The Total Cost of Ownership of Ethernet Switches for Public Transport
18 Jun, 2021

Ethernet switches form the backbone of digital systems in public transport vehicles. When it comes to their acquisition, several criteria have to be taken into account. While functionality and costs are typically the focus of such considerations, looking at them from a Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) perspective provides further interesting clues. The holistic TCO approach provides answers to questions such as: Does a low price really mean a low cost? Does quality really cost more? What is the difference between costly and cost-efficient?

Total Cost of Ownership

TCO is a holistic view of the costs of capital goods that takes into account both the acquisition costs and ongoing direct and indirect costs over the entire lifecycle. Thus, TCO is the sum of initial costs and all life cycle costs (LCC). Not only known cost drivers are identified, but also hidden costs.

Why a TCO Analysis Makes Sense in the Public Transport Environment

In the case of Ethernet switches, the total cost of ownership includes all costs from acquisition to network design to final depreciation at the end of the product life cycle. Examining the cost-effectiveness of a switch in detail based on TCO prior to acquisition offers the following advantages, among others:

  • Reducing and controlling life-cycle costs
  • Ensuring quality while increasing availability and reliability
  • Compliance with security requirements
  • Better process planning
  • Service, customer satisfaction and business success

What Kind of Costs Should Be Concidered Regarding TCO of Ethernet Switches?

Total Cost of Ownership is a cost assessment method developed by Gartner specifically for the IT environment. Particularly in information and communications technology, the acquisition costs often account for only a fraction of the total costs. This makes it all the more important in these areas to consider the costs of operating a product or solution in their entirety.

The costs for the procurement and implementation of Ethernet switches as well as the resulting operating costs are usually quite easy to determine. However, if one considers other direct and indirect costs that may also arise, the final calculation could be quite different. Typical cost blocks in the public transport environment are, for example:

  • Acquisition costs of the equipment
  • Implementation costs of the IP system
  • Network integration costs
  • Costs for system management
  • Costs for individual developments or changes
  • Maintenance costs
  • Costs for troubleshooting
  • Repair costs
  • Training costs
  • Operational downtime caused by malfunctions and thus service, revenue and image losses

TCO Best Practices When Choosing an Ethernet Switch

Standardization: The First Step to Optimal TCO

A standardized network architecture as defined by the ITxPT organization provides the basis for cost-effective, reusable, scalable, modularized and sustainable public transport systems. Standardized systems are at the same time open and compatible with different devices and innovative solutions in the field of digital technologies. Interoperability enables transit agencies to generate cost savings.

Tip: High interoperability is guaranteed within your system if you rely on devices that carry the ITxPT label.

Automated Installation: Reduce Manual Labor and Associated Costs

Ethernet switches should be easy to install and configure, requiring minimal manual intervention. Switches connected to the system should automatically advertise their network attributes and supported services. Support for plug-and-play mechanisms is another feature that simplifies back-office installation and full system interoperability.

Tip: ROQSTAR switches from TRONTEQ offer automated switch configuration distribution that makes installation much easier and faster.

High Availability and Maintenance-Free Operation: Save System Management Costs

As central elements in the vehicle network, Ethernet switches should function absolutely reliably and without interruption. System monitoring and real-time information about the network status ensure this. The choice of network topology also has a significant impact on availability and reliability, and thus on TCO.

Tip: Intelligent managed switches allow the management, configuration and monitoring of the network during operation. This makes system management easier and more cost effective.

Diagnosis or Troubleshooting During Operation: Avoiding Downtime Costs and Service Losses

Intelligent monitoring and recording of events and conditions during operation can reduce downtimes and the associated costs to a minimum. Indirectly, this also avoids service and image loss costs.

Tip: Use the diagnostic options of managed switches to find errors immediately and eliminate them more quickly.

Further Tips for an Optimal TCO with Ethernet Switches

  • Work closely with the switch manufacturer.
  • Standardize or redesign processes to better focus on your service quality goals.
  • Choose the latest generation of Ethernet switches designed specifically for public transport with advanced communication, control and maintenance capabilities.

ROQSTAR Ethernet switches from TRONTEQ are designed and optimized specifically for public transport, which is reflected not only in quality and functionality, but ultimately in total cost of ownership. We are constantly optimizing our products and outdoing ourselves in the process. Learn more about our products or contact us directly for a personal consultation.

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How to Choose the Right Ethernet Switch for Public Transport

In the vast majority of cases, public transport buses and trains cannot do without Ethernet switches. They serve as a link between all onboard devices such as ticket validators, cameras and routers. It is therefore all the more important that the switches used are of high quality and perform their tasks reliably. But how do you choose the right switch for your needs? Continue reading…

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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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