Western Australia Public Transport Signs Nokia for Full Private Wireless Network

(11 Aug 2022, BWCS Staff)

Global telecoms equipment supplier Nokia has been chosen by the Public Transport Authority of Western Australia to supply an all-singing, all-dancing, private wireless network.

Under the terms of the deal, reportedly worth some Au$327 million (US$230.7 million), Nokia will upgrade PTA’s railway communications with a private wireless system covering 250Km of rail track. This will involve the construction of more than 160 LTE/4.9G radio sites. The project package is said to include designing and building and five years of maintenance for the PTA’s communications system.

The decision comes two years after the Western Australia government scrapped a Au$ 206 million contract with Chinese company Huawei. The government will pay Huawei and engineering firm UGL Au$6.6 million in compensation.

The Nokia contract comes four years after the Perth-based regional government took the first steps towards its stated goal of putting free WiFi on all public transport across the State. In late 2018, the PTA began a trial of on-board passenger WiFi services on two trains running on the Mandurah and Joondalup Lines in and out of Perth.


The pilot scheme had followed an announcement in August 2017 by WA transport minister Rita Saffioti who said that this was “Something the government is keen to trial to see if we can further improve the passenger experience.” Following the pilot project, usage and passenger feedback was collated to help determine whether free WiFi should be continued and rolled out across the network and this no doubt contributed to the decision to renew the overall comms network.


The new Nokia system will be used to support CBTC signalling and will provide greater capacity and closer headways than traditional signalling systems. The PTA’s current narrowband rail radio system will be upgraded, replacing analogue technology with a digital platform for voice, high-speed data and video services.

Nokia head of enterprise for Oceania, Mr Rob McCabe, says the new communications system incorporating Nokia’s private wireless network solution will improve the customer experience and safety.

Trenitalia to Present at Traincomms2022! …


Italian national operator, Trenitalia, is the latest major train company to sign up to speak at this year’s WiFi on Trains Conference – Traincomms 2022. The two people driving the project at Trenitalia will present their experiences with WiFi on board and how they view the future of this service.


The full conference programme is available at


Trenitalia will join speakers from:

•         Network Rail – discussing plans to partner with suppliers to improve national trackside coverage.

•         DB Regio – outlining plans to use WiFi to entice passengers back onto trains and to learn from interacting with their 1.9 billion commuters in Germany.

•         Amtrak – discussing long-term train to ground connectivity strategies

•         Transport for London – Assessing how its project to provide full coverage on the Underground is progressing and what lessons have been learned

•         Indian Rail  –  will be discussing progress on its vast trackside network scheme and plans for the future of WiFi on trains

•         TGV Lyria – looking at how to cope with not-spots on the long-distance route and discussing its future plans for WiFi on board

•         Deutsche Bahn ICE Trains: on getting customers back onto trains and improving coverage and WiFi quality on Germany’s long-distance trains


Late additions include SJ Trains and Thalys/Eurail.


Other presentations will come from Abellio, Arriva, Transport for Wales, Northern Trains, SBB, Go-Ahead, and many others.


In addition, there will be several panel discussions involving other train operators and suppliers – all open to questions and debate with the floor.


The event is proving very popular and we are very much looking forward to seeing everyone in person again.  


If you would like to reserve your place –please e-mail .


Track-side connectivity and on-board WiFi services will be the main subjects of BWCS’s WiFi on Trains Conference in October ( ).


The Full Programme is Available now at the website, where you can also sign up for our Free WiFi on Trains News Service ( ).

Or, to discuss exhibiting at the conference, please contact


This year’s Conference is sponsored by Westermo, Nomad, GlobalReach Technology and RADWIN

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