Release of 21.07.2020
from left to right: Marcus Grausam, A1 Austria CEO; Johann Pluy, Member of the Management Board of ÖBB-Infrastruktur AG; Peter Wukowits, Managing Director Nokia Austria
The evolution of communications technology lays the foundation for the digitization of society and also contributes significantly to economic growth in Austria. The requirements of companies and industries for mobile broadband networks are highly diverse: The focus is on availability, highest bandwidths and shortest response times.
A1 Austria wants to become the first mobile network provider worldwide to implement "Network Slicing" in 4G and 5G mobile networks for ÖBB Infrastruktur AG. The technology partner for this trend-setting project is Nokia.
First network slicing to 4G/LTE in the A1 network
4G & 5G network slicing is an innovation announced by Nokia in February 2020. Within a physical network, each Network Slice is an isolated logical end-to-end network that can be customised to meet specific requirements. The solution can be deployed via a software upgrade on existing 4G/LTE and 5G non-standalone (NSA) networks and then on 5G standalone (SA) networks. The Network Slicing Architecture extends across core, transport and wireless networks and supports all 4G and 5G devices. Network slicing is thus a key mobile networking functionality and is making it available for the first time in a 4G/LTE network.
The digital future on rail
ÖBB's infrastructure follows a consistent path of digitalisation in order to prepare today for the mobility demands of the future. In the course of the development of an automated train control system on regional trains, ÖBB is testing a dedicated network slice in the existing A1 4G/LTE network, via which more information than before is directly transmitted to the traction units. With the real-time transmission of location data and signals to the traction unit, the positions of trains can be determined even more precisely and thus the maintenance of safe rail operations can be ensured even better.
By transmitting position data from the train and transmitting control data to the train, a completely new and cost-effective control of trains can be realized. Network slicing thus forms a basis for technical innovation on the regional railway, which is intended to ensure economic operation in the long term and at the same time fulfill the high safety and availability standards of the railway.
Johann Pluy, Member of the Management Board of ÖBB-Infrastruktur AG: "The digitalisation of the railways and the associated use of new technologies provides us with the basis for implementing the mobility concepts of tomorrow. Together with our partners, we are focusing on innovative digital solutions that meet the future requirements of our customers. With intelligent automation via secure and high-performance communication networks, we are not only increasing the flexibility of our offerings, but also taking advantage of unprecedented opportunities for optimizing safety, reliability and performance. Network Slicing provides us with the standards and prerequisites we need for efficient and safe railway operations".
A1 Austria CEO Marcus Grausam on the deployment of Network Slicing in the A1 network: "A1's mission is clear: We are digitizing Austria and supporting the economy on its way to a digital future. With the goal of Network Slicing we are taking the first steps toward individual networks for new requirements. As the digitization partner of ÖBB, we enable new areas of application and thus create added value for all of Austria".
Tommi Uitto, President of Nokia Mobile Networks: "We are delighted to build on our announcement from earlier this year and make our 4G/5G slicing solution a reality together with technology frontrunners like A1 and ÖBB. It will enable A1 to offer new mobile services for enterprises, Internet of Things, private wireless and fixed wireless access across their 4G and 5G infrastructure.”