SOURCE: Cisco Systems, Inc.

January 30, 2008 08:00 ET

Balfour Beatty Rail Lowers Costs of Construction With 3G Wireless

Cisco High-Performance 3G WAN Interface on Integrated Services Routers Helps Balfour Beatty Rail Quickly Establish a High-Speed Network Connection at Construction Sites

MUNICH, GERMANY--(Marketwire - January 30, 2008) - Cisco® (NASDAQ: CSCO) today announced that Balfour Beatty Rail GmbH Germany is using third-generation wireless technology incorporated into the Cisco Integrated Services Routers (ISRs) to help improve the productivity and efficiency of its engineers by reducing the time it takes to establish a communications infrastructure at remote construction sites. Balfour Beatty Rail is using integrated third-generation (3G) wireless technology from Cisco to rapidly deploy networked information technology (IT) systems, which helps engineers access online information and services that are critical for the effective completion of rail projects.

Balfour Beatty Rail designs, constructs and revamps railway infrastructures throughout Germany, Austria, China, Romania and other selected countries and relies on IT systems to complete projects efficiently and effectively. Today's electric trains require a system that supplies electric power to railway power units along the complete length of track, presenting a unique challenge for establishing communication operations. Cisco third-generation wireless WAN high-speed interface card (HWIC) on the Cisco ISR provides Internet connectivity using terrestrial cellular technology, so a wireless wide-area network can be established to the site router in a matter of hours as long as the site is within range of a cellular tower.

"Balfour Beatty Rail is in a tight margin business and we are continually looking at ways of reducing the costs of our operations," said Ali Inci, Balfour Rail's manager of information and communications technology. "Much of our construction projects take place in remote areas where obtaining a wired Internet connection is a lengthy and expensive process. By integrating the 3G technology into the ISR, Cisco allows us to ship the network access equipment in the same container as the construction equipment and have communications up and running on-site in a matter of hours where previously it would have taken months."

The Cisco solution also helps Balfour Beatty Rail GmbH increase its operational efficiency by supporting fast, easy communication between headquarters and the remote sites. Project managers use the 3G network to send and receive critical communications and documents that help them maintain timetables. With more than 80 projects ongoing, keeping workers on schedule and construction moving along the rails is critical.

"For businesses with remote work sites, establishing a communications infrastructure quickly and efficiently is essential for maintaining business continuity and completing projects successfully," said Richard Roberts, director of business development, Cisco. "The 3G HWIC card helps give businesses the flexibility to set up communications in a fraction of the time required to install a wired connection, allowing them to access critical IT systems and maintain business operations should their wired connection be compromised."

The Cisco 3G HWIC, coupled with a Cisco Integrated Services Router and a service provider wireless data plan, provides a cost-effective, reliable solution with industry-leading security for remote sites and branch offices. Cisco 3G HWICs are supported on the Cisco 1841 and 1861 Integrated Services Routers, Cisco 2800 Series Integrated Services Routers, and Cisco 3800 Series Integrated Services Routers.

Balfour Beatty Rail GmbH is now using 3G for all its sites in Germany, either as a primary or a backup connection. A Cisco SMARTnet® agreement helps Balfour Beatty Rail GmbH maintain business continuity by providing equipment replacement the next business day if required.

About Balfour Beatty

Balfour Beatty Rail GmbH headquartered in Munich, Germany employs a total of 1100 staff worldwide. Further details can be found at

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