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Nortel Speeds Algerian Wireless Railway Communications with New GSM-R Contracts


Railway Modernization Adds Safety and Interoperability Benefits, Cuts Operating Costs

PARIS – Nortel* [NYSE/TSX: NT] has been selected to provide wireless communications with its GSM-R technology for two new railway lines in Algeria. GSM-R is expected to enable the Algerian railway infrastructure agency, Agence Nationale d’Etudes et de Suivi de la Réalisation des Investissements Ferroviaires (ANESRIF) to improve safety and increase average train speeds to reduce travel times while reducing operational costs. Nortel’s technology will also help increase network interoperability and support new voice applications running over the GSM-R network such as railway emergency and group conference calls.

ANESRIF is managing the modernization of the Algerian railway system, including the construction of new railway lines, signaling systems and other railway equipment. The introduction of GSM-R on the two new railway lines at Tabia-Mecheria and Bordj Bouarreridj - M’Sila will extend the first GSM-R network awarded to Nortel in 2006 for the El Gourzi-Touggourt line in Eastern Algeria. The new lines are managed by Algeria’s SNTF (Société Nationale des Transports Ferroviares), the first African railway operator to adopt the GSM-R standard.

“Nortel’s global leadership in GSM-R is the result of an early and significant investment in this technology which has been developed to meet the communications needs of leading railways worldwide like the Algerian ANESRIF and SNTF”, said Michel Clement, president, Southern Europe, Middle East and Africa, Nortel. “The solution will help ANESRIF and SNTF provide a better, safer service at a lower operational cost, helping them meet their modernization plans to create the most modern and advanced railway network in Africa.”

GSM-R helps increase the efficiency and safety of the railway by supporting reliable and secure communications among railway operational staff, including drivers, dispatchers, train engineers and station controllers. GSM-R is part of the new European Rail Traffic Management System (ERTMS) standard and carries the signalling information directly to the train driver, enabling faster train speeds and increased traffic density while maintaining a high level of safety.

Nortel’s GSM-R solution is interoperable and highly flexible, supporting signaling systems from different vendors already deployed along the Algerian rail network. This new Nortel deployment includes integrating the GSM-R radio system to ANESRIF’s core network, GSM-R terminals such as handhelds and cab radios, as well as related telecom services for the railway lines.

Nortel has over 15 years experience with GSM-R mobile communications technology and is today the only supplier providing GSM-R on three continents. With more than 60 percent of the more than 115,000 km of tracks using its GSM-R system, Nortel is the number one GSM-R provider globally. Nortel has been awarded national GSM-R contracts in Austria, France, Germany, Lithuania and the UK as well as large GSM-R deployments in China, the Czech Republic, Italy, India, Slovakia, and in Spain.


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