RailTel Corporation of India Limited has been awarded the work of implementing converged communication system over 230 stations in South Western Railway (SWR) zone valued at Rs 1.07 billion. RailTel was selected for this project through an open tender bidding process.

This initiative of SWR to modernise to an all internet protocol (IP) telecom infrastructure is among first of its kind to replace the aging time division multiplexing (TDM) based systems. IP telephony is a general term for technologies, products and services that use the IP’s packet-switched connections to support voice calling, voicemail, video calling, video conferencing, faxing and instant messaging (IM). IP telephony works by converting voice calls, faxes and other information into digital signals. These digital signals travel through IP networks, such as the internet, as data packets, using IP packet-switched connections. Voice features within IP technology, such as voice calls and voicemail, are referred to as ‘Voice over IP (VoIP)’.

The said project includes migrating to VoIP based train control communication systems and video surveillance system (VSS). The scope of work includes design, planning, supply, installation, fixing, configuration, integration and commissioning of this communication system. The project is targeted for completion within 12 months. This state-of-the-art IP infrastructure can meet all the current and future connectivity requirements of the railways such as passenger reservation system (PRS), freight operations information system (FOIS), coaching operations information system (COIS), caution order management system, RailNet for supervisory offices, etc. and all future applications is aimed at enhancing safety and efficiency of train operations.

Commenting on the development, Puneet Chawla, CMD, RailTel, said, “This project is very close to the core of RailTel’s expertise and we are confident of making the converged communication network of SWR as a show case and role model for the other Zonal Railways. As RailTel maintains the national internet protocol- multi protocol label switching (IP-MPLS) backbone, the integration of the SWR network with the national IP-MPLS network should happen smoothly”.