León is a city and municipality in the Mexican state of Guanajuato. The metropolitan area surrounding the city is home to approximately 1.8 million people, making it the seventh most populous area of Mexico. While not the capital of the state, it is considered the capital for social, commercial and government services, making the transport infrastructure vitally important for day to day life within the city.
OptiBus operates the cities bus rapid transit (BRT) system, founded in 2003, they were the first city in Mexico to implement such a system. It operates a large network of buses within the city and its municipal areas running across 65 stations, 5 different lines and with a daily ridership of around 350,000 people. Crime levels within the city are considered high and have increased in the last three years by up to 70%, so in order to keep passengers safe, the company maintains a network of CCTV cameras to monitor, prevent and deter crime.
This network was operated through an outdated Motorola Canopy wireless system which was installed in 2003. It offered a maximum throughput of 4 Mbps per the base station sector, and was causing the network to become increasingly saturated, with real time video becoming impossible, negating the purpose of the system. It was also becoming increasingly difficult to maintain, with replacement parts being scarce and expensive. As they were unable to collect the data from the cameras remotely, it meant that extra staff had to be employed to perform this task manually at each station. If a crime was committed, there would be a significant delay in getting hold of the video evidence. A need for increased capacity to be able to improve network capacity was apparent, to not only ensure the safety of the passengers, but to also enable Optibus to look at ways that other passenger data could be collected across the network.
Tec45 – an approved supplier of InfiNet Wireless solutions – worked closely with OptiBus to discuss the available solutions. They compared the InfiNet Wireless products to that of Alvarion, Cambium and Radwin, looking at suitability, reliability and price point. However, the Alvarion and Radwin products were very expensive, and were quickly dismissed. In the end, Cambium was the only real competitor, but the integrator didn’t conduct a field test to demonstrate the products in operation, making it difficult for OptiBus to see any real results and dependable value from the vendor’s products.
InfiNet Wireless decided to run a test with one base station and 10 InfiMAN Point-to-multipoint (PMP) subscribers. The test was extremely successful, achieving 8 Mbps per subscriber – enough to watch video in real time - as opposed to the previous Canopy system’s capabilities of 160 kbps per subscriber. In addition to its excellent performance, when Tec45 compared the price of the InfiNet Wireless system to that of the Cambium product, they found the price of the InfiNet Wireless solution to be considerably more favourable. InfiNet Wireless provided the link test with reliable and dependable results, therefore OptiBus made the decision to go ahead and extend the project to include 5 base stations, 3 Point-to-point (PTP) InfiLink systems and 55 InfiMAN PMP subscribers.
Tec45 provided total support to OptiBus during the process of implementing the changes – putting together the proposal, engineering the process and overseeing the project, integrating OptiBus’ systems and providing after-care, post-sale services and technical support.
OptiBus has seen a significant improvement since the overhaul. Cameras at bus stations are now supported by a network with the bandwidth capacity to transmit images in real time, and staff now have the added capability to be able to monitor and collect data and passenger billing information remotely. With one monitoring centre in the Optibus head office, staff are now able to collate data from 53 connected bus stops across five separate base stations. The new technology has allowed OptiBus to bring its avoidance alarm, telephone usage, report collection system, video security and overall system monitoring completely online – providing a much more efficient and reliable network.
Gerardo Jiménez, Telecommunications and Energy Security from tec45 said: “By using InfiNet Wireless’ products, we have been able to deliver a reliable and future-proof solution to OptiBus, ensuring their network of CCTV has real-time footage and data collection. With the new cost-effective and improved system, OptiBus can now monitor their transport networks with confidence as bringing the collection of data across the network online.”
Fernando Hernandez Garcia, Optibus Director said: “Before we started using the InfiNet Wireless network, we couldn’t see real-time video and it was practically impossible to monitor security in the city. Today, the InfiNet Wireless equipment helps us to collect billing information and utilise IP telephony and station alarms. Now, we can monitor security cameras in real-time which are linked to security agencies across the city and we work together to provide a safe and secure city for citizens.”