Consortium for the development of FRMCS officially started

Future Railway Mobile Communication System (FRMCS), source: UIC

The 5GRAIL project for the development of the Future Railways Mobile Communication System (FRMCS) has officially started on the 1st of November. A consortium led by UIC will set to work over the next thirty months to develop prototypes. The main goal is the delivering of the first edition of FRMCS based on 5G to be available for railways to start  national pilots in 2025.

The consortium includes Unife, DB Netz, SNCF Réseau, SBB, ÖBB and IP, Thales, Siemens, CAF, Teleste, various telecom companies, research centers and universities. The project is being implemented as part of the European Horizon program and will be funded by DG Connect, the telecommunications division of the European Commission. It is within the 5G Rail funding program. The project intends to aim to cooperate and set establishment with railways regulatory and standardization bodies such as SHIFT2RAIL.


The project will approximated take 30 months and will be worth 13 million euros consisting of eight work packages aimed to validate the first FRMCS (Future Railways Mobile Communication System). 5GRAIL will be developing, testing prototypes for the FRMCS ecosystem and will be based on UIC’s Version 1 of the Functional and System Requirement specifications with 5G technology.

The prototype will be tested in laboratories, on real track conditions and will support ETCS, voice Group Calls and Railway Emergency Calls. Studies made for cross border scenarios and coexistence with roads will also be included.

“Enabling railway networks to benefit from 5G technology is a fundamental aspect of the sector’s transformation strategy conducted by both the operators and the suppliers with the support of the European Commission. For UIC which has piloted the development of 5G use cases and specifications with the support of its members, the financing by DG Connect of the initial demonstrators is a symbol of maturity for the sector. Together, we will make high-speed radio transmission a real part of railway operations to allow for new applications, increased safety, and above all greater customer satisfaction,” states Francois Davenne, UIC Director General.

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Author: Sarah Chebaro

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