TECH SUPPLIER Jun 2021 - Market Perspective - Doc # AP46897821

Building the 5G IoT Edge for Railway Communications

By: Bill RojasAdjunct Research Director, IDC Asia/Pacific, Hugh UjhazyVice President, IoT and Telecommunications


This IDC study looks at the role of 5G in future railway communication infrastructure (RCI), which, historically has evolved with a mixture of different network technologies including satellite, Wi-Fi, GSM-R, and LTE-R. The timeline of 5G network development and deployments aligns well with the expected obsolescence of GSM-R by 2025-2030. RCI is crucial to achieving autonomous operations, safety protection, energy efficiency, emergency response, and predictive maintenance. It will take time and require extensive testing for the railway industry to be ready to build a roadmap for adoption of 5G into RCI.

"5G offers a level of bandwidth, frequency choices, and time-sensitive connectivity that has not been possible in the GSM-R and LTE-R systems and is well suited for integration into existing railway industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) systems. Like all transformation journeys there will be teething challenges and there will be migration costs involved including the radio modules, relay antennas, beacons, and other IIoT elements," says Bill Rojas, IDC Asia Pacific Adjunct Research Director.



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