BRAZILIAN freight railway Rumo has selected Embratel, Brazil, and Nokia to supply a range of telecommunications solutions to improve network coverage and control of train operation and safety by providing more reliable communications between trains and the control centre.

The project incorporates Embratel services including its data centre at Lapa, cloud, Wi-Fi, 4G LTE connectivity and P2P radio as well as the management and monitoring of equipment on lines across Brazil. Nokia will provide network connectivity equipment and network management. This includes the deployment of Nokia Service Aggregation routers onboard trains to extend IP/MPLS services over cellular and WLAN networks.

Installation of Nokia’s industrial-strength handsets, which are resistant to high-temperatures common in Brazil, is underway, initially on 300 locomotives but with plans to extend installation to Rumo’s 1000-strong fleet. Embratel has configured the hardware to securely receive and route satellite signals, 4G LTE, Wi-Fi and P2P radio connections in the trains.

Connectivity is selected based on suitability across each stretch of the route and is automatically switched where required. For example, to 4G LTE where satellite communication is not as effective.

The project also includes installing new broadband capability on a 45km stretch of railway between Embu-Guaçu and Paratinga in Serra do Mar, in the state of São Paulo, that runs in an area of sloping, dense forest, where no satellite signal is available due to the geographic conditions. Here, Embratel will provide 4G LTE connectivity and will leverage Nokia equipment and antennas.

The project is also forecast to facilitate an increase in the use of autonomous vehicles for decision making, enabling Rumo to advance its capabilities. “We are looking to constantly evolve and we believe that this project will take our operations to a new level, making them safer and adding greater quality across all operations,” says Mr Roberto Rubio Potzmann, Rumo’s technology director.