The strategic alliance between global information and communications technology (ICT) giant Huawei and JSE-listed ICT group Altech announced last year is already beginning to pay dividends, according to Tim Ellis, executive director of the Altech group.
Ellis says Altech and Huawei have jointly secured a significant contract with the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (PRASA) to provide digital signalling network technology for South Africas major metropolitan areas, including Gauteng, Durban and Cape Town.
In essence the technology controls the movement of trains to ensure that they operate efficiently while improving passenger safety. This technology will give management eyes on the rail tracks, allowing them to monitor the movement of their trains ¦ to determine when its safe to proceed, and when to stop, says Ellis.
Traditionally, this type of information was collated through the deployment of expensive fibre-optic cables or copper wire running the length of the entire rail network. Theft of copper wire along rail networks, which provides the backbone of vital communication between rail controllers, has in the past resulted in disaster.
Ellis says the technology that Huaweilead partner in the joint ventureand Altech will provide eliminates this risk. The GSM-Rail (GSM-R) technology will be wireless and will eliminate the risk of down time caused by interruptions to the communications infrastructure.
This will be the first time that GSM-R technology will be deployed in Southern Africa, says Ellis, adding that it is already widely used in Europe and in other industrialised nations.
The project will result in significant new job creation, skills transfer and new learnerships. Ellis says the deployment of the GSM-R technology is one leg of the recently announced PRASA infrastructure development plan.
The project will also benefit several small, medium and micro enterprises, he adds.
Notes to editors:
About Allied Technologies Limited
Allied Technologies Limited (Altech) is listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE). The company focuses on the telecommunications, multimedia and information technology (TMT) industries. It has a global footprint in 14 countries and employs more than 4 000 people.
As a leading South African multibillion-rand group, Altech is involved in the design, development and convergence of telecommunications, multimedia systems and IT solutions.
For further information please contact:
Executive Director: Altech
Cell: +27 (0)83 616 6064
Shenanda Janse van Rensburg
Group Executive: Marketing, PR & CommunicationsAltech Head Office
Tel: +27 (0)11 715 9031
Mobile: +27 (0)84 777 1977
JSE code: ALT