Expandable Switches Simply Explained
1 Dec, 2020

When it comes to setting up IP networks in public transport buses, transport companies are faced with the question of whether the IP network should be managed or not. An interesting alternative are the so-called expandable switches.

With the average lifespan of a bus being 8-12 years, it’s possible that requirements may change during this time, such as the implementation of a new ticketing system that requires separating ticketing data from the rest of the data flow. This would mean new switches need to be purchased and installed, while the old ones would have to be depreciated with negative consequences for the operating balance.

When the Switch Grows With the Operational Requirements

To avoid such a scenario, transport companies are best advised to use expandable switches. These switches initially have the characteristics of pure unmanaged switches, but the hardware is already prepared for a managed switch. This means that the conversion to a managed switch can be done almost at the push of a button, making it a cost-effective solution.

From Unmanaged to Managed at the Push of a Button

The implementation of new functionalities such as diagnostic data, network segmentation, automatic IP addressing of the network nodes make the use of managed switches necessary. If the need for a managed switch arises during the life cycle of a vehicle, the firmware upgrade can be done in three simple steps:

  1. The traffic operator simply notifies TRONTEQ which expandable switches should be upgraded to managed switches based on serial numbers.
  2. The traffic operator simply notifies TRONTEQ which expandable switches should be upgraded to managed switches based on serial numbers.
  3. In just a few minutes, all managed features are available in the switch.

The cost of the upgrade is simply the difference between a managed and unmanaged switch. This makes the investment in expandable switches all the more worthwhile.

Expandable Switches at a Glance

In summary, expandable switches are a worthwhile and future-proof alternative to unmanaged switches. They have lower initial costs, since only the functionality required at the time is invested in, and they can grow with the requirements of the IP network, always providing a custom-fit solution. Additionally, the initial investment in hardware and installation is maintained despite changing requirements.

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Our products are fundamental for the digitalization in public transport. ROQSTAR M12 Ethernet Switches provide the network infrastructure for e-ticketing, passenger counting systems (PCS), dynamic passenger information (DPI) and closed-circuit television (CCTV).


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