Europe’s busiest urban train line gets an indoor location solution in its tunnels, implemented by French companies NomoSense, Abeeway and Actility

PARIS 12/12/19

Abeeway, Actility and NomoSense experimented a tracking system for the RATP, the Parisian public transport operator, in order to locate in real time the underground equipment used in the tunnels of RER A in Paris, using low-power IoT networks and robust sensors, adapted to the underground environment.

RER A: The most frequented line in Europe

With more than one million passengers per workday, RER A in Paris is the busiest line in Europe and has been undergoing heavy renovation works for several years. In order to continue to guarantee safety, reliability and optimal availability of the RER A line infrastructure and to strengthen its performance, RATP has been engaged in vast renewal of RER A tracks since 2015, in agreement with Ile-de-France Mobilités. The track renewal on RER A consist of replacing all the tracks, ballast and train switching systems. In total, by 2021, 24 km of track and ballast must be renewed, and 28 switches replaced between Nanterre-Préfecture and Vincennes. A complex operation that required a total interruption of traffic 24 hours a day every summer for 4 weeks until 2018 and then for 7 weeks at night, on weekends and a full week from 2019 to 2021. The organization of the Ballast Track Renewal works is a real challenge due to the complexity of the environment and the human and technical needs to be implemented. The management of the resources of a site of this size motivates RATP to constantly reflect on the tools to be put in place in order to improve and optimize its management.

That is why for the past two years, RATP and NomoSense have been collaborating on an innovation project based on the concept of a connected construction site, with geolocation underground as the main use case. After several technologies tested, NomoSense has experimented, thanks to its partners Actility and Abeeway, with a complete solution that meets the needs of this type of project.

Abeeway technology at the heart of the solution

The choice was made to use Abeeway sensors, which, thanks to their robustness, adapt to the humid and dusty environment of urban railway tunnels. The operation is simple, the Abeeway sensors scan Bluetooth tags (called Beacons). These beacons are positioned every 20 meters to create a positioning reference frame. Once scanned by the Abeeway sensor, this information is sent back through a private LoRaWAN network. Finally, on the basis of this information, NomoSense was able to develop a geolocation algorithm to determine where the construction machines are located in the tunnel. This device could also offer in the future the improvement of the safety of workers in hazardous areas since the sensors are equipped with an alert button and an immobility detector, which makes it possible to send the position in the event of activation.

The importance of connectivity solved with Actility

Before finding the right communication network, this innovative solution required some thought, particularly on how to connect the sensors to the outside. After 2 years of reflection and several successive phases of tests in a complex radio environment, making it difficult to use and share conventional connectivity solutions, the majority of the section concerned by the works is now covered by a private LoRaWAN network. The LoRaWAN technology implemented is based on the ThingPark Enterprise solution from the French provider Actility. This technology has effectively covered these white areas with a radio solution and thus enabled the sensors to communicate. In addition, this choice was made because it offers RATP additional connectivity to be able to experiment with other types of connected objects for the supervision of its rail infrastructure equipment.

NomoSense: an IoT platform and unique services interaction to visualize data

Thanks to its data aggregation solution, NomoSense was able to centralize 100% of the bricks of this service, whether it be beacon management, LoRaWAN antenna administration, sensor decoding or location algorithms to make the system efficient. This centralization was an essential challenge to provide an ergonomic service and not to burden the management processes of these sites. This innovative system, implemented and tested on site during the summer of 2019, made it possible to validate the proper functioning and, above all, the interest of the final service with RATP teams. Beyond the “Proof Of Concept” type tests, the solution was designed on the basis of standardized technologies such as LoRaWAN technology or Beacon networks, which allows it to be deployed on an industrial scale.

« The use of standard technologies was a key issue in order to centralize data in a single platform but also to replicate the solution on an industrial scale »

            Mazic Bekka, Research & Innovation Project Manager at the RATP Engineering Department

Opening to other uses

The implementation of this technical solution in an environment as extreme as the one of the RATP is a real technical and operational success. This success was made possible thanks to the strong collaboration between the companies NOMOSENSE, ABEEWAY and ACTILITY. Other uses such as hardware inventory based on this scan solution are under study.

Finally, Abeeway sensors being equipped with a WiFi scan and a GPS, a continuity of indoor / outdoor service is already considered for future developments.


About NomoSense

NomoSense is a company established on the Internet of Things (IoT) market. It provides building communities and managers with centralized sensor solutions to the management platform. Its solutions optimize the human and material resources. NomoSense commit itself daily to ensure a continuity of the delivered service, to optimize the performance of our solutions and to evolve its services according to the new technologies.


For more information :

Contact :

Caroline CLERC

Chargée de communication


About Actility

Actility is a global leader in LoRaWAN® connectivity solutions for the Internet of Things.Our IoT connectivity platform, tools, and fast-growing ecosystem enable our customers to create IoT solutions that transform business, industries and processes. The ThingPark LPWA platform connects sensors gathering data to cloud applications on any scale, from global or national networks to secure on-campus enterprise solutions, managing devices, data flows and monetization. Our value-added applications and business services enable roaming, device software update, geolocation and smart grid. Actility is at the heart of a thriving customer ecosystem, connecting solution partners, supporting developers and device makers preparing their LPWA product for market, and providing an e-commerce Marketplace offering global distribution to solution providers. Actility co-founded the LoRa Alliance and continues to pioneer LPWA networking technology.


For more information :

Contact :

Gabor Pop

Director, Corporate & Strategic Marketing


About Abeeway

Abeeway is a leading provider of disruptive IoT solutions for battery-powered tracking, based on innovative LPWA (Low Power Wide Area) network connectivity and a patented cloud-powered technology that makes positioning low power and more valuable. Abeeway offers its expertise and services to achieve powerful and complete geolocation solutions with shortest time-to-market, allowing it to be a true enabler for mass-market IoT sectors such as asset tracking and management, logistics, process optimization or safety of people, animals and objects. Abeeway’s mission is to deliver a full visibility of your businesses and matters along with the tools to optimize and control them. Abeeway has been founded by the creators of LoRaWan™, and now it is a member of the LoRa Alliance™: the largest, most powerful standards-based effort to enable the Internet of Things (IoT). Since April 2017, Abeeway belongs to Actility group, an industry leader in LPWA large scale infrastructure with ThingPark®, the new generation standard-based IoT / M2M communication platform.


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About RATP Group

With 16 million of traveler transported daily in the world, RATP group is the 5th transport urban operator in world. Implanted in 14 countries and 4 continents (France, UK, Italy, Switzerland, Algeria, Morocco, South Africa, Saudi Arabia, USA, India, China, South Korea, Philippines and Qatar), RATP group exploit grid of subway, tramway, bus and regional express line.

In addition, RATP group exploit in Ile-de-France the most important grid in world and export his expertise in France and internationally, especially via his subsidiaries RATP Dev, Systra and Ixxi.

RATP group imagine, design and lead infrastructure development projects, exploit and keep grids, whatever transport mode. He develops also innovative devices of mobility help (traveler information, tele-tiketing…).

Contact SERVICE DE PRESSE GROUPE RATP • T 01 58 78 37 37 • •