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VicTrack, which owns the state’s transport infrastructure and assets, is a provider of core services to the transport sector and asset manager to support the delivery of better transport solutions in Victoria, Australia.
VicTrack is a licensed telecommunication provider that has an extensive fiber network that spans the state to provide a full suite of telecommunications services to the transport and government sector.
Following the introduction of Protective Services Officers (PSOs) at over 200 Metro Trains Melbourne (MTM) railway stations to improve safety for rail commuters, Victoria Police identified specific areas within certain Metro stations where there is a requirement to enhance the public safety communications coverage to support the work of the PSOs.
The solution must be able to provide public safety coverage and access at all times, but can also leverage existing fiber infrastructure of VicTrack to deliver the required services and can expand easily to meet all future requirements. In addition, VicTrack was looking for a solution that is digital, scalable and future proof.
With seamless communications and flexibility in mind, VicTrack selected telecommunications infrastructure provider Dali Wireless to design and deploy a P25 Phase I and II public safety digital Distributed Antenna System (DAS).
Dali Wireless digital DAS solution currently connects nine MTM railway stations to the Motorola Solutions’ base station through VicTrack’s extensive fiber network. Dali’s host unit is installed in the Metropolitan Mobile Radio (MMR) room managed by Motorola Solutions, and then cascaded to a second host at the VicTrack fiber hub site. This host inter-connection configuration enables both Motorola and VicTrack to independently access the system locally for control and management.
Dali’s host units receives the RF signals from Motorola’s base station and then digitize the signal to be fed to multiple remote radio units (RRUs) located at the MTM railway stations. The system supports mobile radios covering underground passages, PSO’s offices and other areas of the stations.
Digital’s digital DAS has an optical link budget of 15 to 30 dBo which enables no signal degradation over the long distance between Motorola’s base station and Dali’s RRUs at the MTM railway stations. The furthest station is 22 km away from the fiber hub. The digital signal over fiber technology ensures superior signal performance for seamless communications between the PSOs despite of the long distance.
With the long reach of Dali’s digital DAS, all nine railway stations that are spread throughout Melbourne can be served by the same radio source without any expansion units or boosters. This enables additional railway stations to be covered easily in the future as Dali’s RRUs and antennas can be simply added without interruption to the existing distribution network. Furthermore, additional channels, frequency bands or user groups can be added incrementally without changes to the existing distribution network. This flexibility and scalability is especially important as VicTrack can accommodate expansions without disruption to existing services.
With the emergence of public safety applications such as live two way video feeds and camera surveillance, VicTrack needs a system that is robust enough to offer the required bandwidth for media-rich public safety applications. With the full digitization and software configurable nature of Dali’s solution, VicTrack can easily scale to meet LTE requirements while supporting existing requirements including P25 Phase I & II, narrowband and broadband public safety.
Dali’s digital RF over fiber solution not only enable VicTrack to leverage its existing fiber network to rapidly provide public safety coverage throughout the MTM railway stations but also enables VicTrack to monetize the existing fiber infrastructure. In addition, since Dali’s digital DAS can carry both uplink and downlink over one single strand of fiber, this further optimizes the usage of VicTrack’s existing fiber infrastructure.
Lastly, to ensure seamless communications 24/7 and to simplify VicTrack’s overall network management infrastructure, CSquared Systems’ SitePortal® network management system is used to provide remote monitoring and control. This highly reliable and scalable network management platform will form the device management framework for future radio equipment migration and expansion.
“The safety of all passengers is a high priority and that’s why we’re working to support the deployment of Protective Services Officers across metropolitan stations by upgrading their 2-way radio technology,” said Bruce Moore, General Manager, Telecommunications Group of VicTrack.
“VicTrack will continue to work with government partners and the private telecommunications sector to ensure commuter safety concerns are addressed.”
“A future-proof solution that can support next-generation radio networks and the Internet of Things (IOT) is necessary for mobile operators and the transport sector. Dali Wireless’ innovative digital solution enables a smooth transition from current networks to LTE and 5G,” said Mohammad Ariful Islam, Solutions Architect, Telecommunications Group of VicTrack.
“The inherent flexibility and scalability of the architecture makes it suitable for many applications, including public safety and mission critical LTE networks, as well as Communications-based Train Control Systems (CBTC).”
“Dali Wireless is excited to be part of building Australia’s first digital Public Safety DAS system for the Melbourne Metro. The safety of the rail commuters is a high priority for VicTrack and Dali’s digital DAS provides the Protective Services Officers with the utmost performance and secure communications they require,” stated Andrew Leung, VP of Operations of Dali Wireless.
With the implementation of Dali’s digital solution, not only does PSOs at MTM experience high quality and seamless public safety communications, VicTrack can easily expand to accommodate future requirements making it a good long-term investment for VicTrack.