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Critical WAN Infrastructure for Railways

Traditionally, urban (metro) and main line critical infrastructure for rail networks has been based on robust but inflexible systems designed to move data through fiber optic and microwave transmissions. To operate safely and efficiently, the new Critical WAN Infrastructure increasingly relies on a converged IP/MPLS-based communication network to support network resiliency, quality of service, virtualization, synchronous Ethernet, convergence and a management platform that automates and simplifies operations management.

Nokia’s Critical WAN Infrastructure solution offers an easy route to this new infrastructure, avoiding disruption while laying the ground for migration to an all-IP network.


Nokia’s Critical WAN Infrastructure solution is customized to suit specific railway operator business needs. This reliable, secure and scalable infrastructure consists of:

Nokia and partner components

Nokia services

Nokia provides a full lifecycle of services including network consulting, security consulting, design and architecture, project management and network deployment services. This includes the capability to deliver end-to-end integration and migration services for IP/MPLS, optical and microwave networks. Nokia can also operate the communications network, leaving railway operators free to concentrate on their core business.


A single, high-capacity network to support multiple applications

For network operators

  • A safe migration path from older technologies to an MPLS core and packet-based network, without endangering safety-critical capabilities
  • Seamless support on a single network for multiple critical applications, including interlocking, GSM-R and SCADA systems
  • Interface with modern, radio-based train control systems (CBTC, ETCS) enables more trains to run safely on the same length of track, for a more efficient and profitable network
  • Removal of the cost and training requirements and of maintaining a disparate infrastructure of specialized equipment

High bandwidth services run on the same network and systems

For train and station managers

  • Greater network capacity and performance able to support high-bandwidth applications such as driverless trains and networked CCTV
  • Safety systems, including emergency contact points, mobile radio and alarm systems, work together for greater trackside and onboard security
  • Large amounts of data, for example station and train CCTV feeds, can be transmitted and analyzed in real time, increasing situational awareness
  • Corporate and other VPNs and data services can be accessed through the same network, even in tunnels

New applications enablement to improve passengers' experience

For passengers

  • Improved communications delivers faster updates and more accurate train information displays and updates in stations and on trains
  • Enhanced connectivity supports Internet access, continuous voice calls and on-demand multimedia entertainment on trains
  • Networked kiosks simplify finding information and buying tickets at the station or on the train

Integration with station safety systems

For security officers

  • Station messages can be displayed on entertainment / advertising screens
  • External events can be programmed to trigger content overrides, such as for station alarms or evacuations

How can Nokia help?

Nokia drives the evolution and convergence of today’s WANs with new IP/MPLS and packet transport standards. The company is an expert integrator in mission-critical communications projects, providing services to design, install, integrate and maintain the solution. Rail operators can reduce risk and WAN-transformation costs with an end-to-end solution backed by multivendor Nokia worldwide services capabilities. With our optics, microwave and IP/MPLS portfolio, rail-industry experience and the mission-critical WAN Infrastructure offering, Nokia has all the elements that rail operators need to simplify their WAN transformations and reduce OPEX while increasing competitiveness and achieving greater control over their business.