29 June 2015 – With approximately 1.6 billion journeys a year and critical routes already at close to 100 percent capacity, forecasted passenger growth is set to place even greater pressure on the rail network. In an initiative to improve safety, performance and efficiency, Cisco and O2 are working with Network Rail to upgrade the telecommunications network supporting Great Britain's rail system.
Underpinned by Cisco's next-generation IP technology, the fixed telecommunications fibre optic network (FTNx) will harness the power of the Internet of Everything (IoE) to converge railway applications, including signalling, electrification, passenger information, remote condition monitoring and security CCTV, into one scalable infrastructure and provide up to one hundred gigabits per second of bandwidth across the network.
The upgrade will utilise Cisco's ASR 9000 router series to optimise network performance and efficiency and its ASR-903 modular aggregation platform comprised of broadband aggregation, pre-aggregation for mobile applications and metro ethernet aggregation capabilities - it will be managed by Cisco Prime.
"Rising passenger numbers and data intensive services are putting the UK's transport network under increasing pressure. With passenger and operational needs for better connectivity and higher capacity, it is paramount that our telecoms networks evolve and that we have the technology in place to provide commuters with the service they expect." said Craig Ellis, Head of Technology & Engineering, Network Rail Telecom. "By investing in our fibre optic network, streamlining our services and committing to innovation, our partnership with Cisco will not only enable us to increase the quality of the service we provide, but also to future proof the network for growth, evolution and advancements to come."
"Through this initiative Network Rail will be able to create a more agile and scalable infrastructure that is capable of meeting the growing pressures placed upon it," said Phil Smith, Chief Executive Cisco UK & Ireland. "The transport industry is set to realise the true value that can be gained from the Internet of Everything and we look forward to playing our part in supporting it."
Network Rail owns, operates and manages more than 20,000 miles of track, 40,000 bridges and viaducts, and thousands of signals, level crossings and stations throughout Britain. Working with Network Rail, Cisco has also recently supported the telecoms aspect of the Edinburgh-Glasgow Improvement Programme which included trackside CCTV, public announcement systems, signalling traffic and electrical control.
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