Construction of nationwide comms network – Stage 1 Backbone transmission

November 3, 2021

Customer: PKP Railways
Location: Poland
Partners: Nokia / ATDI / FONON / Spc2


A consortium of organisations was awarded a contract by PKP, the Polish rail infrastructure organisation, to deploy a nationwide turnkey GSM-R network and mission-critical backhaul network to improve railway security and reliability.

As part of that consortium, ATDI designed a preliminary radio network plan for a GSM-R system. The 13,800km GSM-R network, and plan the required 11,000km optical fibre-based backhaul network. The radio network and transmission network supported improved applications like messaging and other third party products.

As part of the project outline, contracts had to ensure the network build did not impact the surrounding population or natural environment. 

Backbone Transmission Network:

Nokia was awarded the infrastructure equipment contract for the railway network. To support this, ATDI designed a country-wide backbone transmission network for the GSM-R network. This optical fibre network consisted of 12-node Photonic service switches and 29 line Photonic service amplifiers. The network was based on DWDM technology and was equipped with IP routers and switches. The network was synchronized by time provider devices.

The ATDI team designed the three-phased network with ease.

  1. Creation and import of map data for the designated area;
  2. The input of network parameters and use of the appropriate propagation models. The radio network coverage calculations used HTZ Communications' automation functions; 
  3. Ensure the network did not exceed emissions or unduly impact the area surrounding the railway line. 


The ATDI team analysed and planned a total of 3883.71km of line. This included:

  • Length of railway lines with ETCS L2 [km] 1927.86 
  • Length of railway lines without ETCS L2 [km] 1955.85 

In addition, they were able to create:

  • Total number of OR 631 
  • Number of OR on lines with ETCS L2 413
  • Number of OR on lines without ETCS L2 219
  • Average distance between neighbouring OR for all the lines [km] 6.155 
  • Average distance between neighbouring OR for the lines with ETCS L2 [km] 4.668
  • Average distance between neighbouring OR for the lines without ETCS L2 [km] 8.930


The network rollout was successful. It complied with the environmental restrictions specified: 

  • Protection of population from emissions and EMF; 
  • Protection of natural areas according to NATURA 2000. These guidelines protect the largest coordinated network of areas in the World and offer a haven to Europe’s most valuable and threatened species.

About the Partners
Nokia Corporation (referred to as Nokia or Nokia Oyj) is a Finnish multinational communications corporation, founded in 1865, with customers in over 130 countries.

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