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Transports Metropolitans de Barcelona

Sepura supplies a complete communication solution to Transports Metropolitans de Barcelona

The customer

Transports Metropolitans de Barcelona (TMB) is the main public transit operator in Barcelona, running the majority of the metro and local bus lines throughout the city and the surrounding metropolitan area.

The bus network serves the entire city. It has more than 100 operating lines and around 1200 operational vehicles, covering a total distance of 920km.

The challenge

Due to their elevated requirements for data capacity - essential for the smooth running of their intelligent transportation system (ITS) and passenger information systems (PIS) - TMB were running two analogue networks throughout their bus network: one for voice services and one for data.

In 2005, TMB made the decision to migrate to a single, integrated TETRA system to provide simultaneous voice and data services to the 1200 vehicles running throughout the city. They also needed tailor-made terminals, due to space restrictions within the vehicles, and TMB's desire to re-use existing onboard accessories from the analogue system.

The solution

Sepura supplied a complete communication solution composed of a central node; 11 base stations, providing coverage to all bus routes; vehicle location via GPS; and 1200 onboard radio terminals, custom-built to TMB's requirements.

In conjunction with the ITS, supplied by solution partner Tecnosystemi, the system provides TMB with traffic regulation and control, as well as automatic vehicle location (AVL).

The fully integrated onboard unit connects with the onboard computer via PEI protocol to provide voice and data communications with the control centre.

The information from each vehicle is sent to the control centre via the Synchronous Data Manager (SDM), a proprietary application that uses TETRA SDS (short data service) messages - around 100,000 each day - allowing minimal refresh times and helping to avoid network saturation.

The SDM application is responsible for polling the terminals to obtain the latest information - such as location, alarms, events and operational data - in near-real time, and can obtain the position of every bus in TMB's fleet within 30 seconds.

Based on the position data received, the control centre is able to:

  • Detect deviations from schedule
  • Redeploy resources to minimise impact of such deviations
  • Provide passenger information on route status, arrival times or incidents
  • Display and monitor the current location of the fleet vehicles on a map

Appropriate infrastructure, and an optimised use of radio resources, ensures that all voice and data services can be handled simultaneously, guaranteeing quality of service of both the voice application and the location service.


  • Simultaneous voice and data services over a single TETRA system, reducing TMB's costs, making maintenance easier
  • Redundancy across all the critical elements - 100% availability, providing continuous service to passengers
  • Scalability

Software and hardware upgrades allow the system to grow along with communication requirements

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