Nokia Siemens to build first GSM-R network for Victoria

Updated:2009/3/4 10:54

Victoria's Department of Transport has contracted Nokia Siemens Networks and Siemens Mobility to supply a $150m GSM-R communications system for its urban rail network to support voice and data communication between train drivers and ground-based operational staff.

Under the turnkey and managed services contract a consortium of Nokia Siemens Networks and Siemens Mobility will implement the GSM-R solution to cover approximately 380km of railway tracks within Victoria. The consortium will provide network design, security, hardware, software, civil construction works and a full suite of operations, maintenance and management solutions over a five year period.

The network operates in the 1800MHz band in spectrum licensed to Victoria's DoT which it acquired in the ACMA's 2001 spectrum auction. The network is completely separate form any of the public cellular networks. A trial systems is planned to be operational before the end of 2009.

GSM-R is a variant of the GSM digital cellular standard developed specifically for rail networks and this will be the first installation of the technology in Australia. Paul Tyler, head of Nokia Siemens Networks, Australia and New Zealand, said, "This project is ... the result of a long campaign in having GSM-R accepted as the preferred Australian standard of future train radio systems.

GSM-R an Australian standard
According to the Victorian Department of Transport, in 2004, a national standard for radio communications was agreed by the Australian Railway Association, together with all network operators and since then, the Department of Transport, Australian Rail Track Corporation and RailCorp in Sydney have commenced radio replacement projects that are in accordance with this nationally agreed standard which will use GSM-R technology.


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