Nortel has been selected to deploy a GSM-R wireless communications system for the new east west Algerian SNTF (Société Nationale des Transports Ferroviares) railway line.

Algeria’s SNTF will be the first African railway operator to adopt the GSM-R standard communications system, which will enable the Algerian National Railways Investment Company (ANESRIF) to improve safety, reduce operational costs and increase average train speeds which in turn will cut travel times.

The line links the cities of Ain Toutta and Msilla, as part of the High Plateaus railway system that crosses the country from East to West.

This new Nortel deployment includes integrating the GSM-R radio system to ANESRIF’s core network, GSM-R terminals such as handhelds and cab radios, base stations as well as related telecoms services for the railway lines.

Nortel Carrier Southern Europe, Middle East and Africa President, Michel Clement said that the contract was essential for continuing modernisation along Algeria’s rail network.

“Nortel continues to support ANESRIF and the Algerian government by providing proven, advanced technologies, along with support services based on our long telecommunications heritage,” said Clement.

Nortel’s technology will also help increase network interoperability and support new voice applications running over the GSM-R network such as railway emergency and group conference calls. These features are of key importance for track to train communications along the new lines.

GSM-R helps increase the efficiency and safety of the railway by supporting reliable and secure communications among railway operational staff, including drivers, dispatchers, train engineers and station controllers.

GSM-R is part of the new European rail traffic management aystem standard and carries the signalling information directly to the train driver, enabling faster train speeds and increasing traffic density while maintaining a high level of safety.