Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Railroad communication and Internet backbone -- trenches with fiber

The Cuban railroad network

The Global System for Mobile Communications - Railway (GSM-R) is an international standard for wireless railway communication and applications. GSM-R base stations installed along the sides of railroad tracks allow for voice and data communication between the trains and railway regulation centers. (The base stations are from 7–15 km apart and the trains can be travelling up to 500 k/h)!

GSM-R has been installed in a number of nations and is now coming to Cuba. This year, they expect to install GSM-R from Havana's Central Railway Station through Santa Clara to Camagüey and subsequently to extend the system to Santiago de Cuba.

A wireless base station
The $40 million project is apparently being implemented in cooperation with a Chinese company, Jiaxun.

Why am I telling you this?

I assume that ETECSA is working with the railroad on this project and that the trench and fiber connecting the wireless access points will be used to augment and "future proof" Cuba's Internet backbone.

(Sprint, one of the major mobile ISPs began as the Southern Pacific Railroad Internal Networking Telephony system -- a communication system built along side the tracks).

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