Transnet Digitizes Freight Services in South Africa with Huawei

Transnet is a South African state-owned transportation company that manages South Africa’s rails, ports, and pipelines. It is responsible for building, managing, and operating South Africa’s rail infrastructure, playing a crucial role in the country’s sustainable and stable economic development. As South Africa’s largest freight logistics operator, Transnet is committed to building a globally competitive freight system.

As global rails and ports go digital, Transnet has developed a digital strategy to reposition its freight transportation system and improve its competitiveness. The strategy is founded in the use of innovative ICTs to improve the connectivity, capacity, and bandwidth of South Africa’s rail, port, and pipeline networks. Transnet also aims to improve its performance and capacity using real-time data. This means that a modern and expanded network is key for Transnet.

Transnet has been working with Huawei to build an upgradable and easy-to-maintain transmission backbone network featuring high bandwidth and reliability. The network enables the real-time and efficient transmission of a massive amount of business data, supporting emerging services and solidifying Transnet’s digital strategy.

Huawei’s All-Optical Backbone Network Solution for Railways

Transnet manages more than 30,000 km of rails, and its rail infrastructure accounts for 80% of all rail infrastructure in Africa. In addition, Transnet has 114 backbone nodes and numerous optical cable lines across South Africa. This gives the company an advantage when it comes to bandwidth operations.

However, the existing SDH network had many limitations. The SDH 2.5G/10G backbone network had reached the end of its lifecycle, unable to support Transnet’s production and operations. On top of that, operating the obsolete SDH network was not efficient and integration with newer technologies was troublesome, slowing down the company digitalization initiatives and business expansion.

In response, Huawei deployed the all-optical backbone network solution for railways, building an independent large-capacity wavelength division multiplexing (WDM) transmission network that meets Transnet’s business and production security requirements.

The project used next-generation intelligent and simplified OptiX OSN 9800 series products. These intelligent, large-capacity MS-OTN products integrate optical and packet functions, providing the transmission capacity of 100G and beyond. They feature high reliability, low latency, and deterministic quality, and support end-to-end native hard pipe (NHP) networks from the access layer to the transport layer. The system can now centrally carry Transnet’s different businesses at multiple layers and interfaces, ensuring independent and secure operations.

To enhance the stability and scalability of the operation network, Transnet adopted Huawei’s dense WDM (DWDM) technology that supports a single wavelength capacity of at least 100 Gbit/s. With it, Transnet has upgraded its 100G network and provides customers nationwide with larger capacity, faster speed, and more redundant bandwidth connections.

100G Links Meet Transnet’s Business Growth Requirements and Consolidate Its Digital Foundation

Huawei’s all-optical backbone network solution for railways delivers the much needed network capacity to support Transnet’s digital transformation and cloudification. Transnet uses the upgraded network to ensure reliable and high-bandwidth network connections for its rail production business. At the same time, it offers other customers bandwidth operation services, such as bandwidth leasing. This helps Transnet diversify its revenue sources.

Huawei’s all-optical backbone network solution for railways responds to a wide range of common challenges. These include insufficient optical fiber resources, large bandwidth requirements, long transmission distance, complex service types, and high requirements on network capacity and security.

The solution assures efficient production and allows customers to create value-added services. Plus, Transnet has optimized its costs in terms of network upgrade, capacity expansion, deployment, device O&M, and service operations.

Huawei’s all-optical backbone network solution for railways features high reliability, high security, and low latency. It has helped Transnet improve its transport capacity, support operations, improve operational efficiency, and ensure production business security. This helps Transnet successfully deploy its digital strategy along with digitizing South Africa’s freight transportation services.

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