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Kapsch Carriercom awards Nortel Wireless Contract For Austrian Railways


VIENNA – Austrian Railways (ÖBB) has selected Kapsch CarrierCom AG and Nortel* [NYSE/TSX:NT] to deploy a national network that will deliver vital uninterrupted communications for staff working on trains and ground-based operations.

Kapsch CarrierCom will provide ÖBB with a new digital European standard GSM-R system for connecting railway staff on board ÖBB trains to the European railway radio system. The system will also create a secure ground-based platform to deliver enhanced voice and data communications within Austria and abroad. Initially, digital radio communications will be installed on trains serving ÖBB’s main international routes, which cross borders to Germany and countries in Eastern Europe.

Creating the new digital railroad radio system for ÖBB is a turnkey project with Nortel as the sole GSM-R infrastructure equipment provider. Kapsch CarrierCom is the general contractor responsible for delivering all contractually agreed network elements and services from network planning through to commissioning and servicing. Kapsch CarrierCom is also working with ÖBB-Infrastruktur Bau AG, which is providing a major part of the infrastructure requirement and with other Austrian companies.

“Kapsch CarrierCom is a leader in implementing digital railroad communications in Europe,” said Thomas Schöpf, director, Kapsch CarrierCom. “By adding our decades of analogue know-how and the latest digital knowledge to Nortel’s GSM-R expertise we’re able to support ÖBB’s communications services and help them enhance staff efficiency and deliver passenger satisfaction.”

“This win with Kapsch in Austria will expand and simplify digital railroad communications in Central Europe,” said Wim te Niet, president, Central Region, Nortel. “GSM-R network coverage for this key railway corridor is vital for creating a uniform cross-border digital train radio system. Once ÖBB’s system is up and running its international freight and passenger trains will need only one on-board communication system.”

“This new contract underscores Nortel’s continuing commitment to GSM and we’re delighted to be playing our part in establishing a new era of wireless communications that is making European rail travel more efficient, simpler, convenient and safe,” said Gerry Collins, leader Wireless EMEA, Nortel, “With Kapsch CarrierCom Nortel has successfully deployed GSM-R networks in the Czech Republic and Slovakia. Now that we’ve secured the major GSM-R projects in Central Europe, Nortel intends to make tracks into neighbouring countries in Eastern and Southern Europe.”

A world leader in GSM-R technology, Nortel has to date been selected to deploy GSM-R networks in three continents and ten countries, including national deployments for the three largest railway operations in Europe — RFF in France, Network Rail in Great Britain and Deutsche Bahn in Germany. Most recently Nortel was selected by the Algerian SNTF for the first GSM-R contract on the African continent and by TP Ferro for the high speed Figueras-Perpignan line connecting Spain and France.

Nortel has been a pioneer in the GSM-R standards process since 1992 and works with Union Internationale des Chemins de Fer (UIC) and the Europe Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) on standards improvements. Nortel supplied equipment for the initial Mobile Radio for Railways Networks in Europe (MORANE) trial and was a major contributor to the European Integrated Railway Radio Enhanced Network (EIRENE) GSM-R standard.


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