The Belgian railway company SNCB has again awarded a large-scale contract to Orange Belgium. Orange will provide connectivity for approximately 13,000 employees and 11,000 connected devices ranging from smartphones and tablets for ticket collectors to train drivers, screens or ticketing machines and smart parking solutions.
As a prime actor for green mobility in Belgium, the SNCB transports more than 900,000 passengers every day (in non-Covid times) and must meet a host of operational and connectivity challenges to ensure passenger safety and protect the quality of its services. Since 2004 the national railway company has relied on Orange Belgium’s network and experience in this area and now the decision has been made to renew this contract for an 8-year period.
As a result, Orange Belgium will provide fixed and mobile connectivity services for approximately 13,000 employees as well as the many railway stations around the country. This involves huge monthly volumes: more than 500,000 minutes worth of voice calls, 2.2 million texts and more than 15TB of data – and rising.
The partnership extends way beyond simple connectivity services. Indeed, Orange Belgium manages the network used by the SNCB’s many connected devices such as the tablets and smartwatches deployed aboard the trains for such varied purposes as monitoring the timing of trains, staying in close communication with the driver or selling tickets to travellers.
All the locomotives operated by the SNCB are also equipped with chips allowing 24/7 tracking and tracing of the devices. In order to ensure operational efficiency and safety, the operator is constantly updated in real time on the whereabouts of its fleet of trains, as well as the operations they are undertaking and any incidents that may occur.
Many other devices and tools also use Orange Belgium’s technology such as the ticketing machines in the workshops, information screens in the trains, sensors for proactive maintenance or smart parking management solutions.
Werner De Laet, Chief B2B, Wholesale and Innovation Officer of Orange Belgium, comments: “We are very proud to be able to continue the great work done so far to meet the connectivity challenges of the SNCB. This renewal confirms the trust between both companies and opens the door to new projects based on Orange Belgium’s experience in many key areas such as IoT, data analytics and, in the near future, B2B usage of 5G technology.”