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Huawei to Help in APAC Railway Digitalisation
August 16, 2021 News


Huawei recently held its Asia-Pacific (APAC) Railway Forum 2021 online, the second iteration of this annual event, exploring the theme “Smart Rail, Better Future Mobility”. Although COVID-19 has brought massive disruption to the rail industry, innovative Information and Communications Technology (ICT) is bringing intelligence to railways, in turn helping them cope in troubled times. This is achieved through improved efficiency and reduced operating costs, all while delivering better overall services for passengers and helping to implement measures that aim to slow and mitigate the pandemic’s spread.

The event attracted more than 1,300 railway industry customers, partners, experts and media drawn from across the APAC region. Core Huawei railway industry customers and partners, including the Hong Kong Mass Transit Railway Corporation (MTR), the Singapore Mass Rapid Transit Limited (SMRT) and the professional services firm Arup Group Limited, participated in a panel discussion, sharing their experiences on the importance of achieving operational efficiency for urban mass transit systems, particularly through driverless operations and workflow management.

At the panel session of the event, Kwek Hyen Chee, Head Digital Transformation and Business Innovation, SMRT Corporation Ltd, shared his observation that most people in Singapore have adapted their community lifestyle to adopt Greener transport modes and contribute their social responsibilities to sustainability by taking public transport in a city environment. He said, “I feel the technology is ready, a challenge is how do we transform the workplace, the workforce and work processes accordingly”.

Opening the forum, Aaron Wang, the Senior Vice President of Huawei’s APAC Enterprise Business Group, addressed the challenges that have been brought by the pandemic, noting that such challenges have also been converted into opportunities  for all industries.

“As a global ICT solution provider, Huawei helps customers such as Singapore’s Land Transport Authority (LTA), Hong Kong MTR, Turkey TCDD and Germany’s Deutsche Bahn (DB) to accelerate their digitalisation by integrating new technologies with traditional infrastructure. We believe railway digitalisation will lead to better mobility in the future”, Mr. Wang stated.

TC Chew, Director of Global Rail Business, Arup, shared three key trends in digitalisation: data, analytics and communications. These enable us to make better decisions and support the decarbonisation process that we want to achieve.

“To actually maximize the technology value to the railway is down to the people who are actually applying some of these technologies and capitalising on the data that is available to some of these technologies, if not all of them, and how we then apply a certain degree of intelligence to help us make better decisions about our day-to-day railway operations and the maintenance of our assets and the service delivery to our customers”, said Chew.

Changquan Luo, Director of the Metro Station Digital Innovation Studio at Shenzhen Metro, explained the background of its digitalisation strategy. It lies in the goal of meeting wider national requirements for strengthening transportation and ensuring high-quality development, focusing on digital intelligent enablement, operational excellence and serving cities.

“The Huawei ROMA platform has been used to implement data sharing services and build a converged data warehouse”, Luo said, regarding the role Huawei’s technology has played in this particular digital transformation journey. “The smart station digital platform converges and integrates services, achieving multinetwork convergence from devices to the cloud. This technology helped to complete part of our Smart Station 1.0”.

In a virtual visit to its exhibition hall, Huawei also demonstrated how the latest innovations in ICT are deployed in the railway industry, enabling digital transformation, from the Huawei SmartLi Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS) to OptiX Solutions and Huawei AirEngine Wi-Fi 6. For example, the high bandwidth offered by Huawei OptiX supports an increased number of Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) and cloud applications, with simplified Operations and Maintenance (O&M), real-time performance monitoring and intelligent fault detection all assisting the management of a packet-switched network.

Meanwhile, Huawei SmartLi UPS delivers a battery life at least double that of traditional lead-acid battery solutions, with a highly reliable design and wider coverage for input voltage. It can also be deployed in harsh operating environments, where the mains power supply is either unstable or entirely lacking, providing a unified platform that supports access to multiple energy sources. This effectively saves customer investment. Finally, AirEngine Wi-Fi 6 provides operators with real-time backhaul for train-to-ground services, with extremely low latency and higher throughput solving a key issue in the digital transformation of rail systems: information islands between each system.

Robust railway infrastructure is a critical transportation asset. As a global ICT solutions provider, Huawei is committed to innovating simplified, secure, open and intelligent products and solutions for the railway industry in APAC and the wider world, facilitating digital transformation and making every traffic and transportation system highly reliable, more efficient, safer and greener.