ADComms spearheads legacy network transition with new appointment

Date: 12 December 2014

ADComms (ADComms), one of Europe’s leading providers of telecommunications solutions for the rail sector, has appointed Mike Hewitt as its head of next generation networks. Hewitt’s appointment is a strong statement to the market of ADComms’ intention to lead on the UK rail industry’s technology revolution.

With more than 30 years’ experience in the telecoms sector, Hewitt in previous roles has worked with leading carriers such as Telecom NZ, Openreach, Level 3 Communications in addition to OEMs such as Infinera, Huawei, Ciena and Juniper.

Renowned for their high performance capabilities, next generation networks are packet-based networks that can be used for both telephony and data. ADComms is already working with Telefonica to bring Network Rail’s FTNx network into operational capability by supporting service acceptance and advanced testing to ensure secure service validation.

Hewitt commented:

“I’m thrilled to be joining ADComms at such an exciting time for the rail industry. With other owners of critical communications infrastructure, the industry is facing a period of rapid transition, as service providers look to upgrade their networks to keep pace with market challenges. It’s particularly exciting within UK rail where both the infrastructure and rolling stock need such a dramatic change to bring the whole network to ‘digital status’.

Hewitt continued:

“ADComms’ aim is to support the packet optical network as the platform for all network services. This involves working with IP platforms such as CISCO MPLS (Multiprotocol Label Switching), Legacy services like (ATM) and the migration of infrastructure services like GSM-R and train WiFi services over FTNx.

“With digitisation, the rail sector needs to ensure the right technical resources are in place. This is to support the deployment of devices, the IoT (Internet of Things) and new services into the rail environment, with the right people who understand the technology platforms. Over the longer term, we will support the introduction of ERTMS (European Rail Traffic Management System) and ETCS (European Train Control System) into the rail infrastructure using the NGN infrastructure (FTNx) as the single network platform for all rail infrastructure.

“It’s key for us to ensure our engineering field base has the capability to work across multiple platforms over the network through developing appropriate skills on testing and implementation standards,” Hewitt continues. “This will involve developing our field engineering through training and seeking accreditation to ensure we develop and strengthen our design, deployment and maintenance capabilities.”

ADComms’ managing director Jason Pearce added:

“We’re delighted to welcome Mike to the business. He is a respected industry expert with many years of experience within leading edge commercial networks. His innovation and enthusiasm will be of great benefit to the rail industry, as well as to our wider infrastructure markets. I know Mike will be leading from the front with our efforts to help the UK’s service provider networks become more agile and cost effective.”

For more information, please contact St John White or Natalia Gameson at Prova on 01926 776900.