Axell Wireless and Kapsch CarrierCom win extended contract with Austrian rail operator

Multiband wireless communications system builds on success of previous project with ÖBB in Pukersdorf.

Axell Wireless has won its second project in conjunction with systems integrator Kapsch CarrierCom to install a wireless train communications system in the Innsbruck by-pass tunnel in Austria. The deal, worth €1.8 million, follows on the successful deployment of a multiband wireless system with Austrian rail operator ÖBB (Österreichische Bundesbahnen), and will include public safety, train communications and preparation for commercial networks.

The wireless communications system will cover nearly 13km in the Innsbruck by-pass tunnel. In order to meet international expectations of public safety, the multiband system will include GSM-R (GSM-railway, ETCS) for standardised pan-European train communications and TETRA (terrestrial trunked radio) for the emergency services, analogue train radio system and fire brigade service. The multiband system is already prepared so that passengers will also be able to enjoy their usual mobile phone services in the by-pass with the installation of an analogue wireless network system.

“Across Europe, industry logistics are rapidly evolving and are dramatically expanding as technological developments streamline communications processes. Consequently, pan-European goods traffic is increasing at an unparalleled rate and has become the norm rather than the exception,” commented Thomas Schöpf, member of the board at Kapsch CarrierCom.

“To meet these challenges the EU have implemented a standardised European Digital wireless train communication system based on GSM-R (GSM for rail).  The primary objective was to sustainably increase the competitiveness of rail traffic, as well as improve rail transport processes in regards to safety and efficiency by seamlessly replacing the individual national train communication systems with GSM. With this new system, not only will ÖBB be able to substantially improve cross-border cargo dispatching, but also process new applications such as ticket sales, seat reservations and electronic passenger information,” he continued.

TETRA (terrestrial trunked radio) is a two-way radio standard used by the emergency services, which require a completely redundant wireless network to ensure continual and guaranteed access to communications services.

“The multiband wireless system we installed in the Inntal tunnel for ÖBB in conjunction with Kapsch CarrierComm provided a good working model for rail operator ÖBB. The rail operator has already seen the benefits of one integrated wireless system as a result of the Pukersdorf deployment, which gives it complete visibility into network operations and future technological flexibility, something that will be extended into the Innsbruck by-pass with this new deal. Even more importantly, the new system will be future-proof, insuring ÖBB can keep its network up to date without needing to replace all its equipment, as existing technology inevitably continues to evolve,” commented Rob Bruce, sales director for EMEA at Axell Wireless.

This is the second project Axell Wireless has won in conjunction with its partner Kapsch CarrierComm, bringing the combined value of the projects together to circa €3.1 million.

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