Yamanote Line

NEC has supplied a ‘common station network’ based on software-defined networking (SDN) for East Japan Railway Company’s (JR-East’s) 36 stations in the Yamanote Line area.

The Yamanote Line connects most of Tokyo’s major stations and urban centres, including Marunouchi, the Yurakucho/Ginza area, Shinagawa, Shibuya, Shinjuku, Ikebukuro and Ueno, with all but two of its 29 stations connecting to other railway or underground (subway) lines.

The Yamanote Line area includes all stations on the line, as well as those in the same area on the Chuo line.

Yamanote and Chuo are major lines with several large-scale terminal stations.

"JR-East will be able to carry out integrated network management across all stations and provide new services faster."

Using software to allow JR East to configure networks or make multiple changes to settings centrally, NEC’s common station network are now connected to all 36 stations, while upgrades to network devices and improvements to monitoring capabilities scheduled to be completed by the end of this month.

By using an IP network, NEC has created a large-scale, high-capacity network to allow centralised management of all the stations.

The installation is part of the company’s aim to establish an integrated network across all systems, as well as offer the necessary infrastructure to quickly provide new services in line with customers’ individual needs.

JR-East will be able to carry out integrated network management across all stations and provide new services faster.

NEC has installed 20 SDN controllers and 174 SDN switches across all stations, including Tokyo station. Its Univerge PF Series products are claimed to be the world’s first such products to be compatible with OpenFlow SDN technology.

As a result, JR-East has started offering new services such as a public wireless LAN and information on locker availability.

JR-East has previously equipped the Tokyo station with a similar common station network from NEC.

The technology will allow the operator to provide and monitor common services at each station, which in turn will help to improve its customers’ travelling experience.

Image: A Yamanote Line E231-500 series EMU headed for Tokyo and Shinagawa. Photo: courtesy of LERK via Wikipedia.