Shenhua Group Corporation is a mining and energy giant in China. As a Global Fortune 500 company, Shenhua Group is the largest coal-producing company in the world. Their Shuohuang Railway (SHR), with an operating route length of 594 kilometers, is a critical artery of China’s West-to-East Coal Transfer project. Shenhua hoped to expand the railway’s capacity to transfer 350 million tons of coal and needed to maintain efficient and safe operations of 20,000 ton capacity heavy-haul trains. The railway’s previous communications system could not support the expansion plan because of limited coverage distance and low reliability.

Huawei customized an eLTE solution that could meet the challenge. The wireless broadband system guarantees the communication between the master and slave locomotives located at both ends of trains, which could be up to 2500 meters apart. The eLTE network also enhances operational and maintenance efficiency with trunking dispatching, remote data acquisition, wireless video surveillance, data transmission and other services. It is the world's first LTE network for heavy-haul railways. It will allow them to continue to expand transfer capacity from 200 million to over 350 million tons of coal (leading to an increase of USD900 million in annual profits).

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"Reliable communications is crucial to the operation of long trains. Huawei’s eLTE solution helps to meet the challenges with an outstanding communications system that covers over 2500 meters and supports efficient video scheduling."

Mr. Cao Yanping, Deputy General Manager of Shuohuang Railway Ltd.

Huawei employs 1.8G LTE TDD to enable communications for 20,000-ton heavy-haul trains over long distances. The LTE network supports the multi-locomotive synchronous control system, controllable train tail system, and other heavy-haul train services that require a reliable and secure communications system.

With full network-element redundancy and a dual-network coverage and multi-priority Quality of Service (QoS) protection mechanism, Huawei’s eLTE solution for railways ensures 99.999% system availability and guarantees uninterrupted service. The eLTE network also enhances operational and maintenance efficiency with trunking dispatching, remote data acquisition, wireless video surveillance, train control data transmission and other services.

The eLTE solution has clear advantages over Wifi, which has an effective coverage distance only 120 meters requiring multiple switches and increasing the risks of dropping out and latency. Given the complexity of the railway environment, a reliable QoS mechanism allocates resources in priority. With fewer switches required and robust dependability, eLTE is the obvious choice for modern heavy-haul railways.

“The project was a success and allowed us to test services such as multi-locomotive synchronous control, wireless data communications, voice trunking dispatching and on-board video surveillance. We are confident that Huawei’s eLTE network is secure and will allow us to continue to expand our capacity beyond 350 million tons."

Mr. Cao Yanping, Deputy General Manager of Shuohuang Railway Ltd.

Huawei eLTE broadband access solution

It could support data speed upstream at 50Mbps and downstream at 100 Mbps under the condition of 20MHz bandwidth and 2*2 MIMO.

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