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    Highly efficient highways: how reliable data networks are keeping the road open for Turkish trade

The world is becoming quicker, smarter, and more connected with each passing year. In every aspect of our lives, from the way we drive, to the way we shop, and order food – both businesses and consumers expect things to be fast, seamless, and digital. Roads are no different.

The world is becoming quicker, smarter, and more connected with each passing year. In every aspect of our lives, from the way we drive, to the way we shop, and order food – both businesses and consumers expect things to be fast, seamless, and digital. Roads are no different.

In Türkiye, the KGM (Karayolları Genel Müdürlüğü - Turkish Roads General Directorate) tasked private contractor Fernas to build a highway between the cities Aydın and Denizli. The innovative project, which harnesses a variety of smart technologies to improve road safety and ensure a smooth flow of traffic, will deliver a raft of benefits for the country, demonstrably improving connectivity between industry and agricultural areas in Aegean Region and İzmir and Antalya seaports, both of which are key trade hubs and integral to Türkiye’s international trade efforts.

Huawei's network solutions were instrumental in unleashing the project's complete technological capabilities. By collaborating closely with various stakeholders and guaranteeing consistent deployment and implementation, Huawei will lay the groundwork for a sturdy, effective, and reliable service throughout the project's duration.

Seamless, wireless collaboration

For the project to be a success, it was necessary to deliver a robust redundant network that could remain operational in the event of a single point of failure. Furthermore, the network had to ensure uninterrupted use of all critical applications such as Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) and tollbooth payment systems.

Fernas, who was appointed to deliver the construction of the highway and the associated telecommunications infrastructure, approached Huawei to become involved in the project on the strength of its track record on previous projects together. While this was Huawei’s first major highway network project of its kind in Türkiye, Huawei was well positioned to accommodate the demands of this assignment due to its experience in other major transport projects in country.

Yavuzarslan, Huawei Türkiye Transportation Director "For over a decade, Huawei has been a vital contributor to public transport infrastructure projects in Türkiye, leveraging its expertise in networking solutions to unleash the power of technology. The adoption of state-of-the-art technology has played a pivotal role in providing end-users with a safer and more comfortable transport experience. Our commitment to excellence in delivering public services will deliver measurable economic and social benefits, a source of pride for us. We are determined to continue enabling more efficient public service delivery, driven by cutting-edge technology, and to make a positive impact on society as a whole.”

Working in collaboration with Fernas’ technical experts, Huawei gained a solid understanding of the project topology. Based on this information, it was able to create a design for the network infrastructure, that deviates from the previous projects in Türkiye, by providing a single redundant backbone for all subsystems such as the technical buildings and tollbooth areas and main and backup operation and control centres. Huawei then worked closely with Fernas to understand the needs of each application before providing a package of solutions that could accommodate the full range of requirements. This package comprised eSight NMS, CloudEngine Campus switches and Wi-Fi 6 Access Points.

Faruk Marsil, IT Manager at Fernas Construction Company, said: “As FERNAS, we are responsible for establishing the telecommunication network needed by the Aydın Denizli Highway, as well as maintaining it for the coming years. With this requirement, we believe that we have realized a network design that uses the latest technology and is open to easy expansion, by using the new approach to network design that we designed, and that will be used on a highway for the first time in Türkiye.

With the FERNAS unique design, we believe future maintenance and system upgrades will be effortless with robust network architecture in place.

I would like to thank our esteemed managers who taught us to be inquisitive, original and courageous within the FERNAS culture, and my valuable colleague Mr. Ufuk Murat Öztürk, who worked shoulder to shoulder with me in the project.

We are happy to have shown that different brands can be used, in addition to the ones that are customary to be used, in highway projects in Turkey.

We decided to cooperate with Huawei, which has a local expert team and can offer world-class solutions in this Project. This project is a successful continuation of the successful and long-standing partnership between FERNAS and Huawei. We look forward to continuing our partnership in the years to come.”

Keeping technology at the heart of the highway

Huawei will collaborate with the project team to identify a winning combination of technical solutions. Its support will extend to commissioning of Huawei equipment, where Huawei experts will provide support to the team to ensure a smooth and error-free rollout. They also will assist with any technical queries and carry out testing to confirm that the equipment is performing as expected. Huawei's local presence will facilitate close alignment between the two teams.

As part of a turnkey solution, Huawei also provides training to end-user employees to equip them with the requisite skills and knowledge to commission and configure the devices. The mission-critical nature of the applications running on the network, where any possible downtime would result in a loss of income for the highway operating company, required absolute continuity of operations. Given that Fernas was contracted to manage the highway for long years to come, maintaining a downtime-free operation is essential to the success of the project.

The road to success

Thanks to solutions and support from Huawei and Fernas technical capabilities the project will improve the overall quality of Türkiye’s highway network, greatly enhancing the links between key trade centres, and creating new economic opportunities in the process. The presence of ITS systems (like temperature sensors) will ensure that drivers are kept updated of any important alerts which may have a bearing on safety, while payment systems based on RFID technology provide the basis for frictionless payment. The outcome is a safer, less congested road network that is better able to meet the needs of Türkiye’s citizens and businesses, with all systems underpinned by Huawei’s industry-leading network technology for exceptional reliability and performance.

"Without embracing digital transformation, we would struggle to keep pace with the rapid changes happening around us," commented Associate Professor Charnchai Panthongviriyakul, Doctor of Medicine (M.D.), President of KKU. "Therefore, it's important for KKU to embrace a forward-thinking policy that allows it to remain relevant and keep up with the times."

Charnchai Panthongviriyakul

Associate Professor, Doctor of Medicine (M.D.), President of Khon Kaen University