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New eLTE Transmission Network Rides the Rails

09/04/2013 09:26:00


The Shuozhou-Huanghua Railway (SHR) runs 373 miles (600 km) from Shenchi, a key coal mine in Shanxi Province, to Huanghua Harbor in Hebei Province. It is the second longest coal transportation railroad to the coastal regions of eastern and southeastern China.

SHR selected Huawei for a US$1.7 billion project to increase total hauling capacity to 350 million tons by increasing the capacity of single trains from 5,000 tons to 20,000 tons each. In addition, Huawei reconstructed SHR’s transmission network on a unified platform for enhanced reliability and simplified O&M.


The project encountered several key challenges.

Multiple locomotive synchronization

The communication distance between the master and slave locomotives on heavy trains can be as much as 1.5 miles (2,500m). SHR needed to extend signal coverage to that range in order to switch from shorter trains carrying 5,000 tons to longer trains carrying  20,000 tons.

Multi-Service Transmission Platform (MSTP)

SHR originally used an MSTP to carry signaling, monitoring, and voice services. After upgrading and reconstruction, the MSTP was inadequate for the more diversified services and advanced network features SHR wished to add.


Original bandwidth for each service ranged from 2 Mbit/s to 100 Mbit/s Fast Ethernet (FE). However, the original MSTP had low transmission efficiency. The new services and features required a more flexible and efficient IP network.


An unstable and increasingly unreliable network affected security. There was no dual network coverage or multiple-priority Quality of Service (QoS) mechanisms to avoid service interruptions.

Operations and Maintenance (O&M)

Spare parts and maintenance costs were high because the older system was near the end of its service life.


Huawei provided a reliable, simple solution to reconstruct SHR’s transmission network.

Optimized network

Huawei deployed a comprehensive 1.8 GHz TD-LTE network with a 10 Gbit/s backbone layer and 2.5 Gbit/s aggregation layer. The network was easily upgraded to 10 Gbit/s.

Ethernet access

Huawei used OptiX OSN 7500 and OptiX OSN 3500 intelligent optical transmission switches for better cross-connection capability and Ethernet access. SHR planned to reserve 40% of the devices’ capacity for future expansion. The switches’ Ethernet access boards have a higher port density to save slots and increase the bandwidth utilization rate because of the grooming capability base in VC12/VC3/VC4 granulation.

Enhanced reliability

The system has multiple protection mechanisms to improve system stability and reliability. For example, all key system boards, such as cross-connection boards, main control units, and power supply units were deployed in 1+1 hot standby mode.

Secondary power supplies provide uninterrupted power and a faulty node can be switched within 50 ms. Huawei’s OSN-series switches provide an intelligent optical network that allows the existing live network to evolve toward an automatically switched optical network for even better network reliability.

Simplified O&M

Huawei OSN-series switches have interchangeable service boards. As a result, SHR needs fewer spare parts, driving down the cost of maintenance. Meanwhile, Huawei’s iManager U2000 eLTE management software, slashes costs by making system operations easier to control uniformly.


SHR received some very important benefits.

Large-capacity, scalable network architecture

The system transmits multiple services more flexibly to improve performance and leave room for expansion.

Improved reliability

Dual-network coverage and multiple-priority Quality of Service (QoS) mechanisms hold the line against single points of failure, producing 99.999% system availability.

Reduced CAPEX and OPEX

Fewer spare parts and simplified O&M mean lower OPEX costs and long-term support for smooth evolution will further reduce CAPEX.