May 17, 2020

Huawei: How LTE cuts the complexity out of modern transport networks

Rail transport technology
LTE
4G
M2M learning
Norman Frisch
4 min
Train network
Networks are complex by nature; an arrangement of intersecting systems, people and structures. To stay effective they need constant supervision and upda...

Networks are complex by nature; an arrangement of intersecting systems, people and structures. To stay effective they need constant supervision and updates.

Driven by the demands created by rapid urbanisation and globalisation, modern railway networks are no different. They need to undergo constant transformation to provide higher speeds, more efficiency and diversified services to their customers. Extreme high reliability, uninterrupted wireless coverage for moving trains in complex geographies and environmental conditions, and the improvement of trackside communications infrastructure are essential if rail operators are to successfully navigate these challenges.

As capacity on railway networks increases, downtime must be kept to an absolute minimum. System failures and communication breakdowns can cause delays and disruptions resulting in serious consequences and damage business reputation. In the next decade, technologies like 4G, cloud computing, machine-to-machine learning and operations will be more commonly applied to railways to ensure they provide leading and efficient passenger and freight services across multiple modes of transport. Reliable ICT platforms sit at the heart of this leap forward. From long-haul freight to local metro service, rail systems must look to automate infrastructure for operations, management, and maintenance to offer quality services whilst they scale.

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As high-speed rail networks rapidly expand, passenger safety and communication continues to be the highest priority for operators. With that in mind, prioritising enhanced communications for dispatchers, maintenance and service personnel is a must.

In Zhengzhou, China, the municipal government decided to use Huawei solutions to speed up the development of the urban railway system to improve traffic conditions and support the city’s sustainable development.  In total, 203km of track, across six new metro lines, has been laid to enhance the connections between the centre of the city and the surrounding metro area.

As part of this development, the decision was taken to upgrade the train-ground wireless transmission system. Slow and unstable data transmission using WLAN previously proved a bottleneck in the network. As one of the megacities in the central region of China, Zhengzhou urgently needed an advanced metro communications system to improve the quality of the city's public transportation services. In response, the deployment of Long Term Evolution (LTE) train-ground wireless communications, commonly known as 4G, provided a highly reliable and stable service for Zhengzhou’s metro line 1 to improve service quality across the network, enhance operation security, and raise transportation efficiency.

LTE is not only transforming Mass Transit systems but also offers Main line systems a smooth migration into Voice Trunking and Broadband enabled communication networks. In order to meet future railway communication demands for high bandwidth, the International Union of Railways (UIC) has confirmed that LTE will eventually replace GSM-R as the next generation of wireless railway communications technology.

Although GSM-R is the current communication system standard that provides operators with control over safety and speed as well as enabling rapid communication between drivers and control centres, these systems can struggle to cope with the increasing demands placed upon them. Simple voice and constraint data services cannot satisfy the high-speed data requirements both from train operators and from passengers. Services such as on board broadband video service and enhanced location and group call enablers are beyond the reach of GSM-R but are readily available on LTE.

LTE cuts complexity by providing a wide range of high-speed broadband services and frequency bands far exceeding capabilities of standard GSM-R – even on the fastest of trains. Tested at speeds of 430km/h on Shanghai’s Maglev line, LTE technology can still reach downlink rates of 50Mbps.

With LTE, for example, CCTV cameras installed along the track can provide video feeds from trackside, platforms or specific hot spots such as level crossings. Cameras can also be installed inside the carriage allowing surveillance inside the coach through centralized ground based staff or mobile security units along the line. Such sophisticated video transmission services were previously out-of-reach on most conventional GSM-R solutions. As a fully converged bearer service LTE has demonstrated, enhanced Voice and Broadband data services smoothly work in conjunction with Mission Critical Train Signalling data used for CBTC (Computer Based Train Control), the Mass Transit equivalent of ETCS L2 (European Train Control System) for GSM-R.

Besides Broadband Data Service LTE offers the opportunity to implement Narrow Band Data communication. Narrow Band Data communication is well known in the Internet of Things (IoT) allowing organisations with large scale infrastructures to remotely read sensors and meters. For railways these concepts allow a more efficient monitoring of their infrastructure whether it be bridges, level crossings or rolling stock. As high speed railroad traffic grows, rail companies face many challenges. But the truth is, networks must simultaneously be more cost-effective and responsive to customer demands for increased mobility and better services. There’s no denial overhauling legacy systems to create modern transport networks is a complex task, but one which needs urgent attention. Increasingly, the answer is LTE.

By Norman Frisch, Marketing Director, Enterprise Business Group and Transport Sector at Huawei

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Jul 26, 2021

Five9: the cloud software industry leaders acquired by Zoom

five9
Cloud
contact centre
Catherine Gray
2 min
Following the announcement of Zoom buying cloud company Five9 for almost $15billion, we take a deeper look into the company’s history and success

Five9 is the leading provider of cloud contact centre software. Driven by a passion for transforming contact centres into customer engagement centres of excellence, Five9 have a deep understanding of the cost and complexity of running a contact centre.

Founded in 2001, Five9 help contact centres of every size create powerful connections. 

The company has over 20 years of cloud contact centre experience, reaches over 2,000 customers worldwide, and annually reaches over 7 billion customer interactions. 

Built on a highly reliable, secure and scalable cloud platform, Five9 makes it easy to rapidly trial and deploy new services. Its software also future proofs businesses by supporting AI and other emerging technologies.

Utilising cloud capabilities for improved customer experience

Offering software that creates more successful customer interactions, Five9’s cloud contact centre software increases contact centre productivity. This is without the capital expense and maintenance costs of premise-based systems.

Built on flexible architecture that adapts to a company’s changing needs, Five9 customers benefit from a secure, reliable and scalable contact centre.

Five9’s cloud contact centre platform also gives customers access to an extensive ecosystem of partners. Its platform can be enhanced with leading customer relationship management, analytics, workforce management, performance management solutions and telephony providers.

By utilising cloud technology, Five9 customers have access to the latest capabilities through no-touch, non-disruptive real-time upgrades.

Five9’s recognition for industry-leading software

As a leading cloud contact centre software provider, Five9 has been recognised by leading industry publications and organisations for its success and innovative solutions.

For the fourth consecutive year, Five9 has ranked as a global leader for The Aragon Research Globe for Intelligent Contact Centres 2021. 

Five9 was also one of only three providers to earn the MetriStar Top Provider award when evaluated as part of Metrigy’s global 2021-2022 Workforce Optimisation and Engagement research study.

Five9: Zoom’s first major acquisition

Zoom Video Communications has agreed to buy Five9 for about $14.7bn, marking the company’s first major acquisition.

This deal with Five9 will help expand the company’s Zoom Phone offering.

“I believe the combination of Zoom and Five9 will be a game-changer. Joining forces will create a transformative opportunity for two strong companies with complementary capabilities and shared values,” said Five9’s CEO, Rowan Trollope.

With Zoom’s reach and brand, the acquisition will help Five9 propel forward and help the company deliver on its goal of significant international expansion

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