The Brazilian rail company, Rumo has just awarded Inmarsat partner, Globalsat Group the Innovation award at its annual provider awards. Rumo established the provider awards programme to recognise suppliers who demonstrate outstanding innovation and sustainability gains.
The award was given to Globalsat do Brasil for the development and execution of its connectivity project. The project enables accurate real-time tracking of Rumo’s train, enabling reliable voice and data communication between drivers, maintenance teams and the control center.
Solving a connectivity problem
The communication solution was developed in response to the rail company’s challenges with inefficient network coverage, as it encountered failures when trains passed through in remote areas. Brazil’s railway system is essential for the transport of agricultural, industrial and container cargo to serve the export, import and domestic markets and it connects the largest production centres to the main ports. Rumo controls a big part of the system, transporting 58 million tons in 2019.
With the railway network spread over a vast area, much of it passed through remote regions of the country, which is where Rumo faced connectivity problems. It had been encountering connectivity problems in certain locations, which prevented drivers, railway engineers and control centres from communicating in real time. Messages sent could take more than ten minutes to be delivered, which left trains waiting to receive updates from control centre before they could continue their journey. This delayed operations and caused fuel usage to rise because of the unnecessary braking and starting.
Introducing efficient connectivity
To solve Rumo’s problem, Globalsat Group joined forces with Inmarsat and Cobham SATCOM to offer a tailored communication and telemetry solution for their rail networks. The solution enables the accurate real-time tracking of each train on the Rumo network, as well as reliable voice and data communication between drivers, maintenance teams and the Operations Control Center (CCO).
The project saw 300 of Rumo’s locomotives equipped with BGAN terminals, Mobile Gateways and Cobham’s PRISM PTT+ service. This technology provides seamless and continuous connectivity by selecting the best available network (cellular/satellite/LAN) for voice and data communications with no user intervention. It also enables interoperability between DMR, LMR, and MCPTT systems ensuring the solution is fully compatible with existing technology onboard the locomotives.
Inmarsat’s BGAN service provides satellite connectivity, through our global L-band network, trusted by governments, armed forces and companies trust to stay connected when everything else fails because of its 99.9% uptime. Gobalsat Group implemented the solution, and they offer ongoing warranty, support and repairs on site, to ensure the optimal operation of the connectivity solution.
The solution provides locomotive data that is visualised in an application at the CCO, showing the entire railway network and isolating the position of each vehicle, as well as its speed. It has provided Rumo’s fleet with highly reliable connectivity, ensuring an efficient, profitable and safe rail network, with Globalsat do Brasil’s Director Igor Falcao, estimating that it will save millions per month.
“We’re incredibly proud of the tailored communication and telemetry solution we have created for Rumo’s rail networks in partnership with Globalsat Group and Cobham SATCOM,” said President of Inmarsat Enterprise, Mike Carter. “Our joint solution had an immediate and significant impact on Brazil’s railway system, enabling more efficient transport of agricultural, industrial and container cargo, effecting domestic, export and import markets. Globalsat is a key partner for Inmarsat in Latin America, bringing its technical deployment and management knowhow on the ground, to complement our global, reliable satellite network,” he concluded.