Operator RATP and Nokia have successfully completed the first ‘real-world’ trial of 4G LTE technology on Line 14 of the Paris Metro.
Completed on a portion of the Paris Metro Line 14, this trial demonstrated that a single 4G LTE network can be used for all operational communications of a train, whereas today they are supported by different channels – a mixture of Wi-Fi, digital radio and 3G/4G networks. The introduction of a 4G LTE-equipped shuttle on Line 14, an automated line meeting all RATP security requirements, is a world first.
A single LTE mobile network can replace Wi-Fi networks on the Paris Metro
The test showed that a single LTE mobile network can replace the traditional Wi-Fi networks and manage data transmissions from multiple applications simultaneously, including: a simulation of train control (CBTC simulation based on pre-recorded real data); video on trains and platforms; operational voice communications; multimedia passenger information on trains and platforms; and maintenance and supervision services.
This trial marks a significant contribution to start of the standardisation process required before any operational rollout of 4G LTE technology in transport systems and associated customer services. It was completed under the R&D SYSTUF (SYStème Télécom pour les Transports Urbains du Futur) project, in which RATP and Nokia are collaborating. The objective of this project is to demonstrate that it is possible to use a single telecommunication technology – such as LTE – that is able to meet both mission-critical and non-critical applications of future public transport systems.
As part of the experiment, RATP defined the applications that must be supported by the network and determined what constraints are to be met to complete a convincing, secure and non-disruptive trial. In addition to its 4G LTE technology, Nokia provided its expertise in project management and network optimisation, including network design, radio planning, a test bench in its transportation lab, performance simulation, as well as radio coverage optimisation and installation together with RATP.