7 min read
Underneath the cobbled streets of Paris lies a complex network of tunnels that has supported the city for over a century. With millions of steps trodden along platforms and on board its trains every day, this old network is far from tired and crumbling but is in fact adapting, modernizing and expanding alongside ever-growing passenger numbers.

Régie Autonome des Transports Parisiens (RATP) is the world's fifth-largest public transport company. RATP operates the public transport network in and around Paris, including the Paris Métro, tram and bus services. Across this network, they also control an infrastructure of radio, data and voice communications, over 15,000 closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras, and passenger ticketing, information services, and other systems that help ensure the safety and security of operations.

With nearly 54,000 employees and a yearly revenue of over €5 billion, RATP is a truly forward-facing enterprise. Modernizing its metro-operating systems, RATP is embracing a digital revolution. This means improvements in timeliness, reliability, comfort and service to passengers, and plenty more benefits throughout the network.

The Paris Métro is one of the busiest metro systems in the world serving around 6.75 million passengers every day, and around 3 billion each year.
With more and more commuters and tourists traveling every day, plans for expansion are already underway. With more stations, extended lines, greater CCTV coverage, and next-generation passenger services and communication facilities, RATP truly has big plans for Paris.

Learn more: 'Métro2030, our new Paris Métro'

But they can't do it alone. The IT infrastructure that has been supporting RATP through vast passenger increases is already working at full capacity. With a network that is bursting at the seams, and plans for ongoing expansion, a secure and resilient communications infrastructure that is built to support into the future, is absolutely critical.

A trusted partnership
Alcatel-Lucent has been a trusted partner of RATP for over a decade, first supporting them through implementation of TETRA, a radio system used by drivers and security workforces for operational and emergency communications. Now, RATP has once again chosen Alcatel-Lucent to deliver cost-effective, innovative technology and support them in their journey towards a faster, bigger, stronger network.

We have a challenging mission-critical situation, with more than 360 metro stations, the growing demand of new services to be deployed, and the imperative to migrate existing ageing networks without stopping passenger traffic.

Patrick Goasdoué
Director of Telecommunications at RATP

"That's why we have chosen an IP/MPLS network from Alcatel-Lucent," explains Patrick Goasdoué, Director of Telecommunications at RATP.
Streamlined, seamless control
Alcatel-Lucent's IP/MPLS network offers the technology, track record and reliability, and allows a seamless migration to centralized systems management, whilst remaining live and fully operating.

By converging our five separate legacy networks – CCTV, Telephony, IT, TETRA and passenger information – into one single IP/MPLS network, we will not only reduce our maintenance costs, but also improve our operations.

Patrick Goasdoué,
Director of Telecommunications at RATP

Paris Métro
Converging the five separate networks will reduce costs and improve operations
Passenger Info

A high-availability, resilient and future-proof all-IP and Ultra-Broadband communications network simplifying operations and reducing maintenance costs.

Five Networks
"Time and time again we have seen companies battle to move forward with fragmented systems. We saw this as an opportunity to make things easier for RATP. We saw their vision, we knew they needed it without interruption, and we knew what to do," says Remi Guetschel, Sales Director, Transportation Industry, Alcatel-Lucent.
A network for the future
The benefits of converging networks into one system extend far beyond improved efficiency, security and control. The new IP/MPLS network makes way for future expansion. Its fully scalable capabilities will let it grow further; handle new applications and services; manage even more lines, trains and CCTV coverage; and be future-proof, ready for whatever new innovations emerge.

"To achieve this goal we needed to have the right partner capable of making the right choices in a complicated environment with unusual needs. Alcatel-Lucent brought us the solutions that will guarantee system sustainability by breaking down these barriers and separating systems." Emmanuel Janand, Director of Systems and Mobility, RATP's Department of Engineering.

This is what we do. In an ultra-connected world we untangle complexity and simplify the system, ready for the future. Ready for you, the customer, to build something new.

Thierry Sens
Marketing Director, Transportation Segment Marketing

Grand Paris: shaping the future of travel
RATP is one of the major players working towards 'Grand Paris', a development project supported by the state and surrounding region, and involving all key city stakeholders.

Grand Paris aims to be the city of the future: sustainable, creative and community-based. And at the heart of Grand Paris lies the core ambition – to create one of the most advanced transport networks in the world.

By 2030, Paris will have 205 km of automatic metro lines, there will be 68 new stations and 30,000 high-definition video cameras - all supported by the IP/MPLS network Alcatel-Lucent and RATP have been building.

As a result, Grand Paris is expected to significantly reduce congestion and pollution, combat urban sprawl and agricultural encroachment, promote the economic development of the surrounding region and contribute to France's reputation as worldwide leaders in economic progress.

As part of the Grand Paris initiative, RATP and Alcatel-Lucent are working towards the project SYSTUF (Telecommunication Systems for Future Urban Transport) – an exciting research initiative helping to harness and develop ground-breaking 4G LTE technologies for ground-to-train communications, pioneering the future of urban transport.

"The SYSTUF project is considered the study that will establish 4G LTE as the chosen platform for future train-to-ground communications across France," specified Thierry Sens.

Making Paris proud
What does this all mean for the end-user? It means that Parisians and visitors to the city are already enjoying more journeys on super-streamlined, modernized services. It means that RATP can provide their customers with a safe, comfortable and enjoyable travel experience, with practical, cutting-edge customer service technologies. It means a network that Paris can be proud of.

Alcatel-Lucent, with its innovative converged IP/MPLS solution, is helping RATP to set a global benchmark for intra-city travel and create a network that is ready for the future.