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First Digital Wireless Communications System for African Railway Network
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- Nortel to Provide GSM-R to Algerian SNTF to Improve Efficiency and Safety
The Algerian Railways operator SNTF (Société Nationale des Transports Ferroviaires) has selected Nortel(x) (NYSE/TSX: NT) for the first phase of SNTF's national GSM-R project to provide a new wireless communication system that aims to enhance emergency procedures, improve operational efficiency, increase safety and reduce the overall cost of its 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 and at any time, either individually or as separate groups. In the first phase of SNTF's GSM-R project awarded to Nortel, the network will be deployed along the El Gourzi - Touggourt line in Eastern Algeria.
"The international adopted GSM-R standard is a key component to upgrading the Algerian railway communication infrastructure. 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," says Ali Leulmi, central director of Infrastructures , SNTF. "As a world leader in GSM-R, Nortel ensures for this first phase along the El Gourzi - Touggourt line we are equipping our railway service with the most advanced communication technologies."
"Nortel has been challenged by SNTF to provide for this first phase of SNTF project a solution that matches the growing need for communication in a fast expanding network," explains 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 with over 20 years in the region."
Nortel will provide design and engineering services for SNTF's GSM-R network from the Nortel Global Services portfolio. Our local channel partner, SNEF Algeria, will supply construction, installation and commissioning support. "SNEF and Nortel share the same commitment to enhancing network quality and reducing the overall cost of operations," said Vincent Pratlong, Algeria operations director, SNEF. "Our local experts will work closely with the Algerian railway SNTF to realise the first GSM-R network on the continent."
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 among other networks national deployments in France for RFF, in Great Britain for Network Rail, and in Germany for Deutsche Bahn. Nortel supplied as well the high-speed line between Rome and Naples, Italy 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 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.
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