In the last 5 years, railway operators around the world have started to deploy new radio networks based on advanced radio mobile (LTE). Some of these implementations have followed the Mission-Critical Services (MCX) standards defined by 3GPP Releases 13 and 14; these are currently supporting railway operational voice services and Automatic Train Control applications.
At the same time, the International Railway Union (UIC) has been working in defining a Future Railway Mobile Communications System (FRMCS) as part of 3GPP Release 16 standards. FRMCS is planned to become the official successor technology of GSM-R as the standard radio bearer for ETCS.
The presentation will explore the relationship between these two mobile radio sets of standards, their differences and similarities, potential migration paths between them and the extent at which the 5G roadmap will impact either of them.
This presentation was originally written for the 2020 RTSA Conference on Railway Excellence, which has been postponed to June 2021 due to the unfolding Covid-19 situation. A further update on this rapidly-developing field is planned for CORE2021.
Speaker: Rodrigo Alavarez
Rodrigo’s first railway role began in 2004, when he started to work as a design and project engineer in the Spanish High Speed Rail GSM-R deployment.
Rodrigo moved to London (UK) in 2007 to work as a design engineer for Network Rail’s Cambrian Lines ERTMS project. In 2009, Rodrigo joined Network Rail’s Crossrail Programme as a Senior Design Engineer responsible for ETCS L2 GSM-R Upgrade.
In 2012, Rodrigo moved to Perth (WA) to lead Titan ICT Consultants’ rail division. He has been involved since 2013 with the Public Transport Authority of WA, acting as Senior Project Engineer for PTA’s Radio Systems Replacement project and supporting PTA’s High Capacity Signalling project.
Since 2017, Rodrigo has simultaneously acted as the Practice Director of the Telecommunications consulting arm of Rai Systems Australia. In that capacity, he has supported the company to expand its operation from Perth and Brisbane into Sydney and Melbourne, working for clients like Sydney Trains, Transport for NSW, VicTrack and Public Transport Victoria, while continuing to be heavily involved in PTA’s Radio Systems Replacement project.
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