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NEC Supplies SDN-Based Common Station Network Across All 36 Stations in the Yamanote Line Area in Greater Tokyo

*** For immediate use October 27, 2015

Tokyo, October 27, 2015 - NEC Corporation (NEC; TSE: 6701) today announced it has supplied East Japan Railway Company (JR East) with a "Common Station Network" based on software-defined networking (SDN) across all 36 of its stations in the Yamanote Line area (all stations on the Yamanote Line and stations in the same area on the Chuo Line).

The network was gradually brought into operation across all 36 stations in the Yamanote Line Area in the run-up to March of this year, with upgrades to network devices and improvements to monitoring capabilities scheduled to be completed in October. This will make it possible to carry out integrated network management across all stations, enabling JR East to establish and provide new services sooner rather than later.

Working in partnership with JR East, NEC installed the SDN-based Common Station Network in March 2014, in order to establish an integrated network across all systems and provide the necessary infrastructure to flexibly and quickly provide new services in line with customers' individual needs. As a result, JR East has started to provide new services such as public wireless LAN and information on locker availability.

JR East had already achieved results from the installation of a similar Common Station Network at Tokyo Station. That is what prompted the decision to install this network across all of its stations on the Yamanote Line and stations in the same area on the Chuo Line, both of which are major lines with numerous large-scale terminal stations.

Expansion of Common Station Network to all Stations in the Yamanote Line Area

  1. Installation of NEC UNIVERGE PF Series to Create an Advanced SDN Environment
    To establish an SDN-based Common Station Network, JR East has installed UNIVERGE PF Series products from NEC, one of the first such products in the world to be compatible with OpenFlow SDN technology. Across all stations, including Tokyo Station, a total of 20 SDN controllers and 174 SDN switches have been installed.
  2. Large-Scale, High-Capacity Infrastructure to Enable Centralized Management of the Common Station Network
    NEC has created a large-scale, high-capacity network with a high degree of availability by connecting all stations on the Yamanote Line and stations in the same area on the Chuo Line in a ring configuration, using an IP network consisting of fiber optic cables.

    Connecting stations using this IP network will enable centralized management of the Common Station Network via SDN at multiple stations.

    This will enable JR East to quickly provide stations on the Yamanote Line with common services, and monitor service provision at each station, which in turn will help to improve service stability for its customers.

Key Features of the Common Station Network Installed at all Stations

  1. Providing New Services, and Responding Quickly and Flexibly to Changes in Station Environments
    In addition to enabling visualization and integrated management of the entire network, the Common Station Network uses software to enable JR East to configure networks or make multiple changes to settings centrally, rather than doing so every time a new service is launched or station improvement works are carried out, as previously. This will significantly speed up network configuration and pave the way for faster services, including providing new services in line with customers' needs.
  2. Enabling Stable Operations through Pathway Control and Optimization, as a Result of Network Integration SDN-based network virtualization makes it possible to create logical networks for specific purposes, all on the same physical network. For example, networks that were previously configured individually at each station, including networks used to transmit data such as train operations and networks used to transmit images of platforms or ticket gates, can now be integrated into the same Common Station Network.

    This enables flexible pathway control for large volumes of data traffic on each system via the backbone network across all stations in the Yamanote Line Area. It also makes it possible to use the optimum band for each different system and provide more stable network services.

Having supplied over 250 SDN-based systems in Japan and other parts of the world, NEC intends to build on the results it has achieved for JR East to continue providing global solutions for companies, government agencies, communications providers and data center operators in the future.


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