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Case Studies

Empowering the World’s Largest Transit With IP-Based PA Systems

In the United States, a vast transportation network carries millions of passengers daily, serving nearly 500 stations. Prioritizing passenger safety demands not only access to real-time information but also the ability to report emergencies promptly.

After more than a century of operation, a major metropolitan subway system recently found itself burdened by an outdated emergency reporting and information request system. This passenger assistance system proved challenging to scale and required frequent repairs. To address these issues, city authorities initiated a collaborative effort with various vendors to devise an optimal solution—an integrated IP-based kiosk. This innovation boasts high-quality voice communication, seamless deployment, centralized management, exceptional scalability, and the robust network performance essential for a public safety solution.

The Setbacks to Connectivity

To enhance the passenger experience, the systems integrator had a plan to upgrade the existing analog intercoms to IP-based kiosks. Nevertheless, several challenges quickly emerged:

Power issues
The new system involved numerous interconnected network devices, such as PoE wireless access points and PoE IP cameras, all demanding a dependable power supply.

Logistics Complexities
Installing these networked devices within the kiosk units required specific dimensions tailored to fit the unique architectural layouts of subway stations.

Bandwidth Constraints
The networked devices had to possess sufficient bandwidth capabilities to support the seamless transmission of voice, data, and video over IP.

Maintenance and Durability Concerns
Minimizing equipment repair and maintenance costs emerged as a critical consideration. Subway tunnels and platforms presented demanding environmental conditions. Dampness, water dripping on platforms, and extreme temperature fluctuations between severe cold and heat are commonplace. Additionally, subway stations generate constant electrostatic discharge and electromagnetic interference.

Innovative Subway Network Solutions

EtherWAN's rugged EX78000 Series PoE switches played a pivotal role in an extensive subway infrastructure project by providing ample power to wireless access points and surveillance cameras via LAN cables. Given the limited installation space, EtherWAN tailored the mechanical design to perfectly match the physical dimensions and connector placement within the new information kiosks.

Key Benefits of the Solution:

Reliable PoE
The EX78000 managed Ethernet switch delivers 8 ports of 30W PoE per port compliant with IEEE802.3at standards, all distributed over Ethernet cables

Efficient Network Management
Robust network management capabilities ensure efficient and secure data communication while minimizing maintenance concerns. EtherWAN's Alpha-Ring self-healing ring technology guarantees a rapid recovery time of under 15ms after a fault, ensuring uninterrupted transmission and minimal packet loss. Network engineers can access management features like port security, IGMP snooping, port-based VLAN, GARP protocols, and link aggregation through various interfaces, including web browsers, Telnet, SSH, SNMP, RMON, TFTP, and RS-232 console interfaces. An external storage device is also available for swift switch configuration backup and restoration.

Long Lifespan with No Moving Parts
The EX78000 series hardened Ethernet switches are constructed using durable materials and undergo environmental testing ranging from -40°C to 85°C. Their fanless and ruggedized housing enhances durability against shock and vibration. These switches also comply with EN 55022 for high immunity against electrical interference, a critical aspect in rail environments.

Optimized Mechanical Design
EtherWAN tailored the switch dimensions and mounting methods to ensure seamless installation within the subway's distinctive structure.

As a result, 1900 IP-based interactive kiosks now serve countless passengers across subway stations throughout the city. Whenever a passenger requires specific information or needs to report an emergency, they can conveniently approach one of the kiosks and communicate with a subway representative with a simple click of a button. With video, voice, and passenger information all part of this interconnected solution, passengers benefit from improved punctuality and enhanced safety.

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EtherWAN – "When Connectivity is Crucial"
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