In an important development for the niche world of Train Communications Systems, Deutsche Bahn has secured government funding to trial trackside 5G connectivity.
The German Ministry for Digital and Transport (BMDV) is to pump €6.4 million into a scheme that will examine how best to achieve reliable 5G on trains by next year.
The newly-launched Gigabit Innovation Track (GINT) project will involve mobile kit giant Ericsson, operator O2 Telefónica, and base station company Vantage Towers. Together with Deutsche Bahn, the partners will attempt to provide gigabit, 5G speeds to train passengers. The project will also work on developing technical and financial options for implementing 5G across the German rail network.
The initial plan is to test ten different tower designs which will be erected along a 10km section of track in Mecklenburg-West Pomerania. Amongst the constructions to be tested will be towers that do not need concrete support and can therefore, presumably, be installed more quickly. The project is also slated to investigate the use of 5G on 3.6-GHz frequencies. According to some estimates, if one tower can only cover 1km, then as many as 20,000 new towers will be needed to cover the entire German rail network.
Speaking to the press, Minister for Digital and Transport, Dr Volker Wissing, underlined the necessity for high-quality, gigabit coverage for ensuring a pleasant and convenient train experience for passengers. The GINT project aims to lay the foundation for achieving this goal, he said.
As the towers begin to spring up, there is little doubt that the rest of the rail world will be watching with great interest.
New Trackside Communication Systems and Projects will feature heavily in this year’s Trancomms Conference, hosted by BWCS in London on the 14th and 15th of November, where Deutsche Bahn, Network Rail, Amtrak, OBB, SJ, TfL and SNCF, amongst others, will all be speaking.
There is more information at www.Trancomms.com , where you can obtain a full programme for the event, book your place and also sign up for our Free WiFi on Trains News Service… Or e-mail Ross.Parsons@BWCS.com if you have any questions at all about the event.
The 2023 Conference is sponsored by Huber+Suhner, Westermo, Boldyn Networks, Nomad Digital, GlobalReach Technology and Icomera. While, Xentrans, Antonics and Polomarconi are exhibitors.