French railway operator SNCF (Societe Nationale des Chemins de fer Francais) and RFF (Reseau Ferre de France), the manager of the French rail infrastructure, have selected Nortel Networks to build a country-wide GSM-R (Global System for Mobile Communication-Railway) communications network.
Under the terms of a 15-year agreement estimated to be worth $200 million, Nortel will deploy its GSM-R system to handle all train voice and data communications, replacing an existing analog radio system.
The project will be deployed on the new Eastern France High Speed Line (first phase of the future Paris-Strasbourg high speed line) by mid-2004. Service to railway operators is expected on the first commercial lines by end of 2005.
In addition to France, the Nortel system is also being deployed in Germany, the UK, Italy and Slovakia. Nortel Networks provided the GSM-R end-to-end system of the new German ICE high-speed line in commercial operation between Frankfurt and Cologne, as well as the high-speed line between Rome and Naples.