SBB to test new radio frequency for smartrail 4.0

Smartrail 4.0 Pilot Stretch near the Kerenzerberg tunnel, source: Kecko/Flickr

Nokia and Swiss Federal Railways (SBB) have accomplished the joint tests to define radio frequency for the new Future Railway Mobile Communication System (FRMCS) standard. As a result, Nokia will provide LTE 1900MHz TDD (Time Division Duplex) radio frequency for SBB. In the coming period, the parties will examine the technology in the Swiss cantons of Fribourg and Neuchâtel within the smartrail 4.0 project.

The new standard will be introduced in 2025. With its help, SBB intends to improve its productivity, reduce costs and enhance the level of safety and security. When fully deployed, FRMCS will be capable of handling the huge volumes of information that underpin new services such as improving the capacity of the existing tracks.

“This proof of concept project is a major contribution to delivering FRMCS as an essential enabler for smartrail 4.0, which is an industry-wide initiative to prepare Swiss railways to modernise the rail system. The result sets an important direction in terms of FRMCS frequencies for the industry program’s goal to exploit the potential of new, emerging technologies for the railways of the future,” said Robert Badertscher, Head of Connectivity at SBB’s smartrail 4.0 project.

GSM-R replacement

The smartrail 4.0 project is a joint endeavour of four Swiss railway operators including SBB, BLS, SOB, the Rhaetian Railway and the Swiss Public Transport Union (VöV). It was launched last year in order to replace the existing traffic management system on the Swiss railway network. Among other things, the project includes the replacement of GSM-R with the contemporary standard like FRMCS.

“This work is essential to enable a smooth transition to international deployment of FRMCS and is fundamental to unleashing the potential that the new standard will deliver across security, safety and productivity. Nokia is also working with rail companies elsewhere in Europe as they explore how 5G and digital transformation can enhance customer services and operational efficiency,” added Jochen Apel, Head of Global Transportation at Nokia.

Read more about the smartrail 4.0 project:

Author: Mykola Zasiadko

Mykola Zasiadko was editor of online trade magazines and

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