Nokia Wins Largest GSM-Rail Contract to modernise Poland’s rail communications

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Nokia's contract with PKP Polskie Linie Kolejowe is another step forward in the company’s diversification away from phones
Nokia's contract with PKP Polskie Linie Kolejowe is another step forward in the company’s diversification away from phones

Nokia just won a five-year, turnkey contract with the Polish state-owned line operator PKP Polskie Linie Kolejowe (PKP/PLK) for a full deployment of its rail modernization technology across the entire country by 2023.

The contract marks Nokia’s largest GSM-R win to-date — ever — and is another step in its expansion beyond traditional comm service providers.

The project will leverage Nokia’s GSM-R, mission-critical IP/MPLS and DWDM optical network to enhance the reliability and safety of the nationwide railway operation. When completed, PKP/PLK will have one of the most extensive, state-of-the-art railway communication networks in Europe — fulfilling the EU’s requirements for the continent-wide standard in rail signaling.

  • Project will support Poland’s state-owned operator in enhancing reliability and safety of nationwide railway operations
  • Contract marks Nokia’s largest GSM-R win to date, and another step in company’s push to expand beyond its traditional communication service provider customer base
  • The five-year turnkey contract covers deployment of GSM-R and mission-critical IP/MPLS and DWDM optical network alongside PKP PLK’s nationwide railway infrastructure
  • Full GSM-R coverage of about 14 000 km of rail tracks expected to be achieved by 2023

On March 29, Nokia announced it had won a contract to revamp Poland’s state-owned railway communications network. The contract is another step forward in the company’s diversification away from phones.

The five-year contract with PKP Polskie Linie Kolejowe will see Nokia roll out GSM-Railway (GSM-R) technology to cover almost 14,000km of rail tracks across Poland. The project will bring the country’s rail system closer to complying with EU rail traffic management standards. Nokia will also install more than 11,000km of optical fibre for network connection.

Nokia expanded its reach into the telecommunications networks space in 2016 with its speedy acquisition of Alcatel-Lucent

“Nokia is proud and excited to be a trusted partner for Poland’s digitalization, and building the railway communications network is a key part of this,” said Nokia’s Senior Vice President for Global Enterprise and Public Sector, Matthieu Bourguignon, in the statement.

“Based on our expertise as the market leader in GSM-R and critical communications networks, our unparalleled experience in turnkey projects and our successful long-term history in large-scale network deployments in Poland, Nokia is a natural choice for this kind of ambitious rollout.”

This is not the first major contract landed by Nokia this month. On March 28, Nokia also announced it was chosen by China Mobile, a state-owned Chinese telecoms company, to develop advanced cloud services for both public and private use. The company also expanded its reach into the telecommunications industry in 2016 with its speedy acquisition of Alcatel-Lucent.

These moves mark the continuation a strategic shift away from what had been Nokia’s bread and butter business – smartphones – until the company sold its devices business in 2014 following the cratering of its share in the market.

In the last quarter of 2007, Nokia commanded just over half the smartphone market, but by the second quarter of 2013 it only had 3.1 percent.

Nokia is the global market leader in GSM-R with 20 customers worldwide, more than 75.000 km railway tracks covered and 20 years’ experience in turnkey projects

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