Telecommunication needs for rapid mass transit operators differ to a great extent from the requirements encountered in a carrier or an enterprise environment. Rapid mass transit operators have indeed a different challenge as they need to secure the safe and timely transport of people in an efficient way, 100% guaranteed. A reliable telecommunication network is an important building block to achieve this.
OTN Systems introduced the OTN product line during the early nineties. The company achieved the number one position in the rapid mass transit market as its solution exactly matched the needs of this industry. More than 20 years later, OTN Systems launched its successor product, called XTran. While OTN was SDH/SONET-based, XTran applies MPLS-TP as the latest standard for packet transmission in an industrial environment. MPLS-TP is considered the natural successor of SDH/SONET as it offers identical features such as sub 50ms reconfiguration times, symmetrical data paths and flexible network topologies.
Focus on safety and security
Safety is undoubtedly the top concern for passengers when they choose to ride on a mass transit system. XTran has been designed to support the critical communications requirements of operational safety features, such as collision-avoidance systems and automatic braking systems for driverless trains.
In addition, the XTran network efficiently carries voice, video and data traffic from a diverse range of passenger security-related applications such as CCTV video, public announcement systems, emergency phones, fire and smoke alarms and real-time passenger information displays.
Reliability providing ease of mind
Reliability is probably only second to safety on a passenger’s wish list. Even a short period of downtime in a rapid transit system can cause a lot of chaos, leading to frustrated passengers, loss of revenue, damage to the reputation of the transport operator and unhappy city politicians. Hence, XTran provides multiple levels of redundancy to guarantee an extremely high level of availability 24/7. XTran can operate flawlessly in an outdoor cabinet or inside a tunnel. This claim is proven by the numerous worldwide installations that have been running for years without any downtime.
Guaranteeing the lowest TCO
Most of the technicians of the transport operator have multidisciplinary skills and know-how. So, they should be relieved from having to handle a highly complex telecom infrastructure. At the early design stage of its portfolio, OTN Systems pays a great deal of attention to reducing the operational costs of a deployed network. XTran’s network management software, called TXCare, has been developed to allow an operator to configure, visualise and monitor the entire network from a central control room, without the need for extensive training. Furthermore, industry-standard interfaces make it easy to connect legacy or new equipment to the telecommunication backbone without the need for converters or technical support.
A mass transit system probably requires one of the most complex data communications environments that exists today. Multiple applications require guaranteed throughput and have very specific requirements: CCTV video traffic requires a very short delay between camera and control room, a radio network might need synchronous links, aged legacy equipment may still use analogue interfaces.
OTN Systems network users do not need to worry about these challenges as XTran overcomes complexities by providing a mature multi-service solution powered by MPLS-TP. Predictability is key for operational telecom networks. With XTran, in conjunction with TXCare, one is able to configure the delay, wander and jitter of each individual connection. All data traffic is combined on a single network ensuring 100% separation between the applications without jeopardising performance or data security.
More than 85 transport authorities around the world currently rely on OTN Systems for their operational communications.
Real-world implementations have been running continuously for over 15 years. Because of its operational simplicity, the network can be maintained with limited efforts and costs.
Some of the leading transport authorities around the world using our products are