IP-MPLS will be a game changer for the India Railways: Cisco

Telecom Lead India: Networking major Cisco seeks to
offer its solutions for the modernization of Indian Railways networks. Last
month, Cisco has sent its proposal to participate in the upcoming tenders for
the modernization of the Indian railways.


In a bid to modernize the railways network of India,
Indian Railways is looking at spending Rs 39,110 crore in the next 5 years for
telecom and signaling. Also, it has recently allocated Rs 2,002 crore in
2012-13 for telecom and signaling, which is more than double the allocation of
the current year and the highest ever.


Felix Gerdes, business development manager, Rail
Transport & Mass Transit, EMEA of Cisco Systems was recently in India for
meetings with Indian officials. Gerdes leads the rail transport and mass transit industry business
development activities at Cisco.


During an interaction with Telecom Lead, Gerdes said that
Cisco has proposed their offerings and services to the officials of the Indian
railways. Cisco offerings include Cisco Signaling solutions for Trackside
Networks and Cisco Connected Stations Solution.


Cisco would like to play a significant role in upgrading
track-side transmission networking infrastructure of Indian Railways Felix noted that there is a need to move away from SDH to
IPMPLS (IP Multiprotocol label Switching) to increase the capacity. Indian
railways has the largest route network in the world and upgrading to IMPLS
using fiber optics will increase the potential to save on costs. Moreover, the
upgrade allows for the continued, reliable delivery of train control and
signaling across the entire railways network.


At Cisco we try to offer a single converged network that
consists of public address network, CCTV network, customer information display
network, and customer support network. The main benefit of converged networks
is less complexity. Also, it can be managed with ease. The big enterprise
businesses around the globe have already adopted such converged network using
Cisco’s offerings, and now we are looking to serve the railways with the same
approach,” said Felix Gerdes.


On the role of ICTs in the Indian Railways, he said that
lot of future innovations in the Indian Railways has to do with the adoption of
ICTs in new business area to serve Indian railway customers.


The company offers Cisco Connected Stations solution that
addresses the critical business needs of the station operator. The company uses
Medianet Capable IP network that integrates core networking functions such as
in-station LAN, routing, security, WAN optimization and internet services.


In addition, the company offers its mobility solutions
for providing the railway engineers with access applications, communication,
RFID location services, and video surveillance capabilities in the station


The Cisco Connected Solution portfolio includes Cisco
Partner solution, IP video Surveillance, network-based digital signage system,
IP telephony solution and TelePresence solution.


Gerdes said that the company has been involved in the
designing and upgradations of several railways network in Western Europe. The
company has also worked with Rail Net Denmark for the deployment of IPMPLS


He added that the company is working in Latin American and
Middle-Eastern countries for the modernization of railways. Also, Cisco is
deploying its Connected Stations portfolio solution in the Saudi Arabia
project, which is a new railway line between Mecca and Medina.


Danish Khan
[email protected]