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Société du Grand Paris books in Nokia IP, private wireless for metro rail network

Nokia forms secure mission-critical communications system behind four Grand Paris Express lines that will transport two million passengers per day, delivering enhanced capacity, reliability and performance, and contributing to efforts to boost operations, safety and rider experience

As part of what is said to be one of Europe’s largest projects, the Société du Grand Paris (SGP) will deploy a Nokia 5G-ready communications network to support the implementation of four automated train lines linking 200km of Paris and carrying up to two million passengers a day.

The Grand Paris Express is regarded as playing a key role as the French economy looks for drivers of the sustainable and virtuous growth needed to face the challenges of the 21st century, in particular driving ecological transition.

The new metro is designed to change the face of the Île-de-France region, and Société du Grand Paris is the driving force behind the public transport scheme project, which it says will give planners a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to redesign and reshape the city to make it more inclusive and environmentally friendly.

The project includes the creation of four new lines (15, 16, 17 and 18) around Paris, the extension of line 14, the construction of 68 new metro stations and the development of new neighbourhoods around these future urban centres.

At the heart of the project will be a secure internet protocol multi-protocol label switching (IP/MPLS) communications network that will operate as a powerful, high-speed backbone to increase operational efficiency, enhance safety and improve the passenger experience. High-speed communications between the centralised control centre and the automated stations, lines and depots it supervises are key to daily operations and maintenance, and an important component in realising SGP’s cyber security strategy.

With real-time video surveillance inside the trains, centralised operations teams will be able to identify and flag issues and threats quickly, accelerate response times and assure greater overall safety for passengers, emergency response teams and employees. For travellers, the new communications system is said to promise superior levels of service, with intuitive ticketing and enhanced updates regarding passenger information.

The communications contract builds on Nokia’s relationship with SGP following the deployment of an LTE wireless network to provide critical connectivity across three of the new Paris Métro lines. The communications solutions include a multi-service IP/MPLS high-speed network to support all Grand Paris Express operational and maintenance requirements. The private mobile radio solution is designed for operational communications and indoor/outdoor connectivity across all Grand Paris Express stations, lines and depots. Mission-critical application requirements across the four lines will be supported by the multi-service IP/MPLS network.

Assessing the project and its own contribution, Nokia said that at time when governments and industry are focused on reducing carbon emissions, rail travel is emerging as an eco-friendly mode of transport. It added that by increasing efficiency and capacities through digitisation, rail operators such as SGP are able to move more passengers, making significant contributions to sustainability.

“These projects provide critical high-speed connectivity and performance at all points within the new Grand Paris metro and its operations, giving SGP the highest levels of confidence in its end-to-end Nokia network,” said Matthieu Bourguignon, vice-president for enterprise Europe sales at Nokia. “We are incredibly proud to be selected by SGP as a supplier and excited to deploy our world-leading wireless access, IP/MPLS routing and mobile core solutions as a part of this ambitious project to digitally transform one of Europe’s largest rail systems.”

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