WestBahn train, source: WestBahn

Nokia provides WiFi with intelligent switching for Austrian Westbahn fleet

Nokia announced that it has been selected by Austrian rail operator Westbahn to implement a new high-bandwidth train-to-ground WiFi network across the operator’s newly expanded fleet of intercity trains. The network uses intelligent switching, a connectivity algorithm that optimally routes traffic. Westbahn stewards work exclusively with handheld wireless devices for ticketing.

Following the recent commission of 15 Stadler trains for Westbahn’s Vienna – Salzburg line, Nokia will supply, deploy and maintain Wi-Fi access points, intelligent multi-path switching and control systems at Westbahn’s Operations Control Center (OCC).

Westbahn is an open access railway company operating express train services between Vienna and Salzburg on Austria’s Western Railway since 2011. The Nokia solution will provide continuous WiFi connectivity for passengers and on-board operations across the latest additions to the Westbahn fleet.

Wireless devices

Christian Pettauer, CIO of Westbahn, said: “Continuous high-speed Wi-Fi connectivity an important part of our offering. Nokia’s train-to-ground solution delivers the necessary reliability, speed and capacity that our passengers rely on to stay connected – whether their journey is for business or leisure.

“In addition, we are committed to best-in-class on-board experience that includes paperless ticketing, reservations and information services. With Westbahn stewards working exclusively from handheld wireless devices, this means that uninterrupted connectivity is absolutely essential for efficient on-board operations.”

Intelligent switching

Nokia uses intelligent switching, a multi-path connectivity algorithm that routes traffic optimally via redundant network gateways, which should ensure a resilient wireless connectivity. These gateways simultaneously connect to multiple local mobile operator networks and maintain on-board connectivity by selecting and aggregating available bandwidth across the best performing channels. End-to-end security mechanisms ensure secure operations data exchange between the trains and Westbahn’s Operations Control Center.

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Author: Esther Geerts

Editor of RailTech.com

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