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Nokia bags major networking deal from Paris metro

Finnish kit maker Nokia has won a high-profile contract to provide IP and private wireless connectivity to Paris’ new metro network.

Announced back in 2007, the Grand Paris Express will create four new metro lines, extend two existing lines, and build 68 new stations in the greater Paris area. When it is completed, driverless trains will carry up to 2 million passengers per day along 200km of new track. The project is being run by a public body called Société du Grand Paris (SGP), and the first line is due to enter service in 2024, with the others to begin operating in the years that follow.

Under its deal with SGP, Nokia will deploy a high-speed IP/MPLS backbone that will underpin a range of mission-critical applications across the entire network. Being a driverless rail service, ensuring passenger safety is even more important than usual, which is why one of these mission-critical applications is real-time video surveillance, which will enable metro staff to quickly identify and respond to any problems that arise.

In tandem with the IP/MPLS network, Nokia will also provide mobile core and RAN solutions that will be used for staff communications, and will provide indoor and outdoor connectivity along all the new lines, at all 68 stations, and the new train depots too.

In short: this is a significant win for Nokia.

“We are incredibly proud to be selected by SGP as a supplier and excited to deploy our world-leading wireless access, IP/MPLS routing and mobile core solutions as a part of this ambitious project to digitally transform one of Europe’s largest rail systems,” said Matthieu Bourguignon, VP of enterprise Europe sales at Nokia, in a statement on Thursday.

“These projects provide critical high-speed connectivity and performance at all points within the new Grand Paris metro and its operations, giving SGP the highest levels of confidence in its end-to-end Nokia network,” he said.

Nokia says it has now deployed private wireless networks at 515 large enterprises worldwide. And earlier this week, it shared some survey results that indicate private cellular networking is delivering on its promises.

Carried out by research firm GlobalData, Nokia’s survey of key decision makers at 79 multinationals found that around 80 percent have seen – or expect to see – a return on investment (ROI) in private wireless networks within six months.

Nokia said that increased insights, enabled by the deployment of advanced sensors and data analytics, have led to more efficient and safer operations. A majority of respondents saw more than a 10 percent improvement in various KPIs, such as longer uptime and lower energy consumption. Some saw improvements of more than 20 percent.

The survey suggests that private networking is also encouraging enterprises to adopt other new technologies. Nearly 80 percent of respondents said they have also either rolled out, or plan to roll out industrial edge solutions in order to benefit from low-latency industry 4.0 use cases.

All this translates to cold, hard cash for suppliers that are able to capitalise on this demand. As ABI Research predicts, global revenue from multi-access edge compute (MEC) deployments for private cellular enterprise networks will reach $5.8 billion by 2030. The analyst firm also reckons that the private wireless networking market will be worth $109 billion by the same year.

 

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