to improve reliability and safety of the rail operation, says Norman Frisch, Marketing Director of the Transport Sector for Huawei Enterprise Business Group
Piet Sebola, Group Executive for Strategic Asset Development at PRASA believes the launch of the GSM-R system in South Africa and a few weeks earlier in Kenya are important steps toward creating a harmonised communications system for rail lines on the continent for the benefit of trade and travel between different countries.