ERNST Database
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ERNST Database

ERNST Database:A new tool for managingthe International RailwayTelecommunicationNetworkERNSTEuropeanRailwayNumberingScheme forTelecommunications1

ERNSTEuropeanRailwayNumberingScheme forTelecommunicationsList of contentsExecutive summaryby Paolo de Cicco 5Chapter 1Introduction 7ERNST Database:A new tool for managingthe International RailwayTelecommunicationNetworkChapter 2ERNST database a user-friendlytool at subcribers’ fingertips 9Chapter 3Tools for Railways TelecommunicationNetwork Operators 15Chapter 4/5ERNST database operating sites 23ERNST database content 23Chapter 6The Future of the ERNST Database 25Chapter 7List of acronyms 2723

ERNSTEuropeanRailwayNumberingScheme forTelecommunicationsExecutive summaryby Paolo de CiccoPAOLO DE CICCO,UIC, Telecom Panel of Experts,^ARNOST DUDEK,Main Database Administratorand Project Manager,“Make the best use of Railway Telecom Assets”, with thismotto the UIC Telecom Panel of Experts started to work sincethe beginning. The expert group is composed of about 25members mainly responsible for implementation and maintenanceof the national telecommunication network (fixed,mobile and data networks – digital and analog technologies).It became clear that in order to make the best use of theInternational Railway Telephone Network (IRTN) a "User'sguide" was needed. The IRTN is a corporate telephone networkenabling telephone calls among railway members throughoutEurope, e.g. from Spain to Hungary or from Sweden to Italy.However, the real value of the guide lies in the "ERNST database" which currently contains the numbering schemes ofrailway fixed and mobile telecommunications networks. Thedata base has become an efficient tool for operating andmaintaining the railway telecom network. It is ready toaccommodate any information related to new IRTN networktopology and to offer tools that will contribute to uninterruptedIRTN operation. As a result, the importance of theERNST database as a single point of contact has steadilybeen increasing. It will become in future the “UniqueRailway Telecom infrastructure data base”.4 5

ERNST1IntroductionERNST stands for European Railway Numbering Schemefor Telecommunications.The UIC project ERNST was initiated because the numberingscheme for the landline Railway TelecommunicationNetwork (RTN) differed for each railway and from the PublicTelecommunication Network (PTN). It was decided to developthe database as a tool that would bridge this informationgap and be widely accessible to railway staff.The ERNST database was established in 2000 in the contextof the UIC ERNST project with the aim of managing and runningthe existing UIC telephone network and preparing its migrationtowards the future integration of landline and mobile railwaytelephone networks (GSM-R) into the International RailwayTelecommunication Network (IRTN).The different phases of the ERNST project covered differenttelecommunication aspects related to landline and mobilerailway telephone networks. Since it came into service forusers of landline railway telephone networks, the ERNSTdatabase has been become a powerful tool for the operatingand maintaining of international parts of landline andmobile RTNs. Recently, the ERNST database has been mappingthe implementation of GSM-R in railways and even offers asimple simulation tool for design of IRTN topology.6 7

ERNST2ERNST databasea user-friendly tool at subscribers’ fingertipsThe ERNST Database covers a wide range of telecommunicationactivities. ERNST database provides the following tools to allthose able to access it via Internet (see■ Information,■ Notification,■ Fault ReportingHowever, only those with phone sets connected to an RTNcan access stored values. Please click to access the home page on the left.Operation, maintenance, administration and design tools areaccessible to railway telecommunication staff only.Until now, some ten thousand queries have been recorded inthe ERNST database. The counter excludes queries from railwaytelecommunication staff.8 9

ERNST2The first phase of the ERNST databasedevelopment started with a toolaimed at increasing the use of theIRTN by promoting its services torailway staff and consequently, byreducing the operational cost ofinternational telecommunicationInformation toolservices that are borne by railways. Itshould be underscored that IRTN is acorporate network, which means itserves only for internal railway use.Third party services (non- railway)are excluded.RTN subscribersAlthough it is possible to obtain information about railwaysubscribers the ERNST database was not designed to replacenational railway telephone directories listing individualsubscribers (users). However, there is an exception: phonenumbers of the UIC Panel of Telecommunication Expertshave been listed.As the dialling codes for landline RTNshave not been fully standardised,international dialling codes may varyfrom railway to railway (see Figure 1,‘Incoming Calls’ column). Knowledgeof dialling codes is very important foranybody wishing to make a callthrough an IRTN. The number dialledto an RTN subscriber is made up of aninternational prefix, country code,town (area) code and subscriber number.The length and structure of the dialledcode may differ for each railway.Complete dialling codes for RTNs canbe found by users on-line in the sameDialling codesway as when looking for a connectionin railway timetables. After the diallingcode has been obtained, the user candial immediately.Once the GSM-R numbering schemehas been implemented, dialling codesmust be found for landline to mobileRTNs, from mobile to landline RTNsand between mobile RTNs. Accordingto EIRENE specifications, the GSM-Rnumbering scheme is fully standardisedbut if a roaming agreement has notbeen signed between originating anddestination railways, no connectioncan be set-up.Phone directoryEvery subscriber can print a full overview of dialling codesfor outgoing and incoming calls on landline RTN for eachrailway. This printed telephone directory can be used duringbusiness trips for making calls from RTNs abroad to homeRTNs. The phone directory reflects the availability of diallingcodes if entered properly by the appropriate remote databaseadministrator.An example of the UIC Headquarters phone directory set outin Figure 1 (outgoing calls) (p12).For an updated version for your RTN please ask your telecommunicationsrepresentative from the UIC Panel ofTelecommunication Experts.10 11

ERNST2Notification toolNotification here means informing about changes inadvance. If a railway decides to change its RTN numberingscheme, both national and IRTN users must be informed.To this end a railway database administrator simply has tofill-in the appropriate values in the database to inform allthose looking for a user number in a particular railway of thedate from which the new number will be valid. Furthermore,all other database administrators will be notified by e-mailabout changes performed in that railway.Fault report toolsFigure1: Dialling Codes to and from UIC (PARIS)Any user making an international telephone call throughRTN and recognising a problem, can fill-in a special form inthe ERNST database and forward it to the national databaseadministrator (the database administrator’s e-mail cannotbe seen for privacy reasons).The database administrator then checks if the problem is inthe international part of the IRTN and if it is, contacts thenetwork telecommunication centre in question.Subsequently, the database administrator sets the unavailabilitymark in the ERNST database.As a result, other users are informed of the unavailability ofthat international connection. A fault report scenario ispresented in the flow charts in Figure 2 (p14).12 13

User activity after detectinga connection failureSTARTSelect «From/to (Railways)» on theERNST database homepageRemote Database Administrator (RDA)activity after receiving a connection failure reportUnavailability settingSTARTIs the connectionwith the IRTNmentioned in theFailure Report outof order ?ERNST3Select an origininating and destinationrailway and type of telecommunicationnetwork (landline or GSM)Select «Send connectionfailure report»Complete the connection failuretemplate and send itThe message is sent to theRDA’s email addressENDRDA Activity - Settingavailability after failure repairNOEmail the user usingthe address on theFailure ReportNotify the nationalNTC about the user’sproblem by emailENDYESSelect «Failures» onthe RDA homepageSet the relevant RTNconnection in theIRTN to unavailableInform national NTCabout problem in theRTN by forwardingemailToolsfor Railway Telecommunication Network OperatorsTools for railway telecommunication network operators (RTO)are located inside the ERNST database in an area that is notavailable to the public. The following tools are available:• Operating and Maintenance,• Design,• Administration.Operation andmaintenance toolsThe operation and maintenance tools help railway telecommunicationnetwork operators (RTO) in their day-to-day work.STARTLeast cost routingSelect «Failures» on theSelect «Delete» for appropriateIRTN connectionENDFigure 2: Fault Report ScenarioLeast cost routing (LCR) makes it possible to reduce the costof an international telephone call by re-routing it to theIRTN in the call set-up phase. The ERNST database containsthe list of major town (area) codes on the public telephonenetwork and appropriate town (area) codes for railway telephonenetworks (in the form of a conversion table). Theconversion table has to be configured in the internationalPABX of the railway from which a call emanates.14 15

ERNST31 The number usedto go from a RTNto a PTN in thecountry where acall originates.It does notconstitute part ofan internationalprefix. It candiffer betweencountries.2 In fact, “1” is thetown code for Parisand “4449” thetelephone exchangenumber at UICHeadquarters3 Four-digitsubscriber number:where x representsan arbitrarynumber from0 to 9.The number “2”happens to bethe first digitfor subscribernumbers at UICHeadquarters.Only subscriber numbers belonging toRTN subscribers have to be converted.The range of such subscriber numbersis available in the ERNST database.The following example shows theconversion that is necessary for callinga subscriber number at UICHeadquarters in Paris, France, fromthe RTN of another railway throughthe PTN and IRTN:International Country Town (Area) SubscriberPrefix Code Code NumberPTN Number 0 1 -00 33 14449 2 xxxx 3IRTN Number 900 33 26 xxxxPlease note that the IRTN numbergiven in the above example may becompletely different for another RTN.Routing tables define the telecommunicationline via which an internationalcall is routed in the callset-up phase. A call not destined toa neighbouring railway must berouted through several internationalPABXs. Knowledge of routing tablesfor all the IRTN is vital for any RTNoperator. The implementation toolHowever, the subscriber number,shown as “xxxx” does not change.Routing tablesmakes it possible to check the routingtable for every international PABXof the IRTN. As there are differentrouting tables for landline, mobiletelephone networks and data transmissionnetworks, the ERNST databasecontains independent data structuresfor each type of network.Inventoryof International Telecommunication LinesEvery international telecommunication line is made up of atleast two national parts. The parameters for each nationalcomponent can be different. Although an RTO usually knowsthe parameters for his part of an international line very well,he may have no knowledge about parameters for the remoteend of the same line. In order to bridge this information gap,the ERNST database contains the parameters for both partsof an international line. The two national components arepaired into a single clearly marked international line. Thetrunk line marker is based on UIC Leaflet 917-4.A general view and very simple example of a hypotheticalrailway telephone network illustrates the purpose of routingtables and an inventory of international telecommunicationlines for IRTN operation. For example: A call emanating fromrailway A having dialled a subscriber number situated in railwayD will be routed to international lines AB00001 and BD00001respectively. The reality however of IRTN topology is actuallymore complex.Figure 3 (p18)16 17

ERNST3Call tracingCall tracing is the ERNST database’s most powerful tool,making it possible to simulate the path used by phone callsin the call set-up phase. The path consists of several differentinternational telecommunication lines between the originatingand destination PABX depending on call routing.Figure 4: Example of call tracing from Czech Republic to FranceFigure 3: Routing tables and inventory of international telecommunication linesRTOs therefore have a tool that facilitates their diagnosis ofan international routing problem that has been signalledthrough the fault reporting system. The importance of thistool will be felt even more in the case of integrated landlineand mobile railway telephone networks where it can be usedfor MSC routing tables in the same way.18 19

Figure 5: Network topology and routing table in BEbefore setting the line from BE to DE as disabledERNST3Design toolThe latest addition to ERNST database tools makes it possibleto model network topology and its behaviour in the event ofa failure of an international telecommunication line. It hasbeen designed with the GSM-R network in mind, but canalso be used in the same way for landline RTNs and of courseintegrated IRTNs.Compare the situation in the network telecommunicationmodel on figures 5 and 6. You can recognise the change inthe routing tables (in bold) that reflects the situation afterstatus change (e.g. failure) of an international telecommunicationline. The network topology must be designed in suchway that one failure will not influence the availability of thenetwork.Administration toolRemote database administration tools were developed toenable database values to be kept up-to-date. In practice,this means that any database administrator with their username and password can modify any database value forwhich they are responsible from the office or even fromhome. In addition, information about changes in ERNSTdatabase values is communicated automatically to the otherdatabase administrators via e-mail.Figure 6: Network topology and routing table in BEbefore setting the line from BE to DE as disabled20 21

ERNST4•5ERNST databaseoperating sitesThe operational ERNST database is hosted on the UIC webserver using the existing UIC SQL Firebird database and theprogramming language PHP4. In order to avoid modificationson the production system (especially modification ofvalues and automatically generated messages informing ofchanges), an ERNST test database is operated from the CzechRepublic. New database tools and features are implementedin the test database at first. After debugging they are movedto the operational ERNST database. The test database is alsoused for training remote database administrators duringworkshops.ERNST databasecontentToday, the ERNST database contains information aboutRailway Organisations (Railway Undertakings orInfrastructure Managers) from the following countries:(map p22).• Austria,• Belgium, Bulgaria,• Croatia,• Czech Republic, Denmark,• France,• Germany,• Great Britain, Hungary,• Italy,• Luxembourg, Netherlands,Norway,• Poland,• Portugal, Romania,• Slovak Republic,• Slovenia,• Spain,• Sweden.The map is colour coded according to availability of values inthe ERNST database. The darker colour, the higher theamount of data stored in the database and available to IRTNusers and operators.2223

ERNST6Percentages are based on the availabilityof the following values:• Dialling Codes (at leastTown (Area) Codes),• Routing Tables,• Telco Inventory,• Least Cost Routing.Fifty percent availability of databasevalues means that there are justtwo arbitrary items from the listmentioned above that are included inthe ERNST database. If there is noinformation from a railway at allexcept for a dialling code from aneighbouring railway, the countrycolour is left white!The futureof the ERNST databaseThe integration of international landline and mobile (GSM-R)RTNs into the IRTN originally projected in the context of theUIC ERNST project in 2000 is gradually becoming a reality. Aunified numbering scheme for IRTN is the most importantprerequisite for IRTN expansion. Other prerequisites are:• telecommunication network topology design thatwill guarantee reliability and availability of IRTNfor real-time applications, e.g. European RailwayTraffic Management System (ERTMS),• IRTN operation and maintenance that supportsIRTN reliability and availability.New railway international telecommunication lines arebeing set up in the context of GSM-R implementation. TheERNST database is ready to accommodate any informationrelated to new IRTN network topology and to offer tools thatwill contribute to uninterrupted IRTN operation. As a result,the importance of the ERNST database as a single point ofcontact has steadily been increasing.Figure 7: Example of remote database administration (an item editing in the routing tables)24 25

Integration to the future visionUNIQUE Telecom railway infrastructure data baseList of acronymsERNST7fixedGSM-RmobileETCSERNSTGSM-RIRTNMSCNTCPABXPTNRDARTNRTOEuropean Railway Numbering Scheme forTelecommunicationsGlobal System for Mobile Communicationin RailwaysInternational Railway TelecommunicationNetworkMobile Switch Centre(exchange in GSM-R network)National (railway) TelecommunicationCentrePrivate Automatic Branch Exchange(landline network)Public Telecommunication Network(the former acronym PTT stated for Post,Telephone and Telegraph originally)Remote Database AdministratorRailway Telephone NetworkRailway Telecommunication NetworkOperator2627

International Union of Railways16, rue Jean Rey - 75015 PARISTél. : +33 (0) 1 44 49 20 20 / Fax : +33 (0) 1 44 49 20 29www.uic.asso.fr2008 - Daniel Tessèdre/UIC Communication - Création Empreinte Graphique - ISBN 2-7461-1477-128

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