Turkey's location at the crossroads of Europe and Asia makes it a country of significant geostrategic importance.

Turkish State Railways (TCDD) is the government-owned national railway operator in Turkey. It controls over 12,532 km of railways and owns eight passenger transportation lines and seven freight transportation ports, with a total workforce of more than 29,590 employees. Each year, TCDD carries over 28 million tons of freight and 80 million passengers.

The EKB line is an integral part of the nine-year high-speed railway plan launched by TCDD. Once the line is opened, the journey security between major Turkish cities such as Eskişehir, Kütahya, Afyon, and Balıkesir will be drastically increased.

In response to TCDD's stringent requirements for network security, Huawei offered an ETCS L2-compliant railway operational communication solution.


Turkey's railway communications systems are outdated, which greatly limits the capacity over the railway network. To solve this issue, the Turkish government has accelerated railway construction and aims to revamp 70% of its railway lines into double-track lines by 2023, the government's centennial anniversary. During the railway upgrade and reconstruction process, TCDD faces the following challenges:

  • Signal coverage:

    Turkey has a complex topography, with most of Turkey's territory comprised of plateaus and mountains. Up to 42 tunnels were scattered along the 466 km EKB line. Under such geographic conditions, TCDD was highly concerned about how to ensure available signal in tunnels, even after professional site selection.

  • Network security:

    Turkey's high-speed and conventional railway projects are essential to Central Anatolian railway networks, and some of Turkey's railway lines are connected to Turkey's neighbors, such as Georgia and Bulgaria. To ensure cross-country transportation efficiency and security, TCDD set high requirements for network security.

  • Interoperability:

    The EKB line is based on European Train Control System Level 2 (ETCS L2) standards. The vendor must guarantee train control security by interoperating their new access network equipment with live core network equipment from Nokia. Further, TCDD hoped that the vendor could also provide peripherals, which required the vendor to ensure a high level of interoperability of their equipment with the peripherals.

Huawei’s Solution

In response to TCDD's stringent requirements for network security, Huawei offered an ETCS L2-compliant railway operational communication solution.

  • Distributed base stations (DBSs) ensure signal coverage in tunnels and simplify equipment deployment.

    Huawei resolved the signal coverage and site deployment problems by using an industry-unique distributed base station (DBS) solution. By leveraging multi-remote radio unit (RRU) multi-site cell technology, Huawei's DBSs ensure a high level of quality of service (QoS) and simplify site provisioning. Huawei's solution was highly praised by TCDD. The following figure demonstrates how the multi-RRU multi-site function works.

    In response to TCDD's stringent requirements for network security, Huawei offered an ETCS L2-compliant railway operational communication solution. less handover and easy frequency planning
  • The baseband unit (BBU) ring network enhances network security.

    In Huawei's solution, a maximum of five base transceiver stations (BTSs) form a ring. Two links (in active and standby mode) are used to connect a BTS and a base station controller (BCS), preventing transmission links from suffering from a single point of failure (SPOF).

    Huawei also provided auxiliary transmission and telephone systems in this project to deliver a comprehensive solution that covers every aspect of the operational communication along the railway line.

  • ETCS L2-compliant Huawei equipment successfully interconnect with Nokia core network equipment.

    Huawei's solution ensures a high level of network reliability by completing the ETCS L2- based interoperability testing (IOT) with Nokia core network devices in DB-Systel labs and directly on site in Ankara with involvement of RINA NoBo.

  • Huawei equipment can be integrated with third-party equipment to ensure interoperability.

    Railway applications rely on cooperation between multiple communications units. Therefore, a vendor's communications solution must consider the interoperability with third-party peripherals and signaling systems. In this project, Huawei's equipment efficiently interoperate with third-party peripherals and signaling systems from European and local vendors with rich delivery experiences. This high level of interoperability proves that Huawei is able to deliver an end-to-end solution for the customer.

Customer Benefits

Once the EKB line is put into operation,. The railway security will be upgraded with use of ETCS L2 signalling system, GSM-R communication and trackside telephones together. Up to now, this conventional line was in use without signaling. Thanks to new signaling system and Huawei GSM-R and SDH backbone, both voice communication between dispatchers and trains drivers, and signaling data communication will be carried seamlessly.

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