BoxTGV: The OCEA Consortium Meets The Challenge Of Internet Access In High-Speed Trains
Paris, Combined expertise of Orange Business Services, Eutelsat, Alstom and Capgemini enable SNCF to launch Internet connectivity for passengers on TGV East trains
Launched on December 1 by France’s SNCF rail company, the TGV Box service is now enabling passengers using the eastern route of its high-speed network to benefit from a unique multimedia and Internet service. BoxTGV uses technology and infrastructure developed by the OCEA consortium, led by Orange Business Services and including Eutelsat, Alstom and Capgemini.
The technological achievements realised by the consortium have risen to the challenge of ensuring service at high speed in a high voltage electrical environment, and integrating the system’s maintenance into the overall maintenance schedules of a high-speed network with no impact on the rotation of trains.
Assembling competence from four experts in their field
As prime contractor for the overall programme, Orange Business Services assured the integration of services and the communications infrastructure, and used the R&D teams of Orange to develop the mobile router for connectivity between the satellite and WiFi network. As the operator and integrator, Orange Business Services also provides access, operation and maintenance services of the on board WiFi network and the Internet access.
“Providing Internet connectivity at 320 km/h was a new challenge that we are all proud to have successfully addressed for the SNCF,” commented Philippe Roger, Vice President Large Accounts France at Orange Business Services. “The Internet access solution proposed by Box TGV is emblematic of our skills and our capacity to drive innovation that opens the benefits of the Internet to the broadest range of users.”
Eutelsat is supplying the satellite component of the network. The satellite antennas installed on the roof of the trains were specifically developed to comply with available headroom, and can operate at speeds up to 360km an hour in a high voltage electrical environment. The system operates via Eutelsat’s ATLANTIC BIRDTM 2 satellite, using an advanced spread-spectrum technique, which makes it possible to layer up data flows transmitted to and from the trains. The service is available on the entire TGV East network serving France, Germany, Luxembourg and Switzerland, and currently supplies a total throughput of 30 Mbps, which can be increased as required.
Alstom brought its experience of railway standards and equipment integration. It is responsible for supply and installation of the Wi-Fi equipment and the servers which process and store the on board multimedia portals. Alstom also installed the LAN network, which is connected to the servers feeding the carriages of each train and the WiFI hotspots in each carriage.
Capgemini, through its Telecom & Media sector in France, carried out the end-to-end supervision application, from the ground servers to hardware and software equipments on board of each of the French high speed train wagons. The operators thus have a global vision of the working conditions of the system, and the necessary information to correct malfunctions. Capgemini has also developed geolocation softwares that can provide information on the speed and location displayed on the portal.
Orange is the key brand of France Telecom, one of the world’s leading telecommunications operators. With more than 131 million customers, the Orange brand covers internet, television and mobile services in the majority of countries where the Group operates. At the end of 2009, France Telecom had sales of 44.8 billion euros (33.7 billion euros for the first nine months of 2010). At 30 September 2010, the Group had a total customer base of 203 million customers in 32 countries. These include 144.5 million mobile customers and 13.3 million broadband internet (ADSL, FTTH) customers worldwide. Orange is one of the main European operators for mobile and broadband internet services and, under the brand Orange Business Services, is one of the world leaders in providing telecommunication services to multinational companies.
With its industrial project, “conquests 2015”, Orange is simultaneously addressing its employees, customers and shareholders, as well as the society in which the company operates, through a concrete set of action plans. These commitments are expressed through a new vision of human resources for employees; through the deployment of a network infrastructure upon which the Group will build its future growth; through the Group’s ambition to offer a superior customer experience thanks in particular to improved quality of service; and through the acceleration of international development
France Telecom (NYSE:FTE) is listed on Euronext Paris (compartment A) and on the New York Stock Exchange.
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