In place of legacy communications protocols, AI- and cloud- enhanced switches and routers bring better digital capabilities and IoT scalability.

A commuter railway connecting South Korea’s international airports to its capital city, Airport Railroad Express (AREX), has upgraded to a modern all-IP based communications network.

AREX is the country’s first domestic railway to feature this type of communications network that integrates wired and wireless networks to enable efficient network deployment as well as strengthened security and stability through MPLS VPN.

With the growth of Incheon International Airport (ICN) and Gimpo International Airport, AREX was looking to further strengthen the railway’s operational efficiency and to keep up with its growing network infrastructure needs. A major priority was the upgrade of its communication network which plays a vital role in ensuring uninterrupted data transmissions to the railway’s numerous technological systems for signaling, supervisory control, data acquisition, video surveillance and wired/wireless communications.

The brief was to build out a modern IP/MPLS communications network using AI-driven solutions. This is expected to improve the stability of AREX’s mission-critical system while supporting the delivery of reliable train services. According to their spokesperson: “Our commuters now enjoy an even safer and smoother journey and have not experienced any service disruptions to date. This is testament to the AI-driven enterprise solutions that support our growing networking infrastructure demands.”

Their technology supplier, Juniper Networks, helped upgrade the AREX railway’s communications network system without causing any operational disruptions during deployment. “They have also delivered trainings to ensure our teams are equipped with the necessary skills to maintain the stability of the network,” the spokesperson said.

Doing away with legacy comms

To improve efficiency across operations and fault management, AREX has also introduced an integrated operations management system that unifies communication protocols and facility maintenance systems. The AREX rail system can now continuously improve the overall commuting experience with the additional flexibility to expand their IoT infrastructure with extra bandwidth and redundancy.

Juniper’s routing and switching solutions provided the foundation of the flexible all-IP based communications network across multiple deployment sites, while enabling the unified transmission of multiple services. It incorporates AI-driven insights, operations and troubleshooting, and provides streamlined AI-driven operations, automation and visibility. 

Said Ki Byung Chai, Juniper Network’s Country Manager, Korea: “A modernized railway communication network has a direct impact on the well-being of commuters and plays a vital role in maintaining operational efficiency and safety. We are proud that our (solutions) provided the foundation for enhanced customer satisfaction and uncompromised safety standards.”