4G technology redefiningrailway communications

Updated 11 May 2013
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4G technology redefiningrailway communications

Huawei Technologies, China’s ICT major, is on a mission to help governments and transportation authorities understand how a highly secure and reliable communication system is not only crucial to the safety of passengers but will also transform the way railway operators run their businesses for the better.
Dong Wu, vice president, ME Enterprise Business Group, Huawei Technologies, made this observation in a special interview with Arab News.
Dong Wu joined Huawei in 2001 and his key responsibility is to drive the enterprise business in the Middle East market.
His career progressed as a datacom expert leading the global datacom technical sales in Huawei. His valuable contribution was instrumental in laying a solid foundation for Huawei’s MENA datacom market.
He earlier served as the director of datacom for Huawei Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region.
According to Dong Wu, there will be a greater convergence of mobile and transport communications in the coming years, as the MENA region has become the world’s fastest growing market for rail projects with planned investments in the railway sector of more than $ 250 billion.
An increase in metros, trams and monorail projects will also lead to the rail market almost doubling in size over the next decade, he said, citing a recent MEED Railway Report.

What are the hot railway topics on the agenda in the region?
Over the years, the range of communication solutions for railway has advanced to new heights. From Global Systems for Mobile Communications for Railway (GSM-R), datacom, transmission networks to high speed railway communications (HRC), all of these technologies are experienced by commuters in some form or other when they board the train. While some aspects of this technology may not be visible to the eye, railway communications technology ensures that passengers get from A to B in one piece.
Tell us about your research and development program in relation to railway communications?
Huawei has over 20 R&D centers across the world lending support to its operations. It is also one of the pioneers in ICT for the railway sector. GSM-R (Global Systems for Mobile Communications for Railway) is one of Huawei’s pioneering communication solutions. It is a critical component of railway communications that allows information to be processed from computers in the dispatch room to control train networks and traffic. Without reliable communication between railway traffic controllers and the train driver using GSM-R, the consequences could be disastrous and unthinkable. It has been conducting research in developing GSM-R and other pioneering communication solutions since 2002, with huge investments being made every year. Almost 50 percent of its global resources are dedicated to product development. Huawei’s GSM-R technology is a window on many innovations that differentiates Huawei from the rest of the ICT railway market.

How is Huawei helping to unify the Gulf region through technology?
High Speed Railway Communications (HRC) System is another solution that demonstrates Huawei’s innovative spirit. Based on Long-Term Evolution (LTE) technology, also known as 4G technology, LTE helps to define modern railway communications today.
The successful test of HRC on the Maglev train in China is a milestone not only for Huawei but also for railway communications. It demonstrates to the world that Huawei’s HRC systems is not only a pioneering approach to communicating but also has the potential to become a commercial application for a railway system where millions of urban commuters live and move every day.
Some of the successful projects in the region demonstrate Huawei’s innovative spirit in the railway sector for communications technology in the Middle East.
The global ICT vendor was awarded a huge project (in partnership with SELEX Elsag) at the end of 2012 to deploy mobile networks, optical and IP solutions for the Etihad Rail project and is set to connect urban and industrial areas of the UAE and open new links with Saudi Arabia and Oman. The wireless network will guarantee highly sophisticated mobile communications along a 266 km portion of the railway line. Not to forget building the region’s first ever 3G network in 2008 with Etisalat in the UAE and the Dubai Metro that now links up to its 18 stations, allowing passengers and retail owners the experience of Internet access while on-the-move from their smart mobile devices.

How many patents have been awarded to Huawei Technologies?
Huawei Technologies is the main contributor of industry standards with nearly over 18,000 technology patents awarded worldwide, and they continue to reaffirm its strength in delivering future technology-oriented solutions, to serve modern railway communication needs across the globe and the Middle East today. Rolling out over 20 projects around the world covering a total length of 8.000 km of railway tracks in GSM-R, the leading ICT vendor demonstrates its innovative capabilities in a range of communication solutions thanks to its vast experience in wire line, wireless and IP technologies in the telecom market for the past 12 years.
Serving communications network for 45 out of 50 of the world’s top telecom operators in addition to its strong presence in the Middle East with employees of almost 4,000 across 12 countries places Huawei in a unique position to address the railway communication needs of today.
Huawei will continue to demonstrate that its unique position in telecoms will help to develop innovative solutions for communications technology across industries, including modern high speed railways today.


Selling sketches and clothes, Libyan women set up businesses against the odds

Updated 25 June 2019
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Selling sketches and clothes, Libyan women set up businesses against the odds

  • Libya has only a tiny private sector and the economy is dominated by the state
  • Cumulative inflation over the last four years has seen real incomes lose more than half of their purchasing power

TRIPOLI: When inflation began eating into her state-paid salary Libyan architect and assistant professor Seham Saleh started selling drawings over the Internet to help pay the bills.
She joins a growing number of Libyan women launching start-ups in the conservative Arab country, where many still think a woman’s place is in the home but where the strains on personal and family income following years’ of political chaos have forced women to look for more work.
Libya has only a tiny private sector, which means there is a market for locally-produced goods. The economy is dominated by the state, which employs most adults under a structure set up by Muammar Qaddafi, who was toppled in 2011.
Men are the traditional breadwinners, although around 30 percent of women were in the labor force as of 2015, according to a UN report.
“I cannot live on my assistant professor salary of 1,000 dinars ($256) even if it is paid out,” said Saleh. She has been selling drawings of people in Libyan dress or book marks she created on a computer.
“Thank God... people wanted to buy the products,” she said. She also does freelance work as an architect.
Once one of the richest countries in the region, the chaos and civil war that ensued after the fall of Qaddafi has seen Libya’s living standards erode. Little is now produced in Libya other than oil, even milk is imported from Europe.
Cumulative inflation over the last four years has seen real incomes lose more than half of their purchasing power, and the government effectively devalued the dinar last September.
A cash crisis means public servants often do not get their salaries paid out in full. Lenders have no cash deposits as the rich prefer to hold their cash themselves, rather than deposit it in a bank.
Women rarely had jobs outside of sectors such as teaching, although the need for more family income has changed the situation, said Jasmin Khoja, head of a women’s business support venture.
Her organization, the Jusoor center for studies and development, has trained some 33 would-be female entrepreneurs, offers legal advice and office space as women often can’t afford their own.
While Seham’s “Naksha” art business is in its early stages, others such as Najwa Shoukri’s start-up are growing fast. She started designing clothes from home in 2016, and selling them online.
Now, together with five other women, she has a workshop selling 50 pieces a month and plans to open a shop next year on Jaraba Street, the main fashion shopping avenue in Tripoli.
To make the shop a success her output would have to rise to 150 pieces a month. Her brother and family have contributed to investments worth 10,000 dinars.
The biggest challenges for start-ups are legal hurdles and the lack of electronic payment systems.
Some Libyan commercial laws go back to the 1960s and are aimed at big corporations such as oil firms, not start-ups. Under these regulations firms need to deposit thousands of dinars.
“Banks do not give loans, which stops projects and makes them unable to grow or employ other women and young people,” Khoja said.
Undeterred, Mayaz Elahshmi started a business last week training women to fix computers and smartphones.
“There is big demand as many women are reluctant to go to a phone shop where men work, as they have personal files on their phones.”
Six people came to her first training session, each paying 30 dinars.