Ericsson trials LTE on trains; wins UK arena small cell contract

Charlotta Sund, head of Ericsson's Industry and Society customer group

Ericsson announced the completion of trials of LTE technology for communicating with and controlling trains, and separately announced a small cells as-a-service deployment at a large UK sports arena.

The infrastructure vendor conducted trials of LTE in the railway industry in conjunction with Bombardier, a Canada headquartered aerospace and transportation company.

Ericsson said it conducted 11 laboratory tests of LTE’s ability to deliver communication-based train control (CBTC) and other services including CCTV, voice, platform information, advertising, and passenger Wi-Fi.

During the trials, train speeds of up to 200 km/h were simulated to test LTE networks’ ability to meet Bombardier’s requirements in terms of latency, packet loss, and the ability to prioritise safety-critical applications.

Ericsson stated its infrastructure delivered latencies far below the 100 millisecond mark set by the transportation company, while packet loss was approaching zero -- below the 0.5 per cent limit Bombardier specified.

Charlotta Sund, head of customer group Industry and Society at Ericsson, said the vendor will continue to “test a variety of modems to ensure we can provide robust LTE networks for rail applications.”

She noted that such technology can deliver “enhanced rail safety through communications-based train control and CCTV, as well as enhanced entertainment for passengers through services such as voice, platform information, advertising and Wi-Fi.”

Ericsson separately announced progress in its small cells as-a-service programme as it won a contract to become the connectivity partner for English premiership rugby club Wasps’ Ricoh Arena, which comprises a 32,609-seat stadium, 20,000 sq.m of events space, and a 121-bedroom hotel.

The vendor will deploy a Wi-Fi network in the arena based on its small cells as-a-service business model, as part of a 10 year contract covering the planning, design, implementation, integration, optimisation, and maintenance of the network.

Valter D'Avino, head of region Western and Central Europe at Ericsson, said the small cell as-a-service model “is the most efficient, cost effective means of enhancing connectivity in stadiums.”

Wasps Group CEO David Armstrong hailed the agreement as “trailblazing”, adding that the company aims to deliver “high-performing technology, connectivity, and interaction” to the arena’s visitors.

For more:
- see Ericsson’s LTE test announcement
- view the company’s small cell release

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