3GPP Addresses GSM-R Successor Technology
Thursday, September 29, 2016 | Comments

At a recent Third Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) SA plenary, a study item was approved to investigate the requirements for a new railway communications system as a successor to the GSM-R service.

GSM-R technology is facing a number of challenges including that the technology life cycle is coming to an end, with vendor support uncertain beyond 2030. Extra capacity is required in some areas to support railway operations, and the rollout of European Rail Traffic Management System (ERTMS) has increased the strain on the GSM-R network.

To have a successor technology in place by 2020 for trials and by 2022 for deployment, the International Union of Railways (UIC) published a user requirement specification in the paper “Future Railway Mobile Communication System – FRMCS.”

Triggered by this, 3GPP Working Group SA1 started a first study that paves the way to identify which FRMCS requirements are in the working scope of 3GPP and to complete a gap analysis of existing functionality in Long Term Evolution (LTE) Release 14 to identify the work needed in 3GPP Release 15.

GSM-R is an adaptation of GSM technology to suit the railways’ needs for communications. 3GPP GSM-R provides the services necessary to support voice group call, voice broadcast call and prioritization of these services.

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