The German-French innovation project 5G-RACOM (5G for Resilient and Green RAil COMmunications) is investigating solutions for the efficient, reliable and sustainable use of the Future Railway Mobile Communication System (FRMCS) and the associated frequency spectrum. FRMCS is considered as the successor to GSM-R and will ensure high-performance and real-time wireless communication between trains and infrastructure based on 5G technologies.
Due to the expected increase of data rates driven by FRMCS applications, the European Commission has granted the infrastructure managers in the railway sector a frequency spectrum of 2x 5.6 MHz bandwidth in paired 900 MHz FDD spectrum and an additional 10 MHz bandwidth in the 1900 MHz TDD spectrum. The additional FRMCS bandwidth is an important requirement for the planned digitization of rail traffic. FRMCS will deliver the basis for the digitalization and automation of railway operations and is, hence, fundamental to increase the capacity of trains on the railway tracks.
5G-RACOM has three objectives for a spectrum-efficient, a resilient and a robust FRMCS system design:
- radio propagation and channel modeling studies at 900 MHz (band n100) and 1900 MHz (band n101) in different railroad operational scenarios of the future FRMCS system, including but not limited to high-speed lines, tunnels, rural areas
- coexistence studies of GSM-R and FRMCS at 900 MHz and prototype development for technology migration
- solutions for hybrid FRMCS networks in which the railroad operational radio system is complemented by public mobile radio, e.g., as a fallback layer or to temporarily increase capacity.
In the latter project objective, a focus is placed on the evaluation and demonstration of different multipath approaches for parallel operation which are supposed to select best traffic paths in railway and public mobile networks and allow seamless operation and Quality-of-Service (QoS) guarantees for the mission-critical railroad applications.
As a harmonized European railroad standard, FRMCS makes an important contribution to the further development of the railroad sector towards more digitization and automation, and ultimately towards increased capacity of rail transport services. The innovations and prototype implementations from the 5G-RACOM project have the potential to accelerate the introduction of 5G-based FRMCS in rail transport and, thus, also contribute to more sustainability in the entire transport sector.
30th May 2023 – 5G-RACOM Work Package 3 members met in Annaberg-Buchholz, Erzgebirge, to visit the German field test site and discuss multipath solutions for hybrid FRMCS networks.
The 5G-RACOM project runs over 3 years until November 2025. It is jointly coordinated by DB Netz AG and SNCF Réseau and brings together leading companies and academia of the railway communication sector, being Kontron Transportation, Funkwerk, IMT Alantique, Siradel, Railenium, Université Gustave Eiffel, TU Chemnitz and TU Ilmenau.