TECH SUPPLIER Sep 2021 - Market Note - Doc # AP47963821

Road to the Future Railway

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


This IDC Market Note discusses the evolution of smart railway systems toward the next generation. It has been 21 years since the first smart railway communications system, GSM-Railway (GSM-R), was commercialized. In the ensuing year, several key train control systems have been developed: the European Train Control System (ETCS) and Communications-Based Train Control (CBTC) for main lines and urban railways, respectively. A train control system utilizes an array of sensors to manage operations, enhance safety, and improve operational efficiencies. However, the industry has to use a combination of fiber and various wireless communications technologies along tracks. With the advent of 5G and the Future Railway Mobile Communications System (FRMCS), the path to a more advanced, low-latency, and high-bandwidth infrastructure is becoming clearer, and the industry is busy carrying out proof of concepts (POCs) and conducting radio channel studies to understand the radio propagation characteristics of high-speed rail and determine the optimal frequencies for an infrastructure that will essentially be a private network in the edge.



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