WESTbahn Taps Nokia to Implement Communications Network


Nokia has been selected by Austrian rail operator WESTbahn to implement a secure, high-performance and high-bandwidth train-to-ground communications solution across the operator’s new expanded fleet of intercity trains.

Following the recent commission of 15 Stadler trains for WESTbahn’s Vienna/Salzburg line, Nokia will supply, deploy and maintain Wi-Fi access points, intelligent multi-path switching and control systems at WESTbahn’s Operations Control Center (OCC). The Nokia solution will ensure enhanced customer experience with continuous, resilient wireless broadband connectivity for passengers and on-board operations across the latest additions to the WESTbahn fleet.

Christian Pettauer, CIO, WESTbahn, said: “The WESTbahn brand experience is based on a superior level of customer service, with continuous high-speed Wi-Fi connectivity an important part of our offering. Nokia’s train-to-ground solution delivers the necessary reliability, speed and capacity that our passengers rely on to stay connected – whether their journey is for business or leisure.

“In addition, we are committed to best-in-class on-board experience that includes paperless ticketing, reservations and information services. With WESTbahn stewards working exclusively from handheld wireless devices, this means that uninterrupted connectivity is absolutely essential for efficient on-board operations.”

Christian Watzinger, Head of Enterprise Sales Austria, Nokia Cloud and Network Services, said: “With this latest agreement, our relationship with WESTbahn will extend to more than a decade. During this time, by providing high-speed Wi-Fi throughout its fleet, WESTbahn has successfully differentiated in the marketplace with a commitment to outstanding levels of operational performance and customer service.”

Nokia, a market leader in GSM-R and FRMCS, has also deployed its train-to-ground solution in several urban/metro rail networks. It provides extreme resilience, assured throughput, end-to-end security and outstanding quality of service. It is backhaul agnostic and works with Wi-Fi, LTE or a hybrid access infrastructure.

To deliver the level of quality of service required by WESTbahn, Nokia maintains best possible on-board connectivity by utilizing intelligent switching – a unique multi-path connectivity algorithm that routes traffic optimally via redundant network gateways.

These gateways simultaneously connect to multiple local mobile operator networks and maintain high quality on-board connectivity by selecting and aggregating available bandwidth across the best performing channels. End-to-end security mechanisms ensure secure operations data exchange between the trains and WESTbahn’s OCC.

Richard Kitts, Global SVP Enterprise Services, Nokia Cloud and Network Services added: “Our train-to-ground solution accelerates railway’s digital transformation, enabling operators to envision innovative ways to operate more efficiently while delivering value for passengers.

“Our technology is complemented by a digital services delivery model and extensive professional services expertise based on deploying and managing mission-critical communication networks, applications and associated subsystems for more than 100 railway customers worldwide.”

WESTbahn Management GmbH, a subsidiary of RAIL Holding AG, is an open access railway company operating express train services between Vienna and Salzburg on Austria’s Western Railway since 2011.