Andrew, a specialist in wireless communication systems and products, has signed a contract with Alcatel-Lucent Switzerland for providing radio frequency (RF) coverage solutions in the world's longest railway tunnel, the Gotthard Base Tunnel in Switzerland.
Andrew will provision its ION-M multi-band, multi-operator fiber distributed antenna system and RADIAX radiating cables to spread wireless coverage throughout the tunnel. Railway operators and emergency personnel will be primary users of the system with GSM-R and PMR communications standards supported, while public 2G and 3G mobile network customers will also benefit with improved coverage.
"Railway systems rely on clear and constant communication among train engineers and control centers for smooth and safe operation," said Markus Kalt, vice president of business operations, EMEA, Wireless Innovations, Andrew. "Andrew is honored to be chosen by Alcatel-Lucent for supplying the coverage solutions that help ensure such important exchanges."
Unique challenges in supporting railway communications in tunnels include the high-speed handoffs that are required as passengers zip through the tunnel. Gotthard Base Tunnel commuters will travel at speeds of up to 250 kilometers per hour. Andrew's ION-M solution, which includes over 600 remote units for this project, is said to be tuned to handle such quick hand-offs. In addition to the Gotthard Base Tunnel's main carriageway tunnel tubes, the railway system consists of numerous access and service tunnels totaling 153 kilometers in length. Andrew's RADIAX radiating cables will support the entire tunnel system.