Satellite links provided for nationwide rail communication infrastructure in Australia

Thursday, 14 June, 2007

Telstra Corporation has awarded an eight-year contract to Beam Communications to supply Iridium-based satellite equipment as part of a new interstate communication infrastructure for the Australian Rail Track Corporation Ltd (ARTC).

The rail communication system for ARTC will provide a single integrated network covering more than 10,000 km of rail track nationwide.

It will replace older technologies, such as two-way radios and CDMA devices, with Telstra's Next G technology with satellite backup, permitting trains and controllers to communicate seamlessly across the entire national rail network.

Telstra will integrate the Iridium circuit-switched data service into its network infrastructure, providing satellite interfaces for real-time data transmission to and from trains across the service area as well as backup voice channels for emergency communications.

Trains will be fitted with Beam satellite voice and data terminals, integrated into the trains' communication systems. Beam will also supply its SatRadio system for use in tunnels.

The SatRadio technology provides a two-way push-to-talk radio interface with the satellite terminals, permitting uninterrupted connection with the satellites when passing through tunnels.

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